Skip to content
Free Shipping On All Orders Over $49.99
Free Shipping On All Orders Over $49.99


Better Mobility: The Key to a Healthier and Longer Life

Better Mobility: The Key to a Healthier and Longer Life

Better Mobility: The Key to a Healthier and Longer Life

Trust me, I'm not being overdramatic when I say that better mobility is life-changing. While it may seem like just a fancy gimmick or a way for people to show off on the internet, deep down, it's something that will improve the quality and longevity of your life. Today, I wanted to share with you the five best body weight exercises for better mobility. Having your body weight play a part in these movements is essentially like loading them, so you could think of them like weighted stretches where your weight helps draw you into a deeper stretch, and then you also need to lift your body weight out of that position, building strength, flexibility, and stability in the body all in one go.

1: Glutes

Let's get into it. The first one isn't going to break the internet for its innovative, creative uniqueness, but it is possibly the most important mobility movement in the world. If you don't want healthy knees, mobile hips, stable ankles, and a longer life expectancy, then don't skip this one. The Primal squat is the Holy Grail of body weight mobility movements. But we're talking a nice deep squat here, not something that is more like sitting on an imaginary chair.

But what do you do if you don't have this range of mobility yet? Sitting as deep as your current flexibility allows is the goal. Whether that's here or here or here, it doesn't need to look like mine or anyone else's. But challenging your end range is what you need. If you can already drop down into a deep squat and stand yourself up again many times, then great. But don't use this as an excuse to think that you don't need to keep doing them.

But what happens if you can't? Here are my two favorite ways to work towards it. Firstly, grab a foam roller or one of those big blow-up Pilates balls that you get at the gym. Stand yourself in front of a wall with your feet a little wider than your hips and your toes ever so slightly turned outward. Take your rolly thing to just behind your lower back and then lean back against it to squish it into the wall. From there, allow yourself to roll down your rolly thing into your deepest squat position. Pause, hold it for three to five seconds before rolling your way all the way up and out. Being able to lean back against the wall lessens the demand on your hip and ankle ability and allows you to progress over time until perhaps one day, you don't need the wall.

The second option is to place a small wedge underneath your heels. Something like mini weight plates or books work perfectly. You want the wedge to be as large as necessary to allow yourself to sit into the deep squat but as small as possible to ensure that you're finding your challenging edge. Again, it's a more forgiving shape on your ankle and hip mobility and is why special squat shoes have a built-in wedge underneath the heel to make your squats easier.

All of these movements that I'm going to run you through could be done as a specific mobility routine in and of itself. But one of my favorite ways to apply them is in mobility microdoses where I'll pop up from my desk at random intervals throughout the day and do a few squats while I give Betty some treats or while I wait for the kettle to boil. You'd be amazed at how beneficial microdoses like this can be, which have pretty much no impact on your schedule or how much time you have available.

2: Shoulder

Number two is targeting your shoulder mobility, as well as being great for decompressing your spine, essentially letting it expand into its natural length, which is quite the opposite of what it experiences when we're sitting down.

An added bonus is that it'll strengthen your wrists. A dead hang is pretty much what it sounds like. You allow your dead weight to hang off from a bar, no pulling up, no tension, just a complete dead hang. And let me just reassure you, if you have little experience with these, they are a lot harder than you think they might be. And obviously, a heavier body weight, a larger body, is a heavier load to carry. So, if completely hanging isn't quite manageable for you yet, just leave your toes on the ground and give as much of your body weight to your hands as you possibly can. I would advise you to test your maximum hold to set yourself a benchmark and then simply work on trying to beat your own time.

3: Groin

Did you know that your adductors, your inner thigh muscles, start at the same point on the underside of your pelvis as your hamstrings do, and they insert into a not too dissimilar spot down towards the bottom of the thigh? So working on mobility here has some direct crossovers with better hamstring mobility. So number three is doing exactly that. Cossack squats go by many different names, a side squat, a lateral squat, maybe even scandatna in yoga class. There are a few subtle differences between each of them, but they're largely the same movement.

Start with your feet wide, and a common error is people thinking that a more narrow stance is easier if they're a little bit inflexible. It definitely isn't. You just run out of space for your legs to fit halfway down and get a little bit stuck. So take that nice broad stance and turn your toes just a little bit outward. Now think of it just like the regular squat. You're going to keep your chest up, sit your bum back and down, and keep pressing your knee wide so that we're really working those adductors.

For many people, you'll reach a point where your inner thigh flexibility finds you a stopping point. But if you have a little bit more range, you may be able to move down into a deep squat. You've got two options. You could keep the foot flat, which is a little bit more biased on stretching your abductors but very challenging on your ankle ability, or you could turn your toes to the sky, a true contact squat, which is a little bit more biased towards your hamstring flexibility but easier on the ankle. Both fabulous options. Importantly, however low that you squat to, you have to be able to get back up. It's mostly the yogis I see who drop it down low and then take another posture, and this isn't mobility. It's just a stretch at best and sinking into your joints at worst. So if you've hit a point where you can't get back up, don't go so low on your next repetition and work within the range that you can control, developing that over time.

4: Hamstrings

If you have tight hamstrings, this next one is going to be your best friend. Well, maybe not your best friend, but the balance is pretty difficult, so maybe just a very valued acquaintance. Tight hamstrings are often the cause of excessive lower back rounding when bending or reaching for something. This is the position of the spine that very few people train and strengthen, which makes it a vulnerability. Single-leg deadlifts use your body weight to pull your hamstring into a stretched position, and then your hamstring contracts to pull your body all the way back up. Stand on one leg, toes pointing forwards, and your body square on. Keep a nice straight line between hips and head. Hinge your hips forwards until you feel that hamstring stretch, pause for a moment, enjoy the stretch before standing yourself back up tall.

If you have flexible hamstrings already, you could have the other leg straight out behind you, but otherwise, you could keep it bent. That leg really isn't part of the exercise, so don't let it be the limiting factor. Place your hand on something for balance if you need, but do try to work towards doing this without balance support to get those stabilizer muscles working and extra ankle mobility gains.

5: Hips

So, we've gotten into the outer hips, shoulders, the spine, and the hamstrings, but what's really missing from this group of exercises so far is the front of the hip, the hip flexors. For all of the movements in this video, I'm speaking to people with healthy bodies. If you have injuries and issues, YouTube isn't really the place to get personalized programs for your individual needs. So with that in mind, for this final movement, we're going to allow our knees to pass our toes, which is an amazing thing for ankle mobility and developing fully functional knees.

Take yourself a nice large stride and make sure your feet are on train tracks for balance. You're going to think of driving your hips and knee forward and down, trying to get your bum as close to your front heel as you can. Aim to tap your back knee down to the ground, not losing sleep if it doesn't quite make it there. But keep your torso nice and upright, that's what's going to give us that nice long stretch into the hip flexor. Press into the front heel to rise back up to stand. This is an ATG split squat, ass to grass or ass to grasp, depending on where you're from, and it's a staple in my weekly mobility training. 10 on each side is a really good starting point.


Remember that improving your mobility takes time and consistency. These exercises are great for improving body weight mobility, but they won't work overnight. Stick with them, and you'll see gradual improvement over time. And don't forget about mobility microdoses. These are little bursts of mobility exercises throughout your day, like doing a few squats while waiting for the kettle to boil or doing some dead hangs while taking a break from work. They can be a great way to improve your mobility without taking up too much time or disrupting your schedule.

Embed this infographic on your site.

Better Mobility: The Key to a Healthier and Longer Life
Previous article Unlock Your Authentic Singing Voice: 3 Steps and Exercises to Stand Out from the Crowd
Next article Unlock Your Inner Vocal Power: Proven Techniques to Transform Your Voice in No Time!

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields