Mobility is your active range of movement; it’s about moving freely whilst maintaining stability. People often confuse mobility and flexibility, mobility is active, whereas flexibility is passive. Flexibility refers to the ability of your joints to move without pain, for example, being able to touch your toes. While mobility involves your joint’s ability to move through the range of movement.
When running, mobility plays a large role in improving the quality of movement and in preventing injuries. You are more likely to lack mobility due to lifestyle factors rather than due to your training regime, for example if you spend most of your day sat at a desk, you may have tight hip flexors. You can easily incorporate mobility exercises into your daily routine as they only take a few minutes. Here are a few you can do from the comfort of your home.
Feet & Ankles
Foot Rolling – Roll the bottom of your feet on a tennis or golf ball, pausing on any tight spots.
Single Leg Balance – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lift one foot behind you with your toes pointed. Do this several times, then repeat on the other foot.
Heel Drops – Stand on the edge of a stair so that your toes are on the step, but the rest of your foot is dangling off. Slowly raise up onto your tip toes and lower your heel back down to below the level of the step. Repat on the other foot.
Banded Ankle Mobilisation – Wrap a band or stretchy piece of fabric around your ankle and flex forward and back.
Yogi Squat – Sit in a low squat position and bring your arms in front of your knees, try to rock from side to side if you can.
Lunge Walk with Overhead Reach – Take a step forward and bend your knees so that you are in a lunge position, lift both arms towards the sky. Repeat on the other leg.
Bear Sit – Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Turn your knees and feet outwards. Bend your knees so that your heels touch the floor. Grab your ankles from the inside and push your knees outwards. Try to flatten your lower back as much as possible and then hold.
Shoulders & Spine
Standing Arm Swings – Stand with your arms by your side. Swing your arms forward as high as you can reach, then lower back down to your sides. Repeat.
Child’s Pose – Kneel down and walk your hands forward so that they are extended in front of you. Lower your torso onto your thighs and your forehead to the ground. Hold this position. Repeat.
Doorway Stretch – Stand in a doorway with one palm pressed against the frame so that your arm forms a 90-degree angle. Lean into the stretch and hold, repeat on the other arm.
Thread The Needle – Get into table top position, raise your right arm, keeping your left palm on the ground. Slowly bring your right arm down underneath your torso, as you would thread a needle. Repeat on the left side.
If you enjoyed this, check out our post on why your running shoes matter.