Mobility Exercises to Improve Your Fitness

When was the last occasion you contemplated incorporating mobility exercises into your fitness regimen? Just as you focus on enhancing your aerobic endurance, strength, and flexibility, it’s equally important to prioritize mobility training to maintain an active and vibrant lifestyle.

Mobility pertains to the range of motion of your joints within their sockets. According to Denise Cervantes, an ACSM-certified sports performance and fitness specialist based in San Bernardino, California, “Mobility is the ability to move your joints freely with the surrounding tissues allowing the movement to happen smoothly.”

Consider, for example, the shoulder’s movement during arm windmills or arm circles. Mobility is closely related but not synonymous with flexibility. While flexibility involves elongating or holding a muscle in a stretch, mobility concerns the range of motion of your joints.

Cervantes emphasizes that mobility exercises are typically more dynamic compared to flexibility-focused exercises, yet they can offer similar benefits, promoting prohealth and fitness. Neglecting both flexibility and mobility can lead to difficulties in performing simple tasks like getting in and out of a car, bending to tie your shoes, or reaching for items in a cupboard. It can also hinder your ability to engage in effective training and exercise.

For instance, the immobility of your hips and thoracic spine due to prolonged sitting and device use can result in injuries from repetitive daily behaviors, as highlighted in a study. Prolonged sitting can lead to kyphosis, an excessive rounding of the back, as explained by the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, immobility can negatively affect your walking mechanics, causing your hip flexors to become excessively tight, leading to a shortened stride and a shuffling gait as you age.

The good news is that incorporating simple mobility exercises into your routine performed consistently, can help prevent these issues and slow down age-related mobility challenges. What’s even better is that you’re never too young or too old to begin mobility training, according to Prentiss Rhodes, CSCS, a NASM-certified personal trainer and master instructor based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Seven Effective Mobility Exercises for Joint Health

Child’s Pose to Downward-Facing Dog:

  • Start by kneeling on the floor and lowering your hips towards your heels.
  • Allow your torso to fall over your knees and your head to drop between your arms, reaching your arms forward onto the floor (Child’s Pose). Hold for a few deep breaths.
  • Transition into the Tabletop position, aligning your shoulders over wrists and hips over knees.
  • Tuck your toes and extend your arms to lift your hips, forming a triangle with the ground (Downward-Facing Dog).
  • Take deep breaths and slowly return to the kneeling position (Child’s Pose).
  • Repeat this sequence three times, with three to four deep breaths per move.

Frog Pose to Deep Squat:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with toes turned out.
  • Sit back to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as close as possible).
  • Shift your weight forward, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Spread your knees farther apart and lower your chest toward the floor if you can.
  • Hold for a moment before returning to the deep squat position with your toes turned out.
  • Stand up slowly and repeat this movement 8 to 12 times.

Chest and Shoulder Opener:

  • Lie face up on the floor with a dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand (or use a soup can as an alternative).
  • Extend your right arm straight above your chest and your left arm overhead, resting it on the floor by your ear.
  • Bend your right leg, placing your right foot on the floor next to your left knee.
  • Roll onto your left shoulder, allowing your right knee to touch the floor.
  • Extend your right leg on the floor and slowly roll your hips forward and back to the initial position with your right knee bent and your arm extended overhead.
  • Repeat this movement 8 to 12 times on each side.


  • Begin in a Tabletop position with your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips.
  • Form a fist with your right hand, with the thumb pointing up (Hitchhiker position).
  • Lift your right arm in front of you to shoulder height.
  • Lower it to the starting position and repeat 8 to 12 times.
  • Switch to the other side and repeat.

Hamstring and Hip Opener:

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees about hip-width apart.
  • Step your right foot forward, aligning your right knee over your right ankle and keeping your right thigh parallel to the floor.
  • Shift your weight back, leaning from your hips over your right foot and allowing your right toes to lift (you can place your hands on the floor for balance).
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 8 to 12 times.
  • Switch sides and repeat the exercise.

Arm and Shoulder Circles:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your hips and shoulders square.
  • Let your left arm relax by your side as you circle your right arm forward 10 times.
  • Extend your arm as far as possible to make large circles without moving your hips.
  • Change direction for another 10 repetitions.
  • Switch sides and repeat the exercise.

Hip Circles:

  • Lie face up on the floor with your legs extended.
  • Bend your right knee and bring it toward your chest, pointing the knee toward the ceiling.
  • Make 20 progressively larger circles in one direction with your right knee.
  • Switch directions and repeat.
  • Switch to the other side and repeat the exercise.

While there’s no specific frequency guideline for mobility exercises, Cervantes recommends incorporating them into your daily routine, especially if you are older or more sedentary. These exercises can complement your fat burning workout at home. Consistency is key, so aim to perform these exercises regularly to maintain and enhance your mobility.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here