Since the inception of #5minuteflow I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. Many people all over the world are feeling better than ever, simply because they are making the commitment to dedicate 5 minutes of each morning to their orthopedic well-being. Even still, many people have asked for more direction, and maybe the most common question I get is something along the lines of, “what is the MOST important mobility drill?”
Of course there is no BEST mobility drill, mainly because we are all unique beautiful snowflakes and need different stimuli to elicit a positive change.
That being said, I thought it would be beneficial to lay out my top 3 mobility drills, why they are so important, and how to execute them perfectly.
When I invented Yoga over 5,000 years ago, I understood the importance of having a healthy spine. I also had 3 dogs named Sascha, Socrates, and Steve–and I watched the way they would stretch.
All joking aside, here’s what we’re looking at with this movement.
Downward Dog Movement Patterns:
Shoulder Flexion and Scapular Upward Rotation (important for healthy shoulders)
Thoracic Extension (important for basically everything)
Hip Flexion and hamstring stretch
From here, the transition to and from the upward dog will also work on additional spinal extension, stretching the entire anterior chain (hip flexors, abs, intercostals).
The simple way to look at this movement is that you are alternating anterior and posterior chain mobilizations. Sometimes thinking of movements in terms of chains rather than each individual joint is more efficient.
A more strength oriented version of this movement would be to do hindu or divebomber push-ups while maintaining the same breathing patterns.
If you are a human being, it is important that you have the ability to put one hip in extension with the other in flexion (think walking, running, etc). The deep lunge with rotation is going to really open the hips better than anything else I’ve come across.
You may decide to stay in the deep lunge longer and do more reps with the arms, or start each one fresh with a one-legged downward dog as a little reset.
Standing on one leg is something that, surprisingly few people can do well. Not only that, but it’s an important skill to maintain as you age, as it is a strong predictor of keeping the ability to walk. Balance is one of the more important youth-maintaining skills. Combining this with the skill of the hip-hinge, and contralateral hip extension (as in the deep lunge) makes this movement a total powerhouse.
All of these movements can actually be strung together seamlessly in this order, for a nice #5minuteflow.
Don’t chance your health–work your mobility every damn day and be sure to include these movements in your mobility playtime.
Better every day,