Tip: The Drill Your Body's Been Begging For

It looks silly, but every step will activate your muscles, prime your joints, and get you closer to crushing your next workout.

When you're feeling tight and stiff in the lower back, hips, chest, and shoulders, that's a great time to just jump into some heavy-ass lifting, right?

Of course not. Mobility is essential. But since it's become such a buzzword, people have kind of forgotten why we do it and what it means.

Having adequate mobility can make exercises just "feel right." Without it, you may not be able to go through a full range of motion, which is frustrating for someone who's strong enough to do a lift, but unable to get into the positions it requires.

And since joints can be stingy and stiff relative to other types of tissue, it's in your best interest to make mobility training a mainstay in your workouts. It'll help prevent future injuries and remove any current joint restrictions.

Plus – and this is a biggie – mobility training can help activate different parts of your nervous system, increase blood flow, and help work out any tricky movements that might be preventing you from making progress.

Sound good? Try this drill:

Step By Step Mobility Circuit

You'll notice that this circuit combines common mobility drills. So basically doing this a few times will eliminate the need to do a bunch of movements separately.

Here's How to Do It

  1. Step one foot forward. Use a long reach initially as you get into a forward split stance. The goal is to create as much distance between the legs as you can while being able to keep the front shin vertical. Drive your hips forward with an extended and straight spine.
  2. Place both hands on the same side (inside) of your forward leg, then bring the hand closest to that leg around to the outside of it. Try to maintain contact with your hands on the ground, then extend both legs completely to optimize the stretch on both sides of your hip joint.
  3. Next bring your weight forward slightly and raise your back leg, like you would during a straight-leg deadlift. Keep your hands on the ground. This will help you learn to drive your weight off the ground and transfer energy up the movement chain.
  4. Now bend the knee of your back leg and bring it up in front of you until the hip and knee of the raised leg are at around 90 degrees. Your knee should be level or slightly above the hip crease to fully recruit the muscles in and around your hips.
  5. Apply a prisoner hold (hands behind head) and twist your torso away from the raised leg and then toward it.
  6. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps per side.

Ways to Use It

Program this drill as warm-up or a "recovery filler" in between lower-body work sets. You can also use it as its own workout or drill on your non-training days to promote faster recovery between lifting sessions.

Travis Hansen specializes in human-performance enhancement for athletes at all levels. He is also the leading authority on speed development for the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). Follow at www.resultsbyscience.com