If you’ve ever heard the saying “discipline equals freedom,” you won’t find a better example of that than when it comes to your joints. The more disciplined you are about keeping your moving parts loose and lubricated, the better you’ll feel throughout your day.
Jiu-jitsu practitioners, especially guys on the heavier side, know joint health is crucial to staying active without aches and pains. But obviously having mobile, flexible hips and shoulders is appealing for everyone, not just fighters. Routines, or flows, like the ones below will help you to recover and stay consistently supple, because they can be performed anywhere in just a few minutes per day.
The beauty of these flows is how they can be switched up to stay interesting. They can be done for reps, for time, at a slow or fast tempo, or sequentially. Whether you’re just starting your workout journey or you’re an active yogi, everything in these videos will help you to open your hips, build strength and stability in your core and shoulders, and prime your system for any sort of workout thereafter.
Things to remember and focus on during these flows:
- Control your breathing by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth
- Keep your core tight and glutes active (think ribs down and glutes tight)
- Keep the range of motion within or just outside your comfort level — you shouldn’t be in pain
- Work to control your body at all times but especially during the movement transitions
- Commit to getting better
Flow 1: Dancing Bear
- Start on all fours with knees just off the ground.
- Push your hips back and drive your head through your arms.
- As you perform the sit-through on each side, make sure to keep your butt off the ground and really keep your core tight and shoulders back.
- When you transition to the lunge with reach, focus on keeping the back leg straight and glute activated.
- Finish with nice and controlled burpees. Feel free to add the push-up and jump in if you're feeling feisty.
Flow 2: Sun Hump
- Start in a standing position and reverse lunge until both knees are planted.
- As you drive through your front leg, keep your core tight and maintain proper arm action, as if you were running.
- As you transition to the squat with hamstring stretch, be sure to straighten your legs as much as possible to get nice and deep into your squat.
- For the bear crawl, be sure to mitigate hip role by really concentrating on keeping your core tight. It might help to pretend you have a glass of water on your lower back that you don't want to spill.
- As you finish with the roll with hip extension, be sure to never let your butt touch the ground and fully extend your hips.
Flow 3: 90/90 Hip Flow
- Start with both legs bent at 90 degrees and focus on keeping an upright chest, particularly when you finish the rep on either side.
- It’s ok to use assistance with your arm as you come up on your knees with your butt no longer touching the ground.
- When your feet are up and planted, be sure to get as low as possible in your squat before standing up and finishing with your hips through.
Flow 4: Yoga Flow
- Starting with a deep squat, flow to push-up, to reach, to yoga push-up, to downward dog, and back to squat. This gets pretty much everything going and will prime you well for any type of workout.
Flow 5: Hip Bump
- Start with lateral squats, going as deep on each side as good form permits.
- As you transition into long lunges, be sure to keep the glute of the back leg active and drive the inside elbow as far down to the ground as possible.
- From a push-up or bear crawl position, you're going to kick your leg back with one support hand remaining on the ground.
- Let your butt drop but never all the way to the floor, then drive your hips up to the sky and reach with the non-supporting hand.
Ditch Your Shoes,
The Pedestal Guys