Category Archives: Mobility

Your joints need love.. in synovial form!

About two weeks ago I discussed doing joint mobility drills first thing in the morning. Specifically I chose Steve Maxwell’s Daily Dozen as my main morning drill. Well, it’s two weeks on and this is what I’ve found:

  • I have been able to pinpoint problem areas with my flexibility, e.g. left hip, hamstrings, and lower back. By focusing on these exercises a little longer I have started to make improvements – especially on the hamstrings. If you never stretch, or are quite sedentary you’ll never notice your flexibility weak points. The skeleto-muscular system is a network of interlinked components, so one tight bit can affect other parts of your body. Ironing out your flexibility issues can really increase your overall well being
  • These exercises are a great segue into intense exercise first thing in the morning. I have never enjoyed working out first thing in the morning because I feel too stiff and uncoordinated. I did the first 8 exercises of the daily dozen, plus a couple of slow squats, which covers most body parts and gets the blood pumping to all corners. After this, I feel much more equipped to take on an intense kettlebell set without straining something!

I have more to write, but need to get moving! Once again I recommend trying joint mobility exercises first thing in the morning. At the very least you’ll feel a bit more relaxed and ready to take on the day.

Update:

Steve Maxwell just released 3 video courses of routines similar to the Daily Dozen. There is a video for each skill level: beginner, intermediate and advance. I have bought them just now, and will post my experience ASAP! In the meantime, check them out here.

Maxwell Joint Mobility Sample Video:

The other day I came across an article by Mr Steve Maxwell of Maxercise – The Maxwell Daily Dozen. This is a series of relatively simple mobility exercises to span the whole body. There are actually 14, but the last 2 are for days where you have more time.

After only 2 sessions with this, I am noticing a significant difference in my overall feelings of agility and looseness, particular in my lower back. Granted, this is a marked difference considering I’ve been lax on the mobility and stretching side of things.

This is also why I addressed this posts to the “Desk Jockeys” out there. Seasoned athletes or strength training devotees will definitely benefit from these exercises but will not notice the difference as much as someone who sits on their butt 8-12 hours a day. These exercises will get your circulation moving, and the last couple of exercises will also tax your muscles. The whole thing is low impact, so almost anyone could try these TODAY! So how about trying them now!?

I have been doing this first thing in the morning, and I can HIGHLY recommend it as a fantastic way to get your day moving. Get up, put your coffee on, and get started. Grab the coffee, and keep going! Mr Maxwell does not mention how many reps you should be doing per exercise. I looked it up, and found that Mike Mahler also recommends The Maxwell Daily Dozen and suggests doing each exercise 10 times. I am not going to disagree, but I will add that on work days, perhaps 5 reps is enough to keep the entire exercise time down to about 15 minutes. On weekends, go nuts and do 10.

Remember to do the breathing like Steve says, as holding your breath can be dangerous when stretching to your limit. The proper breathing will probably take a while to get down, but at least make sure you’re breathing naturally and calmly. A nice side benefit of this routine is that, since it is fully body, it will show you where you hold tension, or are particularly tight. You can then work on those problem areas separately later on.

For beginners, I can quote Scott Sonnon‘s advice, ‘Move to the tension, not through the tension.’ In other words, do not force the stretch where you are experiencing resistance. Instead, push the stretch just until you feel the tension. Speaking of Sonnon, if this routine gets you going, you could also try the Intuflow DVD, which has 4, progressively more difficult joint mobility routines. In fact some of the Daily Dozen exercises are similar to those in the Beginner section of Intuflow.

If you feel lethargic, stiff, and low on energy, you should definitely try this routine every morning. Take 15 minutes instead of checking your email or Facebook or whatever and do this. Anything is better than nothing. You don’t need to hit the gym, pool, or running track. Start with mobility exercises and feel the difference!

So try it next time you get the chance: The Maxwell Daily Dozen