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Welcome to this six-week series brought to you exclusively by Whole Life Challenge in partnership with Movement Vault. Each week, Dr. Grayson Wickham (physical therapist) will guide you through a new mobility routine. These practices are simply one of the many ways you can accomplish your daily mobility, and are intended to help you explore both your body’s potential and the world of movement.
Today’s Movement Vault flexibility and mobility routine focuses on your hips and ankles. Sitting is the number-one reason our hips and ankles get tight. When we are sitting, our hip flexors and the muscles around our ankle are in a shortened position. Over time, our body adapts and this shortened position becomes our norm — meaning, we become tight.
This video will help you open the front of your hips (your hip flexors) and increase your ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. This routine can also help alleviate low back pain. For those of you doing resistance training, this routine can help you get into better positions, including: squats, cleans, snatches, and lunges to name a few.
Movement Vault Mobility Follow-Along: Hips and Ankles
- Mobility ball or foam roller
- Padded mat
We’ll start with a muscle/fascial release for the hip flexors and quads, specifically our rectus femoris muscle. Focus on relaxing as much as possible while you roll and explore this area. When you find a tight and/or tender spot, stay on it and relax into it as you continue to breathe. Try to keep your hamstring engaged, bending your knee throughout this technique. We will perform 2 minutes per side.
Next, we’ll move to a stretch and activation movement. These are called lunge kick back holds. The key with this move is to stretch the hip flexor muscles first, and then activate (contract) them. Stretching the muscle first and then activating is the most effective way to increase mobility. This move has two parts and we will perform 3 reps per side.
Finally, we’ll finish with a stretch and activation move for the ankles, specifically to open up ankle dorsiflexion. Focus again on getting as deep into your stretch as possible and then activating the muscles around your ankle. Perform 2 reps per ankle.