Daily Mobility Routine: 4 Key Exercises

Here are four simple exercises I currently use in my daily mobility routine to help open the hips, hamstrings, mid-back & shoulders. Follow along and let me know how you get on.

There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution to improving our movement quality or mobility.

That being said…

There are a few movements that seem to tick a lot of boxes when it comes to opening up the hips, shoulders and spine – which many of us can benefit from. We’ll go through four of them today, in what’s currently my daily mobility routine. 

If you want to try them out, you can follow along, see how they make you feel, and then come back to the video or incorporate these into whatever routine you have going on.

For this you’ll need a bit of space, a wall or couch, and then potentially a block or stool or some sort of raised surface for some extra support.

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Exercise #1 - Forward Fold & Elephant Walks

The forward fold is a great way to open up through the hamstrings and the rest of the posterior chain. I also find that it can be a decent indicator of how happy my nervous system is to push things that particular day. If things are particularly tight, it may be a sign to chill out man, ease in and take things slower.

I like to go for an overhead reach to open up the chest and shoulders, then hinge at the hips and drop the torso towards the ground. You can use your hands on blocks or the edge of a sofa (any raised surface) for some extra support if needed, and a generous bend in the knees. 

Feel free to hang out in the fold, or begin to slowly alternate between straightening and bending each leg. You can also aim your torso towards the bent leg to get a bit more of a stretch on the lateral lines. 

Exercise #2 - Thoracic Side Bend & Rotate

Our ability to rotate comes in handy in just about every athletic movement pattern – running, throwing, striking, climbing, swimming and beyond. 

From all fours, perform a slight side bend to shorten the right side of the body. Then rotate the torso towards the left side. In doing so, we get this coiling motion and a wringing out of the mid back. 

You can perform slow repetitions, and/or hold the end range, take a deep breathe to expand the ribcage, and then a long slow exhale. You may find that simply breathing deeply allows the body to open up further. 

Rinse and repeat on the other side. 

Exercise #3 - The Couch Stretch

Dr. Kelly Starrett’s infamous couch stretch is a solid way for us to improve hip extension – another key player in most of our human movement patterns. 

Place the back knee against the wall or couch, enter a low lunge with the back heel touching the glutes. Throughout the stretch, we want to maintain A – the ability to breathe freely, and B – the ability to contract the glute on the working, rear side leg. 

This one can get intense quickly, causing you to sweat, tense up and not get the most out of the exercise. So do what you have to do to stay as relaxed as you can – staying down down low or using support.

Over time, as the nervous system begins to trust you and figures out that that this is a safe position, you can gradually look to get the torso more upright, and play with side bending and/or rotating towards the front leg side. 

Exercise #4 - 90-90 Hip Box

The hip box is a great one to spend time in to improve hip internal and external rotation.

Sitting on the floor (or elevating the hips on a cushion if needed) splay one hip outwards and one hip in, with roughly a 90 degree bend at the knees. 

You can hang out here or experiment with leaning the torso out over the front (externally rotated) and back (internally rotated) leg. 

Try not to collapse the torso, and aim to keep the legs active by pushing the shins into the ground. 

Shift your hips to the opposite side and repeat. 

Over to You

If you give the daily mobility routine a try, let me know how you get on in the comments below. 

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Luke Jones

Luke Jones is a Movement Coach, Wellness Enthusiast, Online Content Creator, and Founder of HERO Movement. Through articles, videos, courses, and online coaching, his big goal is to help people discover freedom of movement and create lives filled with well-being & adventure.

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