Simple Bodyweight Exercises For Mobility:
Your body is one of the best lumps of fitness equipment ever invented if you know how to use it correctly. Old-school flexibility exercises have you hold a stretch for a period of time, which can help lengthen the muscle by reducing neural activity (how the CNS activates individual muscle fibers) but does not necessarily train that muscle to shorten and lengthen as its attached joint(s) go through a complete ROM.
Motion exercises using your bodyweight only can create a variety of participating locations and movements to lengthen different muscles that can help stretch the muscles while also Increased neural activity, which is important for strengthening the strength in an exercise using external resistance.
For bodyweight exercises, start two sets of each exercise, as you feel the improvement in your movement, and brought two representatives per week up to 20 representatives in each exercise. Once you reach 20 representatives per side, work up to four groups of each exercise.
Supine hip circle
8-12 per side
8-10 (beginner); 12-15 (advanced)
Offset quadruped rocking
10-12 per side
5-6 per side (beginner); 10-12 per side (advanced)
Multiplanar kneeling to standing
4-6 each direction (lateral and rotational)
5-6 (beginner); 10-12 (advanced)
Quadruped Shoulder rotation
8-12 per side
kneeling thoracic spine mobility
4-5 per side
To increase the level of difficulty, complete all of the exercises in a row with no rest; allow 2 minutes of rest after the entire circuit. Work up to 4 circuits, and then add reps until you can do 20 of each exercise (10 on each arm or leg).
– Supine Hip Circle
Lying down allows the spine to remain in a neutral position, supported by the ground. This increases mobility and the available ROM in the hips. The exercise can increase tissue temperature and fluid in the joint capsule. Mobilizing one hip while keeping the other hip stable can help improve mobility in each joint. This exercise alone is great after spending an excessive amount of time in a seated position.
1- Lie flat on your back with your right hand on your right knee and your left hand on your left knee.
2️- Circle both knees by pulling them up to your chest, then pull your right knee out to your right side while pulling the left knee out to the left side; both knees move away from the midline of your body.
3️- Perform 8 to 12 circles in this direction, then change directions from the outside of the body, toward the midline, and down away from your torso.
4️- Hold the right knee stable, with the left hand on the left knee. Circle the hip 8 to 12 repetitions in each direction, both clockwise and counterclockwise. Then switch hips—hold the left hand on the left knee and circle the right hip for 8 to 12 repetitions in each direction. Start with 2 sets of hip circles in each direction, and add 2 reps per week until you are doing 20 reps in each direction.
Correct Your Form
✅ Keep the lower back on the ground while the hips move.
✅ Allow your head to rest comfortably on the ground.
– Hip Bridge
This exercise strengthens the gluteal muscles responsible for extending the hips. Sitting all day can cause these muscles to be overlengthened, which reduces their ability to generate force. In addition, sitting can cause the hip flexor muscles (in the front of the hips) to become short, which restricts the ability of the hip to go through a full ROM. This exercise helps reduce tension in the hip flexors, allowing them to lengthen so the hips can move all the way through their designed path of motion.
1- Lie flat on the floor with your palms facing the ceiling, knees bent, your feet slightly away from your tailbone, and your feet flexed so that your toes are pulled upwards toward your shins.
2- Squeeze your gluteal muscles to lift your hips toward the ceiling as you push your heels into the floor.
3- Pause slightly at the top, then lower slowly to the ground. The movement should be 1 to 2 seconds up, pause for 1 to 2 seconds, and lower for 3 to 4 seconds. Complete 8 to 12 reps, rest for 30 to 45 seconds, and perform a second set. Start with 2 sets of 8 to 12 hip bridges, and as you feel your mobility improves, add 2 reps per week until you are doing sets of 20.
Correct Your Form
✅ If you feel the backs of your upper legs tighten up, move your feet away from you.
✅ Lift your hips high enough so you reach full extension—a straight line from your thighs to your shoulders.