If I could go back and give my eight year old self some advice…
When you were a kid, you didn’t think about your range of movement or if your mobility over forty might be an issue. Generally, the only time you felt muscle pain at all, was after you’d competed in the school athletics day. When a combination of long jump, distance runs and sprints let you know that you’d done a fair bit of ‘stuff’. The soreness lasted a day and it never held you back.
However as you age magically, your range of motion suddenly disappears. You don’t notice it at first, because you are busy making a living, juggling family and work. You sit more, you exercise less. And you develop new movement patterns which change the way you walk, sit, or stand. Which brings me to the point of this article. What are some easy mobility exercises for over forties?
Easy answer….The ones you WILL do consistently.
If I could go back and tell my eight year old self anything it would be this: Consistently do 3 mobility movements everyday for the rest of your life.
One of the main challenges with mobility as you age, isn’t the willingness to do the work.
Most people understand the importance of moving their body. It’s the time it takes to do all that mobility stuff. Jump on any YouTube channel or fitness blog and you’ll be quickly overwhelmed with the options. Being overwhelmed, means you’re likely to just ‘put that on the back-burner’ for now. Unfortunately, that ‘back-burner’ can quickly turn into months or years. Before you know it, that niggle or stiff hip has turned into a bigger issue. Mobility exercises for over forties are a must.
Blue Bucket Fitness work with a number of people who have had total hip replacements. In the majority of these cases, each client had awareness of an issue years before they sought help. In fact, Blue Bucket Fitness owner and coach JB, also had a knee reconstructed (in her teens) and subsequently spent two decades (okay, maybe it was three decades) favouring the reconstructed knee, before taking action and implementing the strength and mobility options.
So what are you waiting for here’s how to improve your mobility over forty in just six mins a day.
- First, define one area which aches or gives you the most grief right now? You may have more than one area, just choose one for now.
- Decide when in your day you can devote six mins to improving it. (Yes, you read that right – six mins) The time you choose should be linked to another task that you do everyday. For example cleaning your teeth. Taking a shower. Eating breakfast. The aim is to build a connection between these two activities so it’s easier to build up a habit. For example: When you clean your teeth in the morning you’ll immediately do three mobility exercises straight after. you also spend six mins on your mobility.
- Commit to doing this every day for six days. When you get to your sixth day assess how you feel and then repeat for another 6 days.
Here’s some of my favourite mobility exercises for over forties.
- Balance on one leg – aim to get to one minute per leg initially.
- Get up – Get down: Sit on the ground, now try and get up without using your hands. If that’s too challenging try it just using one hand. Repeat 5 times.
- Bumslide: Put your bum up as close as possible to a wall and then put your legs up the wall. Try and keep your legs as straight up the wall as you can. Chill there for 2 mins.
- Back stretch: sit on a chair, move you legs pretty wide apart. Now slowly drop your head down between your legs. Chill here for two minutes. Trying to get a little deeper with every breath. Set a timer so you don’t have to keep looking at your watch. When the timer goes off. Roll up super slowly (this is important)
- Hamstring stretch: Put your foot (FLAT) on an elevated box or step. Now without raising your toes, move your hips back until you feel a stretch in the middle of your hamstring. Hold it for 2 mins then swap legs.
- Bicep stretch: Put your hand on a wall at shoulder height. Point your thumb down. Straighten your arm and at the same time turn away from your arm. You’ll feel this in your bicep and a little through your forearm if you’re tight here.
- March on the spot: Lift your knees to 90 degree and swing your arms so they also have 90 degree angles. March on the spot like this for 1 minute. Your opposite leg and arm should raise together.