Mobility and Flexibility

Scapular Push-Up (Push-Up Plus)

The scapular pushup is a variation of the push up plus exercise, which is a regular push up that adds a maximal scapular protraction at the end of the ascent, the "plus" position. This scapular protraction in the closed chain position has been demonstrated to cause high levels of activity in the serratus anterier muscle, more than the traditional pushup. It also recruits the other scapular stabilizers.

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Bird Dog Exercise (4-point to 2-point Kneeling Spinal Stability Exercise)

The bird dog exercises are a group of core exercises peformed in a quadruped position. The purpose of these movements are to strengthen the core muscles and promote the maintenance of a neutral pelvis while encorportating limb movements, along with exercise tracks such as the dead bug track. When used as part of a rehabilitation program for lumbar injury or other spine problems, this stabilization exercise progresses from a beginner to an advanced level, starting with moving only one arm, and then progressing to moving the opposite arm and leg. This is basically moving from 4-point kneeling, to 3-point kneeling, and then to 2-point.

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Warrior Lunge

The Warrior Lunge exercise gets its name from the first in a series of yoga poses called Virabhadrasana, although the yoga version is more complex than this simple lunge exercise.1 This lunge incorporates an overhead reach and therefore targets upper back and shoulder mobility as well as hip mobility.

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Cat Stretch (aka Cat Camel)

The cat stretch is a basic spinal mobilizer is sometimes called the "cat camel," a misnomer.1 This easy and gliding stretch helps mobilize and release tension from the spine and stretch the back. Use this stretch as part of a basic mobility routine. If you have a back injury or pain, consult a doctor and/or physical therapist before using this exercise.

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Scapular Wall Slides Exercise

The scapular walls slide is an upper body exercise which promotes scapula stability while moving the shoulders through a large range of motion. They help to promote the proper scapular stabilizer muscles, especially the lower traps and are often used as part of rehabilitation for shoulder injuries with scapular dyskinesis. Proper functioning of the scapular stabilizers is important for scapulohumeral rhythm, glenohumeral movement and health. This exercise helps combat the effects of upper trap and rhomboid dominance. They can be performed standing or seated.

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Supine Bridge Exercise for Glute Activation and Dynamic Warm Up

The supine bridge is used to the glues and hamstrings for hip extension and the entire core musculature for stability. It is sometimes called a "glute bridge" to emphasize the role of glute activation. The body is raised from a hook-lying position to a bridged position primarily through the action of the gluteus maximus.

Although this is a basic exercise, many may have a hard time achieving the bridge position using only the glutes and hamstrings and instead rely on lumbar extension. Differentiating lumbar and hip extension is a basic requirement of this exercise and all strength training. Those who have trouble isolating hip extension may wish to start with the Cook Hip Lift.

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Static Spiderman Stretch (Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch)

This is the static version of the "Walking Spiderman Lunge" which starts in an upright position rather than a lunge position, as here. This stretches the hip flexors, the inner thigh, and the glutes. It is more a static stretch than a dynamic mobility exercise, but can be used as part of a dynamic mobility routine. The walking spiderman can be used alternatively, depending on how strenuous you wish the exercise to be. Do not hold the stretched position for long periods of time unless you are using this exercise after a training session. The spiderman stretch is also excellent as a stand-alone stretch to target hip flexor flexibility.

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4-Point Thoracic Mobilization

1. Sit with your legs crossed on a flat platform, back vertical.

2. Raise your arms and place your palms on the back of your head, retract and tuck your chin.

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Thoracic Extensions on Foam Roller

A foam roller is a long cylindrical piece of dense foam that is used for self general self myofascial release, which is a type of self-massage. The thoracic extension on a foam roller (Graphiteleader) is not meant to be myofascial release, as most foam roller activities are. The body does not move over the foam roller during performance of the exercise. Instead, the roller acts only as a hinge point across the upper back, allowing thoracic extension to be better isolated.

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Side Lying Thoracic Rotations

1. Lie down on your right side.

2. Bend your left knee in front of you to 90 degrees and rest it on the floor or support the knee with a form roller, rolled up towels, or other object (not shown in video).

3. Extend both arms in front of you at shoulder level, palms together.

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Cook Deep Squat Mobility Progression with Video Demonstration

The Cook Deep Squat Mobility drill explained here was designed by Gray Cook and outlined in depth in his book Athletic Body in Balance. The drill is meant to help you achieve a perfect position for the overhead squat, from the hips to the shoulders. It will build your mobility for all squatting activities.

For an in-depth discussion of overhead squat mobility, see Tweaking the Overhead Squat, which includes this drill and much, much more.

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Amplitude Of Movement, Law of Repetitive Motion, and Plyometrics

You may have heard trainers and coaches talk about movement amplitude. I often talk about amplitude as being one of those performance characteristics that determine the outcome of a training regimen and one of the factors indicating reductions or improvement in performance.

Amplitude is also part of the "law of repetitive motion" equation developed by Dr. Michael P. Leahy, who is the founder of Active Release Techniques (ART). This "law" is an equation describing the interaction between various parameters of human motion: I=NF/AR where:

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Tweaking the Overhead Squat: Dislocates, Reaching Back, Grip Width and Mobility Drills

The basic bar position for the overhead squat is barbell held overhead and lined up in the imaginary "pocket" between the scapula and the back of the ears. Some people teach this as being between the shoulders and ears as well. It doesn't make a lot of difference. The bar will be somewhere in that area and with practice you will develop the proper position.

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What Is Dynamic Mobility?

I've noticed a lot of folks are searching for the definition of the term "dynamic mobility" and I'm pretty sure they will get fairly confused trying to come up with a definition of that in these pages so I wanted to clear it up a bit.

Mobility? No problem. Dynamic? Sure. But dynamic mobility? Sounds redundant, right?

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