Hello, and welcome to today’s Mobility Monday post. Today, I want to talk about two lower body mobility exercises that are great to do before pretty much any workout (include workouts that aren’t lower body-focused).
You could pair these lower body mobility exercises with the essential upper body mobility exercises I shared last week and have a great pre-workout mobility routine for yourself (it’s like I had a plan for these posts or something 😉).
I love these two exercises because they address common muscle imbalances. Many people struggle with tight, immobile ankles and tight, immobile hips.
Not sure if these imbalances are issues for you? Do you ever find your torso tipping forward when you’re squatting? Do your heels rise up off the floor when you squat, lunge, or do other lower body exercises? If so, then tight ankles might be a problem.
Tight ankles and tight hip flexors can also contribute to lower back pain and postural issues. For example, do you struggle with an excessive arch in your lower back (also known as lower-crossed syndrome) when you’re working out or even just standing or walking around? If this resonates with you, you might need to address your hips and hip flexors.
Not sure which exercises to do to deal with tight ankles and/or hips? That’s where I come in.
Here’s a breakdown of two of the best lower body mobility exercises that you can do to address these muscle imbalances and get warmed up before your workouts:
Kneeling Ankle Stretch
I talked about this stretch in this post, which is all about ankle mobility, but I wanted to include it here. Tight ankles can contribute to a lot of muscle imbalances and issues throughout the body, so I really advocate warming up the ankles before diving into a workout.
Remember, ankle issues could even contribute to issues when you’re doing an upper body exercise like an overhead press. For example, if your ankle tightness causes you to have poor posture and excessively arch your back when you’re pressing a heavy weight over your head, you’re going to be more likely to hurt your back or shoulders while doing that exercise.
Active Lunge Stretch
This stretch is great for warming up the hip flexors and helping you to correct your posture before you workout.
I see a lot of people making the mistake of doing deep static lunge stretches before exercising, and I don’t recommend this. Static stretching and increasing your range of motion too much before strength training can increase your injury risk and hinder your ability to lift as much weight as you could have otherwise. Save those stretches for the end of your workout instead.
Now that I’ve lectured you about the dangers of pre-workout static stretching, let’s get into the actual exercise. When you’re doing an active lunge stretch, make sure you’re knees are forming 90-degree angles (or close to 90 degrees). Then, tuck your pelvis under to initiate the stretch in your hip flexor.
Don’t rock back and forth — this could cause you to overstretch the hip flexor. Keep your range of motion short. This will help you get a more targeted stretch without overdoing it.
I love doing this before a workout or on a day when I’ve been sitting for a long time and start to feel it in my lower back.
Lower Body Mobility Exercises Video Breakdown
Need an example of these lower body mobility exercises? Here’s a video breaking them down for you:
Start doing these lower body mobility exercises before your workouts and let me know how it goes! Remember, it will take some time before you notice a significant difference, but you’ll see improvements if you stick with it!