3 Super-Hacks to Better Flexibility In 2022

7 min read.

Let’s keep this super quick and super informative so you can leave this blog with actionable things you can start straight away!

And yes, I realise the irony of that sentence actually being a hinderance to the blog starting… and this one……
 


Super Hack Number 1:

Full Joint Movements


 
Add FULL joint movements to your warm ups, mobility routines or daily habits!

 
If there one thing I notice across all types of training is there’s not enough “joint respect”, instead it’s all about repetitive hammering the same, partial ranges of motion to death. Think about running (legs only moving forwards & backwards), and the common barbell lifts (going straight up and down in different ways) – these are not the only directions your hips/shoulders can move in. That’s what makes the Simplistic Mobility Method® get so many awesome results for people no matter what they train in, the inclusion of full joint strength in all directions done regularly.

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I want you to add two things into your current warm up/routine/habits: one exercise for your hips and one exercise for your shoulders, that’s it! Don’t overwhelm yourself or you’ll not stick to it!
 

Hips: 90/90 Position

Getting comfortable and proficient with this exercise will ensure that you have good internal & external rotation in both hips, and that’s kind of important for… everything!
 

This is how hips are supposed to move and nowhere near an advanced flexibility movement. If you can’t do this exercise and you’re prone to back or knee issues, then your sh*t hip rotation is 100% why.
 

If you only struggle on one side and not the other, you’ll generally get issues on one side too – and it’s not always on the side that you struggle with, both tightness or compensation on the opposite site can cause pain.

 
Try to spend time in the 90/90 position every day! You can do it while watching TV but like most things you can do while watching TV, it’s much better when you give it your full undivided attention and be in the moment 😏

 
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Shoulders: Banded Dislocates

I never understand why these were named dislocates… they should be called Banded Shoulder Awesomeness of Awesome, because this exercise moves your shoulders through their entire range of motion, and because you’re using a resistance band it strengthens them in a way that creates more stability and makes your shoulders feel more “complete”.

 
Shoulders shouldn’t grind and crunch. Most movements for shoulder strength (overhead press, pull ups, push ups, bench, etc) move in single, straight directions, and the Banded Dislocate fills every gap that is missed!

 
Everything upstream and downstream from the shoulder benefits hugely too, people who add these in as a regular habit find that neck issues or elbow/bicep pain magically disappear!

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Super Hack Number 2:

Pauses & Tempo


 
Add pauses and tempo changes to things you are already doing!
 

When I work with people One-to-One, usually they’re hoping I can show them new mobility drills that they’ve never tried that will fix their problems/restrictions…. But a lot of the time their flexibility isn’t actually an issue, instead they lack control & awareness.

 
As a quick example if you take someone that does fast paced movements like jumping lunges regularly yet they’re getting persistent knee pain, when you ask them to do a controlled lunge (down for 30 seconds and back up for 30 seconds) they will really struggle to do it, they’ll be wobbling everywhere. This means there’s a serious lack of stability - and stretching your quads or rolling your IT Band won’t fix that! When you apply speed or weight or volume to an unstable joint… it’s a bad idea.
 
By adding pauses and/or a slow tempo to movements you already train, you can iron out a tonne of weaknesses without needing to find any new gimmicks. You can apply this technique to mobility exercises, or just training pull ups, push ups, squats, lunges, barbell/dumbbell lifts, etc. When you can pause at any point of the movements you train without losing power or falling over, then you know you truly “own” the movement and you’re less likely to compensate or cause harm.
 

Never forget that your body can get stronger with anything you train. You can get away with loads of bad habits, even get “results” and feel like you’re getting stronger… right up until you can’t get away with it anymore. The default thought process is you assume you’re unlucky, or pushed too far that day, or it was just “that last rep” was bad, but in all my years as a coach, these sudden, unlucky occurrences have built up over years of unknown (or ignored) issues.

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Another related Super Duper Hack off the back of this is to film yourself to see how you move (both in your training and your mobility work). Ask yourself: does it look how it should? Or are there any improvements you can make? Strive for perfection and you’ll catch excellence (still don’t know who said that and I use it all the time).

 
 

Super Hack Number 3:

Use A Morning Routine


 
Put together a SIMPLE morning routine you can ACTUALLY stick to and make it non-negotiable!

 
I love people, I really do, I’m a person myself, and the biggest mistake we always make is deciding to go “all in” when we want to sort our lives out…
 

Never do that! You’ll mess it up!
 

The biggest trick here is to being successful is to make it so damn easy to do that you would just feel silly skipping it, that way you’ll actually build a habit which will become automatic for you to do!

 
I always do a quick 5-10 minutes of movement in the morning, but nowadays it’s barely a conscious decision because I trained my body to almost crave it, just by sticking to a routine to a long period of time.
 

It’s nothing fancy, I just use a combination of the Clockwork Hip Mobility Drill on my stairs, upper back openers like Zenith Rotations, but while in lunge position on the stairs still and finishing with a bit of balance on the bottom step like the Plate Balance Drill. This really sets me up for the day!
 
Sometimes I’ll go fancier or add other things in but there is never any pressure to do that otherwise it becomes a “big deal”.
 

A few years ago you would have found me doing all kinds of fancy rolling around the floor stuff and I really enjoyed it, “moving” was a big part of part of my identity, but now I’m older, grumpier and have two kids to sort out in the mornings so my “me time” needs to be more practical and condensed. Though a really cool thing is that my kids sometimes join in with me too so they’re building a positive daily habit along with me!

 
To get you started you can steal some ideas from our (slightly longer than 5 mins) Follow Along Flows Here.

 
Again, I can’t stress this enough, for your morning routine only pick the easiest things that require the absolute minimum effort. Check the time on your phone or a clock and for 5 minutes just move! Think things like joint circles: rotate your neck, shoulders, upper back, hips, ankles, wrists, maybe chuck in a few Deep Lunges and couple of cheeky 90/90s from earlier - done!

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The best thing about having a morning routine like this is that it sets you up for the rest of the day, you actually move better with everything you do afterwards because you did some full joint movement.

 
A 5 minute movement routine puts a spring in your step and if you have to sit all day for work it massively helps to offset all those hours being stationary.

 
 
So! If you don’t stick to anything else this year, remember:

·        Add full joint movements to your training
·        Test your exercises with pauses and slow tempo
·        Make a mini morning mobility routine that is non-negotiable

 
Whatever your goals are this year, make your flexibility and stability a priority and everything else will become easier! And if you’re not sure how to get started, then I highly recommend the Simplistic Mobility Method®!

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