Hands, wrists, and thumbs play a huge part in our movements, particularly when it comes to any pulling, pushing, or lifting movements. Unfortunately, it isn’t until they become overwhelmingly sore that we stop to pay them some attention and alleviate some of the stress they are under.
When we consider that our hands, wrists, and thumbs basically take the brunt of numerous power movements, it’s no surprise that they become fatigued and sensitive over time. Movements such as push-ups and handstands, Olympic lifts, and grip-based movements like pull-ups and kettlebell work generate a load of tension through our hands, and …
The hips play a huge role in our general movement regardless of whether they are being used in exercise routines or simply in order to get around. Given that we now spend a significant amount of time sitting down, and consequently contracting a lot of the hip muscles for prolonged periods, it is not difficult to tire them out or have them flare up occasionally. The movement below looks at working out some of the stress that builds up over time and helps reduce some of the tension they carry.
Regardless of if we are super active or super inactive, over time our upper back and neck can become stiff and tense purely through the effort it takes in maintaining the balance of our head. Weighing in at approximately 5kg, keeping our cranium upright and stable over the course of a lifetime is hard work and can become an issue for the muscles supporting it. Here’s a quick tip in working out some of the tension that builds up over time.
Beating a pain in the neck
This movement can be done laying on the ground or leaning against …
Legs: at Project UNITED, we call them “Swiss Army Limbs” because they do everything. They get us out of bed, they get us around, they drive our car (apart from the steering bit), and they are usually at least somewhat responsible for delivering some form of exercise to us depending on our routines. Cat’s in the way? Legs have the solution. Arms full and you need to close the door somehow? Legs fix that too. Needless to say then that at some point, your shins like most other parts of your legs will probably need some work. And now’s a …
If you do a lot of lifting and start to find that you are becoming tight through your shoulders, biceps, or lower arms, it is possible that the culprit may be the cheeky little string of muscles and tendons running down the top of your forearm. Giving them some love may be just what you are looking for.
Like most mobility routines on ProjectUNITED.com.au, very little equipment is required:
A trigger point ball (or baseball)
A platform or shelf (though not essential)
Place the trigger point ball on the floor or platform if you have one.
Despite spending a large chunk of our day on them, we probably don’t give our feet and soles the attention they deserve. They can not only be the source of tension throughout our entire lower leg, but can also compromise range of motion through the ankles and knees which can seriously hinder mobility. Spending a bit of time relaxing the soles can essentially set your legs free.
The sole release movement
Of all the mobility routines we have published on ProjectUNITED.com.au, this has to be the simplest.
Place your trigger point ball (or tennis ball, baseball etc) on the
If you happen to hear someone calling you a tight-ass, sure, they may be referring to your thrifty financial tendencies. However, there is a chance that they noticed a lack of mobility or limited range of motion in your hips, legs, or back and could be warning you to loosen up your glutes.
Grinding out the glutes
This is another simple mobility exercise to add to your routine. Once again, the only equipment you will require is a trigger point ball (or tennis ball, baseball etc).
Place the trigger point ball on the ground so it won’t roll away.
You may not specifically work on building calf muscles as much as you may other parts of the body but that doesn’t mean that the calves won’t still need some love from time to time. The calf release is a convenient movement to do whether you are at home, the gym, or even at work if you have a spare five minutes.
The calf release movement
The calf release basically entails sitting on the ground with one leg outstretched, on top of a trigger point ball and moving around until you find a sore spot. When you are performing the …
Hamstrings seem to take a beating regardless of the activities we perform. Any lifting, running, or general movement from the feet or hips will require engagement from the hamstrings at some point. Here is a really basic movement for you to utilise to get those little devils loose and cooperative so you can keep your performance up.
Hamstring release equipment
Like the majority of our mobility suggestions, the hamstring release requires very little equipment:
The chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor – see diagram below) are among the most loaded muscle groups in the human body. Unlike some of the muscles in our legs which experience different levels of active intensity (anything from walking to swimming to weighted squats), the chest is typically called on to provide a greater level of force – pulling movements (eg lifting shopping bags, or children), and pushing movements (eg furniture, or a lawn mower). Over time the chest can become tense and contracted which can create rounding of the shoulders, poor posture, and stress on the back. Mobilising …
Whether you are into Olympic lifting, kettlebell sets, lunges, squats, or even just casual running, keeping the groin and hip mobile is essential in maintaining form and minimising the likelihood of injury. As far as mobility efforts go, groin mobility is one of the easier areas to work on with or without the aid of equipment.
Why is it important?
Keeping the groin mobile is paramount in order to perform correct technique without discomfort.
Smoother range of motion: squat or lunge depth, kettlebell thrusts, or opening the hip during a lift are significantly more manageable and comfortable if the
The rhomboids are the muscles in between each shoulder blade and the spinal column. The rhomboids consist of the rhomboid major and the rhomboid minor and together they contract the scapula (shoulder blade) back towards the vertebrae during pulling exercises such as pull-ups and rowing movements. Overtime the rhomboids can reach a permanent state of contraction, restricting mobility and potentially causing pain. This state of permanent contraction is commonly referred to as knotting and occurs in most muscle groups in the human body.
One of the simplest ways to regain mobility through your upper back, shoulders, and chest is to …
The banded wall squat is a great stretch to perform before or after a routine, particularly if that routine involves any form of squatting. It allows the athlete to arrive in a position where they can relax whilst a resistance band does most of the work.
The movement involves wrapping a resistance band around your waist and then around both knees whilst in the squat position. From there, wriggle yourself as close to a wall as possible and place the soles of your feet against the wall. Refer to the video below: