Guided Mobility to Help You Unwind
  • November 5, 2016
  • This past week, we offered you a workout with a few new variations on some simple moves. Those variations involved a little more twisting and rotation for your body and especially through your trunk.

    If you’re like me and you had a crazy week – including workouts and everything else – you need to use this weekend to unwind. This set of mobility exercises is great to have on hand for a rest day or to compliment another weekend workout.

    These exercises include a mix of foam rolling/lacrosse ball-maneuvering as well as dynamic and static stretches.

    Scale how long you want to spend on each exercise or pick and choose which work for you. Even if you can squeeze in 10 minutes of stretching and mobility work a day, it’s 10 minutes more than you would have done – and your body will thank you. Try to spend at least two minutes on each of the stretches to make the most of your time in mobility-mode.

    Here are the moves:

    • Child’s Pose variations
    • Supine leg pendulums
    • Double 90-degree twist
    • Hip mobilization from 90-degree bend
    • Half pigeon variations
    • Wide legged fold and twist
    • LatGlute, Low back foam roll
    • Figure 4 with a twist
    • Standing oblique stretch

    And here’s the breakdown:

    Child’s Pose variations: Begin in Child’s Pose by sitting your hips back towards your heels with your knees out wide. As you walk your hands forward, let your head rest on the ground. Then walk your hands over to the right to stretch your left side-body. Hold here for about a minute, then switch to the other side.
    asweatlife_mobility1_childspose1
    asweatlife_mobility1_childspose2

    Supine leg pendulums: Begin by lying on your back in a supine twist (keep your shoulders on the ground and cross one leg over your body, both knees bent at 90 degrees). Stay here for a few breaths, then gently swing your top leg through center, send your hips the opposite way and cross your other leg over your body – now you’re in a supine twist on the opposite side. You shoulders will stay grounded the whole time but your hips will rotate. Move slowly back and forth, pausing for a few breaths on each side every time. See our Instagram for a video breakdown of this.
    asweatlife_mobility1_legpendulum
    asweatlife_twistingmobility_leftside

    Double 90-degree twist: Place your right leg in half pigeon (knee bent at 90 degrees, extending directly from your hip, keeping your right foot flexed). With your hips as square as possible, mirror that shape for your back leg so that both legs are bent to 90 degrees. Stay here or walk your hands across your body to add a twist, bringing forearms to the ground outside your right leg if available. Aim to keep your left hip down.
    asweatlife_mobility1_double90_1
    asweatlife_mobility1_double90_2

    Hip mobilization from 90-degree bend: Keep the same leg positioning as in the move before to work mobility for your back hip. Tilt the left side of your pelvis forward and backward; place your left hand on your left hip to feel the tilt.
    asweatlife_mobility1_mobilityhip2 asweatlife_mobility1_mobilityhip1

    Half pigeon variations: You can either stay in a standard half pigeon by taking your right shin to the ground in front of you and working your knee and ankle towards a 90-degree bend (keep your right foot flexed to protect your knee and don’t worry if you’re nowhere close to 90 degrees). With your back leg extended straight behind you, fold over. Now you can add a twist if your hips and low back will allow it. If your right leg is in half pigeon, thread your left arm underneath your body and rest on your left ear.
    asweatlife_mobility1_doublepigeons2 asweatlife_mobility1_doublepigeon1

    Wide legged fold and twist: From standing, bring your hips wider than hip-width apart and fold forward. Keep a micro bend in your knees to avoid locking them out. Aim to keep your hips square, place your right hand on the ground or a block and twist your left arm up. Hold this for a few breaths, then switch sides. Keep repeating to find a deeper twist each time. asweatlife_mobility1_standingtwist2 asweatlife_mobility1_standingtwist

    Lat, Glute, Low back foam roll: Using a foam roller, roll across the side of your body just underneath your shoulders, pausing where you feel more tension and breathe deeply there. Do the same thing for your glutes and your low back. Take your leg across to a Figure 4 position (as pictured) will allow you to roll more into your piriformis muscle.
    asweatlife_mobility1_latrolling asweatlife_mobility1_gluterolling

    Figure 4 with a twist: From standing, cross your left ankle over your right thigh, keeping your foot flexed. Lean back and lower down to a figure-4 stretch (you should feel it on your outer left hip). To deepen and add a twisting component, place your left elbow on the ball of your left foot, press your palms together and twist from your bellybutton upwards (meaning try to keep your hips square even as you twist). Repeat on the other side.
    asweatlife_mobility1_figure4twist

    Standing oblique stretch: From a neutral stance in a standing position, reach your arms up and grab hold of your left wrist with your right hand. Stretch up first, then over, keeping your abs engaged and maintaining as much length on both sides of your body as possible. You can change the distance apart for your feet to find different variations of this stretch. For some, having feet together is more difficult and for others, having feet further apart is.asweatlife_mobility1_sidebend

    (Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)

    About Maggie Umberger

    Maggie moved to Chicago from North Carolina in 2014 with a degree in Journalism and Spanish, a 200-hour yoga certification, a group fitness cert and a passion to teach and to sweat. It wasn't until she found aSweatLife that she really started to feel at home. Here, she's incorporated her passion for health and wellness into her career as she helps to build the network of Ambassadors, trainers and fitness enthusiasts that exist within the aSweatLife ecosystem. You can also find her coaching at CrossTown Fitness and teaching yoga classes at Bare Feet Power Yoga, Yoga Six and exhale.