The Perfect 15-Minute Mobility Routine for Rest Days

This mobility routine is perfect for active recovery days — you can even do it in your office.
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It may sound counterintuitive, but if you want to maximize your potential in the gym — and avoid injury — you shouldn't exercise at full beast mode every day. In fact, taking some time to pump the brakes each week is just as vital as flooring the gas.


"Hard workouts place a lot of stress on your body," says Geoff Tripp, CSCS, certified personal trainer and head of fitness at Trainiac. "A rest and recovery day is like hitting a reset." Essentially, to see real results, you need to give your body a break to recuperate and learn to adapt to future stress.

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But that doesn't mean you should necessarily do ‌nothing‌ on your rest days. Slow things down with a gentle active recovery routine, like this 15-minute mobility workout. "Mobility drills get you moving just enough to circulate fresh blood throughout your body and warm tissues up gradually, which really helps decrease inflammation in the tissue and speed the recovery process," Tripp says.

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15-Minute Mobility Routine for Rest Days

Ready to press the reset button? This full-body, time-based circuit was designed by Tripp to improve blood flow, improve mobility and decrease soreness. Pair this routine with a light 20-minute walk for the ultimate recovery day.

1. Cat-Cow

Time 30 Sec
  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Bring your wrists directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  3. With an inhale, arch your back, reaching your head and tailbone toward the sky. Let your belly drop toward the floor.
  4. With an exhale, round your spine, releasing your head and tailbone toward the floor.
  5. Continue to alternate these movements.


As you do the cat-cow, try to sync your breath with your movement, inhaling as you arch and exhaling as you round your spine.

2. Child's Pose (10 and 2)

Time 30 Sec
  1. Start on your hands and knees.
  2. Drop your hips back to your heels, then reach your arms forward.
  3. Breath to relieve tension, then walk your hands over to 10 o’clock, followed by 2 o’clock. Pause at each location to feel the stretch in your back and shoulders.

3. Floor Angel

Time 30 Sec
  1. Lie flat on your back, then walk your heels in toward your hips, bending your knees.
  2. Keeping your back flat on the ground, slide your hands and arms above your head, reaching as high as you can. Try to keep your elbows and wrists close to the floor throughout the entire range of motion.
  3. Return to starting position and repeat.

4. T Spine Stretch

Time 30 Sec
  1. Kneel in front of a bench or couch.
  2. Place your elbows on the edge and lightly grasp your hands behind your head.
  3. Look down at the ground and keep pressure in your elbows as you press down, slightly arching and extending your back.

5. Y, T, W

Time 30 Sec
  1. Kneel on your knees.
  2. Hinge at your hips and push your glutes back to rest on your heels, keeping your core pulled in so you don’t over-arch your back.
  3. Keeping your arms straight and thumbs up, raise them above your head to form the letter Y, next move them laterally to form the letter T, then bend your elbows and pull down and back to make a W.
  4. Cycle through these movements slowly, focusing on engaging your back muscles.

6. Figure 4 Stretch

Time 30 Sec
  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Cross you right foot over your left thigh and bend your left knee.
  3. Pull the back of your left leg gently toward your chest.
  4. When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Switch sides and repeat.

7. Kneeling Quad Stretch With Twist

Time 30 Sec
  1. Kneel on your left knee (placing a pad or pillow beneath you for more comfort) with your right foot planted flat in front of you.
  2. Grab your back (left) foot with your right hand and pull it in toward your butt as you slowly twist toward your right knee.
  3. Switch sides and repeat.

8. Standing Hurdlers Stretch

Time 30 Sec
  1. Place your left foot on a bench or couch.
  2. Keeping both legs straight and your hips square to the front, slowly bend from your waist to feel a stretch in your left hamstring.
  3. Breath and switch sides.


For a deeper stretch, bend your standing knee and hinge your hips back further.

9. Lateral Squat Stretch

Time 30 Sec
  1. Stand with both feet wide and toes pointed at an angle as seen in the video. Make sure hip, knee and ankle joints maintain alignment.
  2. Slowly hinge your hips back and slide them to the left as you bend your left knee, keeping your weight in your heels and your opposite leg straight.
  3. You should feel a stretch in your left inner thigh.
  4. Switch sides and repeat.

10. Sumo Squat Active Mobility

Time 30 Sec
  1. Stand in a slightly wide squat stance with your feet pointed out, as seen in video. Make sure hip, knee and ankle joints are aligned throughout.
  2. Slowly hinge at your hips and drop into a squat as you reach down to grab your toes. Keep your arms inside your knees and your back flat and look straight ahead at the bottom of the movement.
  3. Push through your heels, driving your hips back up into standing position while you continue to hold onto your toes.



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