Top 3 moves to improve your leg and hip mobility
In the second self-test of the 3 screens posted HERE, we explore mobility in the lower limbs by standing up unassisted from a cross-legged sitting position.
Much like the balance screen (socks on/socks off test), and because for most of us who ambulate in a bipedal fashion, the health of our ankles, knees and hips is crucial, in connection to our spinal health.
These are the very muscles and limbs we develop as babies until we walk upright. We go from a C-shaped spine to an S-Shaped spine. The “tummy time” pediatricians encourage for babies is where we develop core strength, and the ability to push ourselves up (OK, fine, that’s a upper body move) also extends the spine (which we lose from sitting too much and revert back to looking like a cashew).
Since we spend time on our feet, our poor ankles are bearing the brunt of our weight, plus gravity’s push. Our hips get locked from sitting too much and their stiffening reduces their mobility, which puts extra work on the knees. Our knees are designed to move in one direction only, alas. The hips and ankles do the rest. So if our hips are tight and ankles stiff from carrying all the weight, the knees move “funkily” and suffer. Wanna get rid of knee pain? Address your hips and ankles.
Look at the source, not the site!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR ANKLES, KNEES AND HIPS BETTER?
Check out our recommendations in our article on balance. The same supine (on your back) exercises work here too, because it’s all tied together. You can give it a twist by performing them standing up, which also helps with balance.
The caveat is you’re not working on your dynamic and core strength and you’re not really working on the functionality of the day-to-day demands of “Life” unless you are a professional slackline or tight-rope walker.
TOP PROBAR MOVES TO RESTORE LOWER LIMB MOBILITY
– Assisted Squat: to work on the pattern and keep a straight spine.
– Front Lever Squat: for a deeper range of motion and greater angle of bend in your knees, hips and ankles, this is a good follow-up to the Assisted Squat.
– Hollow Rocking: this keeps the entire body tight and puts a nice burn on your “Dear Abbies”, necessary for that first “lift” of the ground as you performed the “stand up unassisted” test.
ADDITIONAL SAMPLE ROUTINE
Now, you can also follow this simple progression that works both your balance and your mobility, as it includes warm-up drills for your ankles, your knees, your hips and then progresses to address the left and right sides of your body.