A good workout begins and ends with a stretch. Often, those are the best parts. But what if there was a workout where the muscle extending, spine twisting, tension relieving movements didn’t just bookend your session, but were incorporated throughout? Folks, may we introduce you to mobility strength training.
Mobility basically describes your range of motion, and it affects how easily you can perform tasks like climbing stairs, picking up groceries, and generally moving throughout the world. “Mobility is important because it allows you to function normally through your daily activities,” Vinh Pham, PT, physical therapist and founder of Myodetox Clinics, previously told Well+Good. “If you don’t have good mobility, you will not be able to perform activities to your fullest potential.”
Combining strength training with mobility is one of the best ways to improve your flexibility. “[Both] aspects enable you to move all of your joints and soft tissues through their full ranges of motion, and this is crucial in order to build a strong body and to avoid pain and injuries,” Renee Pickett, a Strong Nation master trainer, previously told Well+Good. And that’s just what this 16-minute workout with Kat Atienza delivers.
During the workout, you’ll begin with a warm-up featuring movements designed to lubricate your joints and activate your muscles. But the stretching doesn’t end there. In two sets with three circuits each, you’ll do exercises that both strengthen your muscles and extend your range of motion. Take YWs, the first move in the first set. For them, you’re engaging your lats and other back muscles, as well as your arms, but also opening up your chest and shoulders, all of which contribute to good posture.
Other moves include figure four crunches, which open up your hips while working your abs, reverse lunges with a twist to build lower body strength plus spinal mobility, and push-ups to downward dog toe touches, which will strengthen and mobilize your shoulders, while stretching your hamstrings, calves, and ankles. And of course, you still get the pleasure of a cool down with stretches that feature a lot of twisting and spine opening. Mmmmm.
A workout can do so much more for you than strengthen your muscles. Sink into these movements and know that you’re doing something amazing for your body, your heart, and your longevity. Now that’s 16 minutes well spent.