Last Updated 11th August 2016: We interviewed 10 experts regarding the top mobility tips exclusively for men. Generally when you do a lot of lifting you can leave your mobility and flexibility on the back-burner. Leading to more injuries and generally feeling very stiff and sore. We all know we should be spending more time on “Mobility” but for the average guy we want to get in, do our workout and get out, so what’s the 1 exercise or 1 tip that our experts recommend? The results are below.
Russ Howe – Russ Howe PTI
Seeing as the barbell squat is among our most important lifts, one of the first tips I’ll give to a new client is building mobility through the hips. I’ve lost count of the number of times a gym member has approached me asking why the top point of their quadriceps, right at the hip joint, feels like it’s being tightly pinched in the days following a lower body workout.
To correct this and build fat greater mobility at the hips, we place one foot flat on a box (the angle should be higher than 90 degrees to give us a greater stretch) and lean into the move while keeping the other foot on the floor. On the rare occasions I see this being performed in gyms, the big mistake is that the participant is rounding their back as they lean. Avoid this. Keep your core tight, back flat and focus on getting a great stretch across your hip flexors, then switch legs.
Use this for a few weeks and watch how the depth of your squat increases. For a video demo, this is a fantastic example from Dr Quinn Henoch, video embedded below.
Michael Blevins – GritandTeeth
Mobility can be a time suck, and people tend to pursue copious amounts of it, but being too “mobile” is just as limiting as being too weak. Look at mobility through the scope of limitation, and perform repetition in areas that need to be improved, when they are corrected, move on. A good example of where coaches and trainers mess up is with runners, they are notorious for lacking mobility, especially in the ankle and hip flexor area, but correcting this usually has a negative impact on performance. Ditch the foam roller, put a weight over head and squat, or walk.
Sock Doc – Sock-Doc.com
I’d say the top mobility tips would be deep squats and hanging, (active and passive). This would be true for both men and women. Squatting, even just bodyweight, provides natural flexibility in the hips, knees, and ankles, which many people lack. The shoulders are one of the most important yet under valued areas of the body. Many people go the day without raising their arms above the head. So working on hanging both passively (dead hang) and actively (shoulder blades depressed down) is vital.
Jack – Renegade Fitness
Every hour at work, spend 3-5 minutes doing mobility. Work on your ankle mobility with foot circles, do some stretches for your shoulders and chest whenever you are on the phone. Find little ways to work them into your day without it completely taking you away from work.
Ray – Ray Buckton
Most guys will lift with poor form due to poor posterior chain flexibility as well as poor hip mobility – these more than anything will restrict range of movement on the big compound lifts like the Squat and Deadlift. Sitting squat holds, hamstring PNF stretching, foam rolling the lower back and hip flexor openers are are all ideal for improving these areas.
Dai – Dai Manuel
The squat – I like to get into a deep squat – hip creases below the knees, and hang out there for 10 minutes at a time. I really focus on keeping a proud chest, engaged core and weight in the heels (should be able to wiggle the toes). After doing this my hips feel more nimble, open up wider and improves the performance in all my squat movements period. I’ve also found it loosens up my back a ton. Note: if you find it difficult to get into a deep squat position based on lack of mobility, tight hip flexors or lower back, then go where you can and hold for shorter sets until you reach the 10 minute mark cumulatively.
Henry – Gym Talk
It’s the ‘King of Exercises’ for a reason, and a movement I could not do without.
Just 30 minutes at the squat rack will do more to change your body composition than a week of tricep pushdowns and bicep curls.
In addition to hitting your leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes), squats target a variety of other muscle groups, thus flooding your body with testosterone and creating an anabolic environment to supercharge muscle growth.
Want to get strong?
Want to build muscle?
Want to develop flexibility?
It’s as simple as that.
Just don’t go mental and start loading up the bar with three plates on each side before you really know what you’re doing, otherwise your spine is going to end up looking like a baguette that’s been attacked with hammers.
Take it slow, master your form first with bodyweight squats, and gradually add weight to the bar once you grow in confidence.
Tom Buckland – Ghost Fitness
For me, It’s about keeping it going. I might see some great mobility exercises, such as the ones on this list, but when it comes to doing them every single day, I get demotivated and end up stopping after a couple of weeks or going into bad habits. My tip would be don’t start to quick, even an hour a day is ambitious if you have previously done zero mobility work. Start at 15 minutes, mix PNF, dynamic, static stretching and yoga and build it up from there.
The majority of experts on the list recommend utilising the squat as a mobility method. Active mobility is the key theme through this article. Squatting, lunging, yoga are all movements that will aid your flexibility, without losing the strength or performance needed.
Try out these tips and let me know what you thought in the comments section below.
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