When you go to the gym, it’s easy to spot the two extremes of people. On one end, you have people who go and do mobility and warm up work for what seems like an eternity. So much, in fact, you wonder when they actually lift. At the other end you have people who seemingly just jump right into their workout with a care for their welfare at all. Of course, in an ideal world you would find yourself somewhere in the middle—doing enough mobility work to stay mobile, while not wasting your time not lifting.

Of course, before we dive in, it’s best to define mobility. Simply, it is the articulation of a given joint by itself. For instance, if you were to abduct your hip and you notice some unwanted lateral spinal flexion, you happen to lack that type of mobility. Not only that, but my coach, Frankie Faires, offers up a definition that makes the most sense—mobility is simply a smaller set of movements called “micro movements,” compared to something like a gross movement pattern which would be called a “macro movement.”

So, a compromising goal would be to incorporate your needed micro movements in the context of your macro movements. With that in mind, you spend less time focusing on the smaller movements, and more time training your compound movements.

For your purposes, I’ll talk about some common micro movements and about how you can incorporate them into your big movements. The focus will be on the shoulders and the hips, and I’ll go over some simple ways to integrate some rotation patterns into those movements.

 

Hip Rotations

So in this section, we have some exercises that focus on the rotational patterns of the hip. Briefly, the hip can externally rotate and internally rotate. It can also flex, extend, abduct and adduct.

In these next two exercises, you combine many of these movements in the broader context of a compound movement.

 

Spider-Man Push-up

I am sure there are other names for this, but I have only ever seen it referred to as a Spider-Man push-up. The premise is very much like a regular push-up in terms of bracing your core and what your upper body is doing. The only difference is you’re kicking your leg out to the side as you go down.

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