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5 Daily Mobility Exercises

Maintain healthy joints and muscles with these daily mobility exercises. These are the best mobility exercises to protect your joints, increase range of motion, and improve your workouts. This mobility routine targets the hips, shoulders, inner and outer thighs, glutes, chest and back muscles.



 

Mobility exercises challenge the entire range of motion of a joint, so they’re one of the best things you can do to improve your workouts.

By taking your joints through a full range of motion, mobility training protects and maintains healthy joints, prevents injury, and allows you to move pain-free.

Adding mobility workouts to your routine can also improve your performance in strength training and HIIT workouts. For example, ankle mobility exercises can improve your squat form.

I suggest adding these exercises to your routine daily to improve mobility in the upper body, lower body and spine.

Woman performing a runner lunge or spider man steps as part of mobility workout

Mobility Exercises FAQs

What Are Mobility Exercises?

Mobility exercises challenge the entire range of motion of a joint. Consider the dynamic exercises you do in a warm up to prepare for a workout, like thoracic spine rotations and lunge step ins. These mobility exercises can improve your strength, stamina, flexibility, and balance (Harvard Health). Mobility training can improve your workouts, prevent injury and keep you moving pain-free.

Should You Do Mobility Exercises Every Day?

It’s a good idea to work on mobility exercises before your workouts to ensure proper form and reduce your risk of injury. Even if you only work on mobility for a short amount of time, you’ll see the benefits of mobility training. I suggest adding these exercises to your routine daily to improve mobility in the upper body, lower body and spine.

What’s the Difference Between Stretching and Mobility?

Stretching primarily targets muscle length and flexibility, while mobility exercises focus on joint health and functional movements. Mobility exercises often involve more dynamic movements, while stretching can be more static (such as holds) and focused on a specific muscle or muscle group, such as upper body stretches or hip flexor stretches.

Woman performing a runner lunge or spider man steps as part of mobility workout

Improve mobility, reduce risk of injury, and get better range of motion during workouts with these daily mobility exercises.

I suggest incorporating mobility workouts like this one to your home workout plan 1-2 times per week to protect and maintain healthy joints and muscles.

Workout Equipment:

No Equipment. Option to add a plyo box (or sub a bench/chair/couch).

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woman performing shin box get ups as part of mobility workout

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with these guided Mobility Exercises on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 5 Daily Mobility Exercises
  • Natural Flow (moving from one move to the next as you feel ready)

Note: I’ll cue this in the video, but it’s important to actively keep your body from tensing up as you hold each pose. Focus on breathing into each mobility exercise, and think about “releasing” the tension in each muscle group to avoid clenching up.

Workout Outline

  1. Shoulder Rotation
  2. Quadruped T-Spine Rotation
  3. Spiderman Lunges
  4. Shin Box Get-Ups
  5. Couch Stretch
woman performing a couch stretch as example of best mobility exercises

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Mobility Workout

5 Daily Mobility Exercises

Shoulder Rotation

Targets: Deltoids (all three heads of the shoulder muscles), rotator cuff muscles, lower back and upper back.

If you sit at a desk all day and feel your shoulders rounding, this stretch is for you. A complete shoulder mobility exercise to increase range of motion and stability in the shoulder joint.

woman performing prone shoulder rotations and woman performing standing shoulder rotations as part of mobility training

How To Do Shoulder Rotations

  1. Start lying on your belly, legs out long, elbows bent and fingers pressing gently into your head.
  2. Inhale as you lift the head and shoulders off the mat, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  3. Extend your arms straight out to the sides, palms facing down.
  4. Then, rotate your palms to face the ceiling as you bend your elbows, bringing your hands to rest on your lower back.
  5. Reverse the movement, straightening your elbows to bring your palms back to form a “t” shape, flipping the palms (palms facing down), and bringing your fingers back to your head.
  6. With control, lower your chest to the ground, returning to starting position.

Modification: If lying on your belly isn’t comfortable, perform this exercise from a standing position, feet shoulder width distance apart.

Quadruped Thoracic Rotation (T-Spine Rotation)

Targets: Upper back and middle back (thoracic spine), shoulders and core.

The thoracic spine (or t-spine) is located in the upper and middle part of the back. Thoracic spine mobility can reduce pain in the lower back, neck and shoulders.

two women performing quadruped tspine rotations as part of daily mobility training

How To Do Quadruped Thoracic Rotations (T-Spine Rotations)

  1. Begin on your hands and knees in a quadruped position. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, and your knees should be under your hips. Option to drop down to your forearms to increase range of motion.
  2. Place your left hand behind your head, gently pressing into your head with your fingertips. Keep your elbow pointing out to the side.
  3. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, slowly rotate open your left elbow and shoulder, opening your left elbow up towards the ceiling. Gaze follows left elbow. Keep your hips even and stable. Rotate only as far as you can without straining or causing discomfort.
  4. Then, on an exhale, reverse the movement, bringing your left elbow down towards your right wrist.

Spiderman Lunges

Targets: Hips (abductors), hip flexors, groin, quads, glutes, hamstrings and low back.

One of the best hip mobility exercises to warm up for a workout. This dynamic stretch opens up the entire lower body.

two women performing a runners lunge to open up tight hips and improve hip mobility as part of mobility training

How To Do Spiderman Lunges

  1. Start in a high plank position; shoulders stacked over wrists, core engaged. Pull your kneecaps up towards your belly, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step your left leg forward, planting it outside of your left hand. Left knee bent, right leg straight.
  3. Exhale as you drop your hips slightly toward the ground, deepening the stretch.
  4. Inhale, stepping your foot back to center and returning to high plank starting position.
  5. Switch sides, this time stepping your right foot forward and planting it outside of your right hand. Hold for a few breaths, relaxing into the stretch.
  6. Continue this pattern, alternating sides with each step.

Modification: Drop your back knee to the ground if holding a high plank position feels too intense.

Shin Box Get-Ups

Targets: The muscles around the hip joint — glutes, piriformis, psoas, hip flexors, hip abductors and hip adductors.

This is a great way to activate your glutes before starting your day. Strong, active glutes can help prevent lower back pain.

two women performing shin box get ups as part of mobility training

How To Do Shin Box Get-Ups

  1. Start in a seated position, right leg in front of you, left leg behind you. Both knees bent at 90 degrees. Create some distance between your front right heel and your back left knee.
  2. Think about driving your right knee and left knee into the mat at the same time as you hold this stretch.
  3. Then, maintain a strong core and long spine as you squeeze your glutes to drive your hips up, coming to a kneeling position. Both knees are pressed into the ground.
  4. Slowly and with control, lower your hips to the mat, returning to a 90/90 position.
  5. Then switch sides, slowly rolling and rotating your knees so that your left shin is now parallel in front of your body, and your right leg is behind you. Both knees are still bent at 90 degrees.
  6. Perform another get up, squeezing your glutes to lift your hips off the mat, feeling a stretch through the front of your thighs.

Modification: If the get-up is too intense, stick with a 90/90 hip stretch.

Couch Stretch

Targets: Hips (specifically the hip flexors, which are the muscles in the front of your hip) and quads. 

two women performing a couch stretch as example of best mobility exercises

How To Do A Couch Stretch

  1. Start kneeling in front of a couch or bench.
  2. Place your left knee on the ground and your left foot against the base of the couch, shoelaces down. Right foot remains planted on the ground in front of the couch, right knee bent at 90 degrees.
  3. Inhale, raising your arms overhead. Aim to keep your hips square, creating a long neutral spine from head to tailbone.
  4. Exhale, opening up towards the right, gently rotating through your upper body as your hips remain in place. Hold for a few breaths.
  5. Then inhale, raising arms overhead and returning to starting position.

Modification: Find a lunge position and omit placing your back foot on a couch or bench. Note that the more upright your torso is, the more intense this exercise is.

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