Three Kettlebell Movements to Improve Your Mobility
In the society we live in today, it is hard not to have tight and stiff joints. Joints thrive on blood flow and range of motion. So, when we sit at desks and in cars for years on end, it takes a toll on our bodies.
Also, staring at a computer screen as well as cell phones hunched over all day does us no good. You can reverse the damage you have done to your body and feel better again, but it will take a lot of work.
The three areas we are generally all tight is our shoulders/lats, hips, and ankles. Here are a few kettlebell exercises that can help open up those joints and help you regain your lost mobility.
Shoulders and Lats
For the shoulders and lats, overhead holds can do wonders. To perform, simply hold a kettlebell overhead make sure the arm is completely straight pointing straight up at 12 o’clock. For some just getting to the 12 o’clock position will be a challenge. Then, make sure your shoulder blade is not shrugged up but rather pulled down.
Now you can simply perform this hold for time or go for a walk either scenario is fine. The goal is to be able to keep increasing the length of time or distance you hold the kettlebell overhead. Start light and go for 30 sec to 1 min.
Gradually increase the length of the hold by 15 second increments. Once you can hold the kettlebell overhead for 3 minutes, it is time to move on to a heavier kettlebell. An advanced version would be holding 2 kettlebells overhead.
Hips and Ankles
For the hips and ankles, the goblet squat is a great go to exercise. To perform hold the kettlebell out in front of you with arms in and elbows down. Take a good squat stance. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with your feet turned slightly outwards.
From that position, sit back and push your knees to the outside. The weight of the kettlebell should help you get into a lower squat position. At your lowest point in the squat hold for a few seconds and let your hips stretch and get comfortable in that position stand back up and repeat.
Just like in the overhead holds, start light but not too light. A kettlebell that is too light for you will not help assist in pulling you down to the correct position. Start off by doing 5 reps, holding for 3 secs at the bottom.
From that position, you could increase the reps until 10 or increase the seconds at the bottom to 5 sec. Once you can get into a full squat, or you feel as if it is getting too easy and are not getting any kind of stretch in your hip flexors, increase the weight load.
Another thing you can do to help open the hips and increase the mobility in your ankles is, while you are at the bottom of the squat, keep one foot flat on the ground with the other foot you will roll your ankle to the outside edge of your foot.
You will be inverting your foot in so that it looks like a stunt car driving on 2 wheels. Hold that for a few seconds and then do the same to the other foot. Stand up and then squat down and repeat again.
The king of all mobility tests is the overhead squat. One has to have excellent mobility in the shoulder, hips, and ankles in order to successfully complete this exercise.
To perform, lift one kettlebell overhead and squat down without the ankles losing contact with the ground and without the arm bending at the elbow or breaking forward or to the side. Make sure knees jut out and do not cave in.
This is one of those exercises where you take it slow. There is no need to go fast as it won’t help you with your mobility. Hold for a few seconds in the bottom of this squat.
Once you can comfortably do 10 reps, try going up to a heavier kettlebell. Do you want to get advanced? Try performing a double overhead squat and you will quickly find out what all of your limitations are in your body.
Make mobility a daily habit and in time you will have strong and healthy joints. My advice is take a few minutes and do one or two sets of these before your next workout. You should notice an improvement in your pressing or squatting that session.
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