Are you looking for ways to move better during your day-to-day activities? Then, you need to start doing more mobility work!
We asked the Renew Physiotherapy team, "what is one mobility exercise you recommend that everyone do?"
Keep reading to see the top 6 PT-recommended mobility exercises that you should do (and can do) every day for better movement and increased range of motion over time!
1. TVA Bracing
TVA stands for the transverse abdominus muscle, which is the deepest of our 4 abdominal muscles that wrap around the spine. TVA bracing is an exercise where you contract and activate the TVA muscles of the abdomen and hold them tightly without moving.
Laura Wilson says, "If you can learn to master your core, everything else will be easier, and you will be more stable. Creating a good foundation with simple bracing moves like this is the best place to start!"
Click here to learn how to engage your transverse abdominis muscles!
2. Kneeling Ankle Dorsiflexion
What the heck is dorsiflexion?
Dorsiflexion means the movement that occurs when your shin (or tibia) moves forward towards the foot! Proper dorsiflexion is important for correct body positioning and production and application of force.
Jenna Silver says, "It's pretty often that I see people with poor mobility in their ankles, which leads to poor squat form and other dysfunctions up the chain that can affect their performance. That's why I like to recommend that anyone in the gym should start doing kneeling ankle dorsiflexions with a thera band around the ankle."
Click here to perform a kneeling ankle dorsiflexion with a thera band!
3. Backwards Walking
While walking normally is something we do every day without much thought, walking backward has many benefits for your mind and body!
Retropedaling (aka backward walking) does wonders for improving your flexibility and strength.
"I love this exercise because it works on stretching the hip flexors, balance, and extensor strengthening. It also helps reverse all the sitting that we do daily. It is safe and functional for all types of patients and helps help PTs address people with back pain, knee extension deficits, balance deficits, calf tightness, glute weaknesses, and more!" - Cyrstal Burnett.
So next time you're at the gym, hop on the treadmill and give backward walking a try (remember to start slow!)
4. Cat-Cow Stretch
The cat-cow exercise is an essential yoga move, and for a good reason!
This pose is well known for gently stretching the muscles in your back, and its synchronized breathing can also help you further relax to achieve a deeper stretch and relieve some of the day's stress.
"Cat cows are a great way to improve mobility in the neck, upper back, lower back, and hips as well as promote stability in the shoulders. Because it affects so many areas, it is a very efficient exercise and stretch. I definitely recommend everyone incorporate cat cows because it's one of the best ways to address deficits that many of us have throughout our spines from our daily lives!" - Cody Hartley.
Click here to learn how to perform the cat-cow stretch.
5. Open Books
Open books are a great way to improve your mobility with one simple move (and no reading required!)
This move is so good for improving mobility that more than one of the Renew Physiotherapy team members said they recommend it for everyone!