21 Easy Mobility Stretches to Keep You Limber From Head to Toe
Emerging from a period of (well-deserved) rest and rejuvenation requires many things: a pair of couch-to-office leggings, a fresh new 2023 haircut, and easy mobility stretches.
Mobility, like its closely related cousin flexibility, is key no matter what your 2023 wellness goals are. “Unlike flexibility—a muscle’s ability to stretch—mobility is the joint’s capacity to meet its full range of motion,” says Taylor Rae Almonte-Roman, CPT, a founding trainer at home-fitness mirror company Fiture. Whether you spent the post-holiday sale period finding the best running shoes so you can finally tackle that half marathon, intend to take up a joyful new hobby like rollerskating, or simply want 2023 to be the year you don’t feel like a creaky old scarecrow every time you stand up from your desk, you’ll need both flexibility and mobility.
To help you limber up and build strength in the major joint systems of the body, we asked top trainers and physical therapists for their favorite easy mobility stretches. Use the mobility training routine below (ideally done two to three times per week) as a full-body guide for preventing injuries.
Or, to dig deeper in a certain area, see our specific guides on the best neck stretches, best shoulder stretches, best exercises for low back pain, best stretches for hip pain, and best knee mobility exercises. But before you begin, a note: Some soreness for beginners is common, but consult with your doctor if you experience consistent pain during any of these mobility workouts.
Neck Mobility Exercises
Whether you spend your day sitting at a desk or on your feet, it’s likely you’re succumbing to poor posture habits—particularly if you spend a lot of time looking down at a digital device or work surface. That puts your spine in “cervical flexion,” which causes the neck muscles to tighten, according to physical therapist Elizabeth Lamontagne, DPT, SCS, CKTP, who is assistant director at Recovery Physical Therapy in New York City.
“Over time it can get very painful, and it can become a repetitive cycle of pain and not holding your neck upright because it hurts,” she says. To counteract the damage of this daily wear and tear, try these neck stretches.
Upper trapezius stretch
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