Mobility Exercises for the Lower Body

Q: Hi James! Love your books! But I struggle doing overhead presses and all kinds of squats due to muscle stiffness, lack of mobility and so on. I’ve seen improvements since I started to use some drills you suggested your YouTube page: halos (SPV3) and shoulder circles against the wall. Thus, do you have any suggestions of mobility drills for the lower body? 



My Answer: For lower body mobility, I’m a firm believer in simple body weight squatting and lunging.  If you want to increase your range of motion on the squat, then you would simply do body weight squats.

Use body weight squats and lunges as mobility exercises.  Don’t worry about repetitions.  Focus on the full range of motion by squatting all the way down.

Here’s a humorous primer on how to do simple body weight squats:

Now you may have tightness in certain areas that prevent you from squatting ass to the grass.  Again simple body weight exercises can help you break up the tightness in certain links in both the anterior and posterior chain.  If you have tight calves, for example, then do one-legged calf stretches off an edge surface. Focus on the stretch and full range of motion, not the repetitions.

To stretch the inner thighs, do some warrior lunges:
To stretch the quads and the adductors, do some Bulgarian squats:

For the lower back, do a lying spinal twist:
A great overall mobility exercise that stretches the piriformis muscle underneath your glutes is the kettlebell windmill:

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