Improve Your Flexibility with These 6 Effective Workouts and Stretches

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Flexibility is often highlighted in fitness discussions, but joint mobility is equally crucial for overall well-being. Neglecting joint mobility can lead to stiffness, reduced range of motion, and increased risk of injury. However, it’s important to strike a balance as excessive stretching can cause joint laxity. Through targeted exercises and stretches, you can enhance joint stability, mobility, and flexibility simultaneously.

3 Joint Mobility Stretches

Standing Forward Fold

The standing forward fold is an excellent stretch for improving flexibility in the hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders while promoting spinal mobility. 

  1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Hinge at your hips and slowly lower your torso towards your thighs, reaching your hands towards the floor or grabbing hold of your ankles or shins. 
  3. Keep a slight bend in your knees if necessary to maintain comfort. Hold for 20-30 seconds, breathing deeply into the stretch.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat 5 times.

Prone Figure Four (Piriformis) Stretch

The laying figure four stretch targets the glutes and hips, enhancing mobility in the hip joint and alleviating tightness in the lower body. 

  1. Lay on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. 
  2. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, forming a figure four shape with your legs. 
  3. Keep your back straight and gently thread your hands behind your left thigh, pulling it up toward your chest. 
  4. You should feel a stretch in your right glute and hip. Hold for 20-30 seconds before switching sides.
  5. Repeat 2 times.

Wrist Flexor Stretch

The wrist flexor stretch is beneficial for improving mobility in the wrists and forearms, essential for activities that require gripping and lifting. 

  1. Kneel on the ground with palms pressing into the floor, fingers pointing back towards your knees. If you can’t rotate your hands this far, just turn them as far outward as you comfortably can.
  2. Slowly lean back, shifting your body weight onto your heels while keeping your palms planted. Feel the stretch in your wrists and forearms. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then release. 
  3. Repeat 3 times.

3 Exercises to Improve Joint Mobility

Bodyweight Squats

Bodyweight squats are a fundamental exercise that enhances mobility in the hips, knees, and ankles while strengthening the lower body muscles. 

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. 
  2. Keeping your chest up and core engaged, lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if sitting in an imaginary chair.
  3. Ensure your knees are directly over your toes. 
  4. Push down through your heels to return to the starting position. 
  5. Aim for 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions to start, increasing over time as you build strength 

Leg Swings

Leg swings are a dynamic exercise that targets the hip flexors and improves hip mobility. 

  1. Stand beside a wall or sturdy object for support. Place your right arm on the wall.
  2. Shift your body weight over to your right leg and arm, lifting your left foot. 
  3. Swing your left leg forward and backward in a controlled motion, keeping the torso stable. Gradually increase the range of motion with each swing. 
  4. Perform 10 swings.
  5. Turn around and repeat on the left side.
  6. Repeat 3 times per side.

Arm Circles

Arm circles are a simple yet effective exercise for improving shoulder mobility and flexibility. Best of all, they can be done anywhere that you have room for your “wingspan.” 

  1. Stand tall with arms extended straight out to the sides at shoulder height. 
  2. Make small circular motions with your arms, gradually increasing the size of the circles. After 10 rotations, reverse the direction. 
  3. Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions.


Remember, Practice Makes Progress

If your mobility and flexibility aren’t what they used to be, make sure to pace yourself! Overstretching or pushing too far can cause soreness or even injuries. Having to take time off to recover will have the opposite effect of what you’re hoping for! Listen to your body and work at making gradual increases over time rather than forcing it. 

Prioritizing joint mobility is essential for maintaining overall flexibility, stability, and injury prevention. By incorporating these stretches and exercises into your routine, you can improve joint mobility, enhance flexibility, and support optimal physical function. Start today and experience the benefits of improved joint health in your daily life and workouts.

Check out our other resources, including our comprehensive guide to stretches and exercises for the most common body pains!


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