Aging comes with many amazing – and some less welcome – changes. If we’re talking about the latter, most people experience a decrease in their range of motion as they age, according to the Arizona Center on Aging. This may be due to a decrease in physical activity, tight muscles, arthritis or pain. When your range of motion decreases, it means you are more prone to falls, which can lead to serious injury. The most beneficial thing you can do for your body and your overall well-being is to stay active and moving. We spoke with Anthony J. Yeung, CSCSa fitness expert and the founder of GroomBuilder, who shares with us five of the best mobility exercises you’ll want to add to your routine if you’re over 50.
According to The Baton Rouge Clinic AMC, a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, “mobility” is essentially how a joint moves through its typical range of motion. For example, your hinged knee joint can move forward and backward. It can also move outward and inward a bit.
Yeung explains, “As you get older, your muscles tighten and become less flexible and your joints feel stiffer, which can lead to pain and injury. Controlling your mobility will help you feel better, prevent injury, and you enjoy it. the freedom to do a lot more physical activities.”
So now is the time to take action and increase your range of motion. Keep reading to learn more about these mobility exercises, then don’t miss 5 Daily Exercises to Improve Muscular Endurance as You Age.
1. Curved T Spine Extension
To perform this first mobility exercise, bend your knees and hips until your torso is roughly parallel to the floor. Your lower back should remain flat as you extend your arms in front of your body, palms facing up. Then reach back with one of your arms, following that hand with your gaze, and feel a firm stretch in your shoulders and thoracic spine. Repeat this movement with your other arm and continue to switch arms.
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2. Child’s breathing position
If you’re a yogi, you’re probably pretty familiar with the child’s pose. Get into position and round the entire length of your spine. Exhale dramatically, hold for a moment, then inhale through your nose. As you inhale, focus on filling your back with air.
3. Squat to stand
Begin this next exercise by placing your feet shoulder-width apart, hinging your hips back, and grabbing your toes. Push your body down into a squat, making sure to keep your arms straight and your hands on your toes. Raise your hips and repeat the movement.
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4. Hip flexor stretch
The hip flexor stretch causes you to place one knee on the floor and form a 90-degree angle with your knees. Squeeze the gluteal muscle of the leg behind you, hinge your hips forward and deeply stretch your quadriceps and the front of your hips. Alternating sides.
5. Foam roller
For the last of these mobility exercises, you’ll need a foam roller for some light foam rolling on your lats, legs, hips, and back. Do this for a few minutes. “This will loosen those chronically tight and tender muscles, relieve tension, and help you improve your overall flexibility and mobility,” says Yeung.