Mobility CAN Improve Your Squats Part 1

Mobility work is likely not very high on the list of things you want to do at the gym. It is not very exciting or flashy and is often neglected. However, a limited range of motion and muscle imbalance leads to problems for people who squat. Performing a mobility session prior to your workout can correct those issues and is a great way to warm up.

Long hours of sitting cause most people to have shortened hip flexors. A good stretch to target these muscles is the proposal stretch. Remember to keep taking deep belly breathes throughout the stretch. A common mistake people make while performing this stretch is hyperextending at the spine. Squeezing your glutes will intensify the stretch sensation you feel and prevent you from leaning too far back. Consider using a mat or pad to help make the stretch more comfortable on your knees.

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Along with shortened hip flexors, extended periods of sitting causes your hamstrings to be tight as well. Target the hamstrings with a stretch by lying on your back with a band or towel around your foot. Pull your leg straight up until you feel a stretch along the back of your thigh. Try your best to keep the other leg flat on the ground with your toes pointed straight up. These are compensations your body naturally performs for muscle tightness that is limiting your mobility.

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A lack of ankle mobility is also common among many people. This restriction can make it difficult for you to maintain a stable position and reduces the amount of force you can generate. You can address this issue with a calf stretch. Simply place your foot against a wall or box and lean forward. Keeping the knee straight targets the gastrocnemius while bending your knee will target the soleus muscle.

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Try to incorporate these stretches into your warm up routine before your workout. Perform each stretch three times and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Your warm up sets will feel easier after the mobility work. Do not get discouraged if results are not immediate as It can take some time before you notice any improvements in your mobility. These are only a few of the numerous exercises that address mobility restrictions. If you have any questions, or would like a  mobility exercise set specifically designed for you, call (204) 452-5632 to set up an appointment at the clinic or email me at jason@jointeffortclinic.com.

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