FLEXIBILITY/ MOBILITY GUIDE

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1 FLEXIBILITY/ MOBILITY GUIDE

2 INTRODUCTION After finishing soft-tissue work (through foam rolling or using the stick) is the best time to work on flexibility and mobility through static stretching. While it is extremely beneficial to know your own specific needs when it comes to mobility, we can take proactive steps to make sure you have an acceptable amount of mobility at a given joint. One thing to keep in mind is that there is an optimal range of motion, as well as length, for each muscle and/or joint. Being too flexible is no better than being too inflexible when it comes to injury prevention. For example, if you can put your hands flat on the floor from a standing position, you probably don t need to spend too much time stretching your hamstrings. To sum up, having a minimum amount of range of motion will allow you to perform all of the given movements in your sport without putting you at further risk of injury. Having too much flexibility will lead to having unstable joints that could easily lead to ligament or cartilage damage while competing. For the rest of us, we can take a balanced approach to mobility. Specific joints generally lack in flexibility and addressing those limitations is critical. The following guide contains a few different stretches and mobility exercises for the ankle, hip (Anterior, Posterior, Medial, and Lateral), thoracic spine (upper-back) and shoulder joints. The knee and low back are skipped for a reason; unless you ve been injured mobility should not be an issue at these joints and stretching is not necessary (especially for the low back!). Every day you should pick at least 1 exercise/stretch from each group and perform the given sets & reps following your foam rolling and prior to your dynamic warm-up. If you feel that a given joint is lacking, then you should feel free to perform more than is suggested. At the end of the workout is a great time to get extra mobility work in and will also aid in your recovery. Stretching Recommendations: Each stretch should be held for seconds before switching sides or moving to the next exercise. The stretch should be pushed to a point of discomfort, but not pain. Most of these stretches will be done for 2-3 reps of seconds, but some will vary. Mobility Exercise Recommendations: The mobility exercises are more dynamic in nature, and as such should be performed in a slow and controlled manner. Most of these will be done for sets of repetitions and 2-3 sets.

3 lkj STRENGTH & CONDITIONING ANKLE A) Wall ankle mobilizations: Start with 1 foot about 4-6 inches away from a wall. Keeping your heel down, slowly drive your knee towards the wall in the different directions shown. Avoid letting your hip slip out to the side. Sets/Reps: 2x10 each foot, each direction B) Standing Ankle Mobilization: Standing with one toe pointed down to the ground, work the ankle in all directions in a circular fashion. Sets/Reps: 2x5 circles in each direction C) Toe-Elevated Calf Stretch: Elevate 1 toe and put pressure on that toe by driving your knee forward until you feel a good stretch through your calf. Keep your heel down! Sets/Reps: 3x 20 seconds each leg Straight Leg Bent Leg

4 ANTERIOR HIP (Hip Flexors) A) Rear Foot Elevated Hip Flexor Stretch: With your rear foot on a bench, chair or box, move your front foot out far enough so it is underneath your knee. Your knee should be at 90 degrees. Drop your hips towards the ground and then reach the arm on the same side as the down leg up until you feel a stretch at your hip flexor (front of your hip). Sets/Reps: 2-3x 20 seconds each leg B) Rear Foot Elevated Hip Flexor Stretch with Rotation: In the rear foot elevated position, with the front knee at 90 degrees, Rotate your shoulders towards your front leg. Sets/Reps: 2x 20 seconds each leg

5 C) Side Lying Quad Stretch: Lying on your side with head relaxed, grab the foot of your top leg and pull your heel towards your head and squeeze your glute (butt) until you feel a stretch through your quad and/or hip flexors. Sets/Reps: 3x 20 seconds each leg POSTERIOR HIP (Glutes and Hamstrings) A) Band Hamstring Stretch: Using a resistance band or Thera-Band, lie on your back with the band looped around your foot. Raise the leg as high as necessary to get a good stretch through your hamstring. Be sure to keep your leg straight and toe pulled in towards your shin. On the leg not being stretched, keep your toe pointed straight to the ceiling (in other words, don t allow it to turn out to the side). Sets/Reps: 3x 20 seconds each leg

6 B) Single Leg Lowering Hamstring Stretch: Lie on your back with both feet elevated and legs as straight as possible. Your legs should be as high as you can get them with both legs straight. Place the foot of the leg that is going to be stretched against a support beam, door jam, or a squat rack. Slowly lower the opposite leg to the ground, while keeping your low back against the ground (pull your belly button in to your spine). Sets/Reps: 2x10 each leg C) Waiter s Bow Variations: We have included 3 different variations of the Waiter s Bow stretch. The motion from the waist up is the same for all 3. Similar to performing an RDL, you will push hinge at your hips with a neutral spine until you feel a good stretch through your hamstring muscle group. The changes happen with the lower body and are demonstrated below. Sets/Reps: 2x20 seconds on each leg, for each variation. Perform 1 set of each on the right leg, then switch to the left. Repeat for a 2 nd set. 2 Leg Waiter s Bow Waiter s Bow with Straight Leg Waiter s Bow with Bent Knee

7 LATERAL & MEDIAL HIP A) Seated 90/90 Stretch: Sitting on a bench or chair, place one foot over the opposite knee. While sitting tall, press down on your knee until you feel a stretch on the outside of your hip. Sets/Reps: 3x 20 seconds on each leg B) 90/90 Stretch on Floor: Sit on the floor with one leg in front of you and one behind. You should make 3 90 degree angles with your knees and hips (front knee, your thighs should be 90 degrees to each other, and back knee). Keeping your chest up, lean forward down the thigh of your front leg until you feel a good stretch on the outside of your hip. Sets/Reps: 3x20 seconds each leg

8 C) Band Adductor Stretch: Using a resistance band looped around your foot, pull your foot as high as you can, as if you were doing the band hamstring stretch. Hold the band about ⅓ to ½ of the way up. From here, slowly let your foot fall out to the side while keeping your knee extended until you feel a good stretch. Sets/Reps: 3x20 seconds on each leg D) Hip Internal Rotation Stretches: Here are 2 variations of stretches to work on internal rotation at the hip. The first is the lying knee to knee stretch. Lying on your back, with your feet spread wide (almost uncomfortably so), try to push your knees together until you feel a stretch in your hips. The second variation is similar, only done with 1 leg instead of 2. Sets/Reps: 3x20 seconds each leg Lying Knee to Knee Stretch Single Leg Hip Internal Rotation Stretch

9 THORACIC SPINE A) Cat-Camel: In the quadruped position (hands under shoulders and knees under hips), Look up and arch your low back by pushing your belly button towards the floor while simultaneously pulling your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds then look down and round your back by pulling your belly button back towards your spine and pushing into the ground with your hands. Hold this for 1-2 seconds. Sets/Reps: 2x10 B) Thoracic Spine Extension and Rotation: In the quadruped position, place one hand on the back of your head. From here, rotate out and point your elbow towards the ceiling while looking straight up at it. Hold for 1-2 seconds, then rotate downwards and bring the same elbow towards the elbow of the opposite arm. Hold here for 1-2 seconds. Sets/Reps: 2x10 each C) Seated T-Spine Rotations: Sit on a bench, chair or box with your knees at 90 degrees and hips about level with your knees. Place a foam roller or towel between your knees. With your hands crossed and resting on your shoulders, rotate as far as you can to one side while keeping your hips down. Hold for 1-2 seconds, and then rotate to the other side in the same manner. Sets/Reps: 3x8 each way

10 SHOULDER A) Side-Lying Cross Body Stretch: Lie on your side with your head resting on a towel or foam roller. Use your top hand to hold the back of your opposite shoulder on the triceps. Pull your down arm up and across your body until you feel a stretch on the back of your shoulder. Sets/Reps: 3x20 seconds each (only do both shoulders if needed) B) Sleeper Stretch: From the side-lying position, flex your elbow of the down arm to 90 degrees and hold your arm at 90 degrees from your chest. Take your top hand and press down on the forearm of the bottom arm, pushing your hand towards the ground while keeping your elbow flexed to 90. Keep your shoulder blades stable and don t shrug your shoulder up while performing the stretch. Sets/Reps: 3x20 seconds each (if needed on each arm)

11 C) Shoulder Sweeps: Lie on your back and roll your right leg over so the right knee and hip are flexed to about 90 degrees and your knee is resting on a medicine ball or foam roller. Keeping your shoulder blades on the ground, place your right hand above your head but with your upper arm and elbow 90 degrees from your side. Starting with your palm up, slowly rotate your forearm down using your elbow as the center of rotation. Once your hand is even with your elbow, flip your palm face down and continue as far as you can down. Try to keep your elbow down through the range of motion, but it is O.K. if it comes off of the floor due to tightness. Sets/Reps: 3x15 each D) Shoulder Posterior & Anterior Capsule Stretches: For the posterior capsule stretch, hold a rack or door jam with one hand and stand in a position where that same arm is across your body. Pull on the rack and try to rotate towards the shoulder you are stretching, until you feel a good stretch on the back of your shoulder. For anterior capsule, simply turn the opposite direction and this time turn your torso away from the shoulder being stretched. Sets/Reps: 2x20 seconds each Posterior Capsule Stretch Anterior Capsule Stretch

12 E) Shoulder Extensor Stretch: Hold a rack or bar that is above our head. Sit your hips back and bend your knees to squat down slightly while stretching your shoulder. Sets/Reps: 2x20 seconds each F) Anterior Capsule Stretch with elbow flexed: Similar to the anterior capsule stretch, with the difference of placing your entire forearm against the support with your elbow bent followed by rotating forward and slightly away from the shoulder to be stretched. Sets/Reps: 2x20 seconds each

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