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Mobility Exercises – Increase Your Range of Motion

We exercise for several reasons. Most of us want to get healthier, lose or maintain weight, and become stronger and more toned. Another reason we work out is for mobility, so we can go through our daily lives with optimal range of motion. Mobility exercises help improve your joint flexibility and function, so you can move bigger and more easily. To improve your mobility both during your full body workout and outside Curves gym, here are some exercises and mobility stretches that we recommend:

Neck mobility stretches

Neck half-circles: Sit or stand with your hands on your lap or the front of your thighs. Tilt your head to one side until you feel a stretch, then roll your head forward so your chin touches your chest. Go as far as you can without pain. Roll your head to the opposite side until you feel a stretch on the other side of your neck. Moving slowly and smoothly, make three half circles with your neck.1

Isometric neck stretch: Standing or sitting upright, place your right palm on your right cheek. As you turn your head to the right, push your right palm against your right cheek as if you were trying to rotate your head to the left. Hold and resist for three to six seconds. Remove your hand and rotate your head as far to the right as you can. When you feel a gentle stretch on the left side of your neck, stop. Repeat on the other side. This is one rep. Perform two to three reps.2

Hip mobility exercises

Reverse lunge with side bend: Start standing upright with your feet together. Step your right leg behind you so you’re in a reverse lunge. Both knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle and your pelvis tucked forward. As you squeeze your right glute, reach your right arm over your head and bend your torso to the left as you reach your left arm across your body. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat twice. Switch to the other side.3

Wide squat with internal rotation: Start standing, with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Engage your core, your shoulders stacked over your hips. Extend your arms out in front of you and lower into the squatting position. Keeping your left leg still, rotate your right leg inward by pivoting your hip, knee, and foot inward. Engaging your left glute, hold for 10 seconds. Return your right leg to the squatting position, then stand up. Repeat two more times, then switch sides.4

Ankle mobility exercises

Ankle stretch: Stand next to a wall, placing one hand on the wall for support. Stand on your tiptoes, then rock back on your heels, lifting your toes off the ground. Repeat 10 times.5

Ankle angler: Lie on your back. Place a strap or resistance band around one foot, holding both ends. Lift your leg so it is perpendicular to the floor. Keeping your leg straight, with the help of the strap, roll your ankle inward. Hold for two seconds and return to the neutral position. Repeat 10 times on each leg.6

Trapezius stretches

Upper trap stretch: Stand or kneel, with your back straight and your neck elongated. Wrap your right hand over your head. Your middle finger should touch your left ear. Reach your left hand down and toward the ground. Relaxing your neck, gently pull your head toward the right until you feel a stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 8

Cat Cows: Start on all fours with your hips directly over your knees, your shoulders over your elbows, and your elbows over your wrists. Inhale. And while curving your back, lift your head, chest, and tailbone. Let your belly sink. Exhale and round your spine, releasing your head into the cat pose. Continuing to take deep breaths, inhale as you curve your back and exhale as you round your back. Do 10-12 reps.9

Knee mobility exercises

Wall squat: With your feet hip-width apart, stand 12 inches away from a wall. Lean against the wall so your back is straight and your shoulders and butt are touching the wall. Keeping your back against the wall, squat down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, tracking directly over your toes. Squeezing your glutes, return to the standing position. Do 10-12 reps.

Unilateral 3-Way Kick: Stand upright with your feet together. Balancing on your right leg, extend your left leg, first touching your big toe to the ground in front of you, then to your side, then behind you. Continue tapping the three points with your left big toe for one minute. Repeat on the other side.10

Wrist mobility exercises

Wrist controlled articular rotations (CARS): Sit cross-legged on the floor or upright in a chair. Extend your right arm in front of your chest, with your palm closed and facing toward the ceiling. Use your left hand to hold your right wrist and stabilize your forearm. Extend your right fist forward so your knuckles face the floor. Then slowly rotate your wrist in a circle through its full range of motion. Keep your left hand on your right wrist to keep it stable. Reverse the movement. Then perform CARS with your right hand open, turning your wrist in both directions. Do six to 10 reps in each direction, with your hand open and closed. Repeat on the other side.11

Wrist progressive angular isometric loading (PAILs) and regressive angular isometric loading (RAILs): Start on all fours, your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees bent and stacked under your hips. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Lean forward and shift your weight onto your hands until your wrists are fully extended. Hold for 30 seconds. For the PAILs, push your hands down into the floor for 10 seconds. For the RAILs, maintaining the end range of the wrist extension, lift your palms and fingers off the floor and hold for 10 seconds. Do five to 10 reps of each.12

When you choose Curves for your safe and effective, full body workout, you’ll benefit from the advice of your Curves Coach. Your Coach will guide you through your routine and make sure you are exercising correctly for your individual mobility needs. You can find more information about the Curves Circuit and our hydraulic resistance machines here.


  1. Mobility Exercises: For Flexibility and Performance (healthline.com)
  2. 21 Easy Mobility Stretches to Keep You Limber From Head to Toe | Glamour
  3. 7 Mobility and Flexibility Exercises (health.com)
  4. 7 Mobility and Flexibility Exercises (health.com)
  5. Mobility Exercises: For Flexibility and Performance (healthline.com)
  6. 21 Easy Mobility Stretches to Keep You Limber From Head to Toe | Glamour
  7. Mobility training: Exercises, workouts + benefits (womenshealthmag.com)
  8. 21 Easy Mobility Stretches to Keep You Limber From Head to Toe | Glamour
  9. Trap Stretches: Loosen Your Trapezius Muscles (healthline.com)
  10. 21 Easy Mobility Stretches to Keep You Limber From Head to Toe | Glamour
  11. The Best Mobility Exercises to Relieve Tension and Improve Joint Health (shape.com)
  12. The Best Mobility Exercises to Relieve Tension and Improve Joint Health (shape.com)
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