During your downtime or work breaks, it's tempting to just sit and veg out — and that's only if you're lucky enough to have five minutes of peace and quiet! But taking that five minutes and spending it on mobility work can make a world of difference in how you feel and move.
To feel better in no time, try this four-move workout from New York–based trainer Noam Tamir, CSCS, owner and founder of TS Fitness NYC. He created this mobility session as part of our 5 Minutes of Movement Challenge to keep you active all month long.
If you're following along with the challenge, you can do this workout as part of the program. If you're not, you can perform this as an active-recovery session or cooldown routine — whatever works with your fitness routine.
5-Minute Mobility Workout
Do: 30 seconds of each of the following moves, then repeat the circuit for a total of 2 rounds.
- Shoulder rolls
- Downward dog to pigeon (right leg)
- Downward dog to pigeon (left leg)
- Toe touch, squat, stand
- Begin on your hands and knees.
- Exhale as you round your back, pulling your bellybutton toward your spine and tucking your chin toward your chest.
- Inhale as you release your spine, one vertebra at a time, and lift your chin upward so that your back is full flexion, belly dropping toward the floor.
- Continue arching and flexing for 30 seconds, moving with your breath.
Modifications and Variations
For a version that's easier on your knees, perform this move standing with your torso at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Support yourself by placing your hands on your knees, a table or the back of a chair.
2. Shoulder Rolls
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keeping your arms mostly straight, lift your shoulders up toward your ears, then circle them toward your back, pressing your shoulder blades together.
- Drop your shoulders, then circle them back to the front.
- Continue for 15 seconds in one direction, then reverse the direction for another 15 seconds.
3. Downward Dog to Pigeon
- Come onto your hands and knees.
- Walk your hands a couple of inches forward, spread your fingers wide, tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back into downward dog, forming an inverted V shape.
- Lift your left foot off the floor, sweeping it up toward your chest.
- Bring your bent knee out to the left side and your foot pointing to the right side for pigeon pose. Your shin will be perpendicular to your torso.
- Return to downward dog by lifting your left leg and piking your hips back.
- Continue alternating between the two poses for 30 seconds before switching to your right leg.
Modifications and Variations
To modify, take out pigeon and only alternate between plank and downward dog. You can also perform each move separately to focus more on flexibility than mobility.
4. Toe Touch, Squat, Stand
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides.
- Exhale as you hinge forward at the hips and let your head and arms hang gently.
- Leave a slight bend in your knees as you reach for your feet.
- Bend your knees and sink your hips to come into a squat, grabbing onto your feet.
- Raise your arms above your head, remaining in the squat position.
- With your arms still above your head, stand up. Repeat this sequence for 30 seconds.