Feeling all the aches and pains from too much time spent sitting down at a desk or behind the wheel? Your mobility might be a problem. Men’s Health Advisory Board Member Dan Giordano, a licensed physical therapist and C.S.C.S., created the new Daily Mobility program exclusively on All Out Studio, which can help to increase blood flow, circulation, and even temporarily improve your range of motion for your workouts.
If you’ve been stuck sitting and listening to Zoom calls all day, chances are your hips are barking. And when your hips lock up, lower back pain, hamstring tightness and knee issues aren’t far behind.
These are struggles that plenty of guys battle daily in this work-from-home era, so you’re not alone. But hip issues don’t need to wreck every moment of every day. Dan Giordano, P.T., D.P.T., C.S.C.S., creator of the new Daily Mobility program on All Out Studio, can help you fix your hips with a handful of mobility moves.
Giordano’s program focuses on total-body mobility, and that will have you moving and feeling better in every waking moment. And the experienced physical therapist, who’s also a member of the Men’s Health Advisory Board, says there’s even more benefit to keeping your hips loose and flexible. You’ll feel that benefit whenever you head outdoors for a game of backyard football or an intramural soccer showdown.
“All of your power comes from your hips, so optimal movement of the hip joint is critical to performance,” says Giordano. “The more mobile your hips are, the better body awareness and movement quality you will have.”
You’ll bulletproof your body against injury, too, since a domino effect of compressive forces caused by tight hips can lead to aches and pains elsewhere. It all gives you plenty of reasons to integrate these mobility moves into your regular routine—and expect to feel the difference in just a few days.
Figure-Four Stretch in a Chair
Cross your right ankle over your left knee, pressing your right knee toward the floor. Lean forward and feel the stretch through the back side of the hip and the glute, but remember, only go until you feel a decrease in tension. Do not stretch into pain! Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
“This is a great thing to do during airplane travel, or anytime you’re sitting for prolonged periods,” Giordano says. “Just don’t do it while you’re driving.”
Seated World’s Greatest Stretch
Lean forward in your chair, and put the left hand on the floor just inside the left foot. If you can’t reach the floor, just press the back of the left hand into the left shin. Bring the right hand to meet it, then rotate the right arm to the sky while opening the chest to the right. This mobilizes the thoracic spine and stretches the shoulder to combat your hunched-over desk posture.
“Thinking about pulling a bow and arrow across your chest, and follow the hand with your eyes,” Giordano says. Bring your right hand down and repeat three times, then move to the other side.
Start on all fours. Place the right foot outside the right hand, then lift the left knee off the floor and press the left leg straight. Engage the quad and glute on the left side. Then, move the right foot back into a high plank, and bring the left foot outside the left hand, engaging the right quad and glute to keep the hips square. Lean forward into the stretch to open the hips and get the blood flowing, increase circulation and prepare the body for activity. Repeat eight times on each side.
“Each time, as your body starts to understand the movement neurologically, you’ll get a little more range of motion,” Giordano says. “Your heart rate will increase, and you may even break a sweat.”
High Plank Hip Circles
From that same position, with the right foot outside the right hand in a high plank, press the right elbow into the right knee. Use your upper body and your bodyweight to create range of motion, making slow hip circles on the right side to open the hip joint and get the joint moving.
“Work on getting ever centimeter of the range of motion, and each time, try to make the range of motion a little bigger, by pushing the elbow into the knee,” Giordano says. Do eight circles on each side, and play with changing direction. If you start to fatigue, drop the back knee.
World’s Greatest Stretch
Start again from that spider lunge position, with the right foot outside the right hand in a high plank. Lift the right hand and drop the right elbow toward the instep of the right foot and rotate a bit toward the left hand, feeling the stretch all along the right thigh. Then, rotate that right hand up toward the ceiling, following the hand with the eyes. Focus on tucking the bottom rib under so you get full rotation in the midback, and keep the left glute engaged to bring the stretch into the left quad as well. Bring the right hand down again, reaching the elbow toward the floor. Repeat eight times on each side.
“This is called the World’s Greatest Stretch because it works the whole body, whether the back knee is up or down,” Giordano says.
From the high plank position with the right foot outside the right hand, move the right hand outside the right foot. Walk the right foot along the ground toward the left hand until the shin drops to the floor. Drop the left knee and walk the left leg back a bit so you sit deeper into the stretch. Drop the chest down toward the ground to feel a stretch along the back of the right leg, in the glutes, hips and piriformis. Relax the chest toward the ground for a three count, then slowly come up. Repeat eight times on each side.
“Experiment with walking the hands a little bit to the left or right to find the spot that is best for you,” Giordano says. “When you find your spot, pause for a second, and come back up.”
GET THE PROGRAM
Want more stretches and routines from Giordano? You’ll need to check out the full Daily Mobility program, only available on All Out Studio.
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