Best joint mobility exercises

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Published: November 24, 2019

When it comes to an athlete’s ability to perform, joint mobility plays a vital role. If you are active and exercising, but still having trouble reaching goals, it may not be the lack of activity. On the contrary, the problem may be in the lack of mobility. More flexible allows the joints to fluidly go through a full range of motion without pain or stiffness. It is also related to the flexibility of the muscles that support the joints. There is a big range of joint mobility exercises you can do to increase your flexibility. From stretching to working with a yoga instructor Dubai, or even holding one position for a longer time. According to research, stretching through movement is much better over static stretching, since it makes more joints move. 10 minutes of a good stretch before a workout can really increase your run and jump distance.

person in gray sneakers jumping off the ground
Ankle joints are used for everything from running to jumping, so it’s important to keep them in shape.

Not stretching properly can cause harm, so it is very important to be in good shape before any workout. It only gets worse as we get older, so it is important to be fit. You do not need to do any hard workouts to keep in shape. Aggressive exercise can be harmful when you are older because you can’t fight your body getting old. Light activity like walking or pilates classes in Dubai can be very good ways of doing joint mobility exercises. Below, we have provided a list of things you can do to always stay in good shape.

Ankle joint mobility exercises

Ankles are made of three parts and are the most used joints of the body. Athletes need mobile ankles to run and jump with ease. However, some of them do not keep their ankle joints in good condition, which can cause workout injuries. When injured, they proceed to “treat” the joint with splints or tape, which immobilizes the joint. Keeping the joint in place can cause it to further weaken, making more harm than good. These exercises, recommended by any top fitness instructor Dubai, will not only make strong and mobile ankles but also serve as a good recovery start for people with joint injuries.

Ankle stretch

This exercise works the Achilles tendon and the calves, improving your ability to lift your toes, and bringing them closer to your shin. Stretching is crucial before any workout, however, a post-workout stretch is just as important to release the built-up tension in the muscles.

  • Start by facing the wall with your toes around two inches away from it.
  • Bend the knee forward and try to touch it to the wall without lifting your heel off of the ground.
  • Do five repetitions of this
  • After 5 repetitions, move away 1 inch from the wall and repeat. Do this until you can no longer reach the wall

A-B-C drill

This routine is great for improving your range of motion in every direction.

  • Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Using one foot, trace the outline of the entire alphabet, as big as you can.
  • Do the uppercase letters first, then the lowercase, with each foot.

Hip joint mobility exercises

The hip joints are vital as they support your body weight. As such, they have a great impact on your range of motion. Hips are used in literally every action, from running and pushing to changing direction. Sadly, many athletes overlook the hips in their mobility programs. The weakness is usually found in hip extension and rotation, so these exercises focus on those areas.

close up shot of a persons hip
Hips are responsible for everything from supporting your body weight, keeping balance, and changing direction.

Hip stretch

  • Kneel down and move one foot to the front
  • Roll the hips forward and keep an upright position with the upper body.
  • You will feel a stretching sensation in your hip flexor region of the back leg.
  • Keep this position for 40 to 60 seconds.
  • Switch the leg and repeat

Fire hydrant

  • Get down on your hands and knees
  • Bend your leg and raise it to the side as far as possible, and return it to the floor. (Imagine a cartoon dog using a fire hydrant, hence the name)
  • Don’t bend your arms or rotate your spine, the movement should only be made at the hip joint.
  • Do 3 sets with 10 repetitions for each leg.

Shoulder joint mobility exercises

The shoulder is another crucial ball-and-socket joint, just like the hip. However, the motion of the shoulder is highly impacted by the scapula, commonly known as the shoulder blade. This is why it is very important to maintain good shoulder blade stability. Here are a few joint mobility exercises that improve the shoulder blade stability and overall shoulder mobility.

Woman in sports bra doing joint mobility exercises before a workout
Shoulder joints are as important as the hip joints. As such, they need to be properly stretched.

Y-W-T-I exercise

  • Lie in a prone position with your face up
  • Extend the arms overhead with your hands flat. Keep your fingers together and thumbs pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Raise the arms as high as possible without bending the elbows
  • Maintain the position for 10 seconds
  • Move the arms into a “W” position. Do this by bringing your elbows back and make a “W” shape with your arms. Keep the arms flat and fingers together, with thumbs facing the ceiling.
  • Maintain the position for 10 seconds
  • Extend the arms to the side with the hands flat and make a “T” shape.
  • Hold the arms as high as possible, and squeeze your shoulder blades as tight as you can.
  • Once again, maintain the position for 10 seconds.
  • Bring the arms to your side. After that, raise them as high as possible without bending the elbows.
  • As before, the arms need to be flat, with thumbs facing toward the ceiling.
  • Maintain the position for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this series 3 times, and rest 30 seconds to 1 minute between repeats.

The pass-through exercise

For this exercise, you will need a stick or a PVC pipe, around 4 to 6 feet in length.

  • Grab hold of the stick wide enough so you can comfortably raise it over your head and behind your back. This motion should be continuous without bending the elbows.
  • Reverse into the starting position, by moving the stick from behind your back, over your head, and then in front of your body.
  • Do this exercise 10 to 15 times, doing no more than 3 sets at a time.

The band pull-apart exercise

This exercise will require a resistance band

  • Hold the resistance band with both hands, and extend your arms in front of you.
  • Pull the band apart and move your arms as far apart as possible. Do not bend your elbows.
  • While doing this, squeeze your shoulderblades as tight as possible.
  • Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  • Slowly return to your starting position by bringing the arms together
  • Do 3 sets, with 10 to 15 repetitions per set.

A lot of these joint mobility exercises can be incorporated into your own everyday workout routine. Even though these exercises are fairly simple to do, the impact they have on your body and the overall mobility is huge. With our help, you will move with much more fluidity and ease, making your next workout session a piece of cake.

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