Exercise #5: Up Dog To Down Dog
The Ultimate Exercise for Total Body Mobility
The last exercise of your 5-Point Mobility Inspection just so happens to be one of the most important measures of total body mobility. With this one movement you can get an accurate assessment of spinal health and longevity, while also opening up your wrists, shoulders, and hips.
This yoga-inspired movement involves moving your spine from from flexion to extension in one seamless flowing motion To do this movement every muscle in your body must be not only strong, but mobile. Perform this movement for 5-10 reps to get an accurate assessment of your mobility.
Step 1: Start out in downward facing dog position with your hands and your heels pressing firmly into the ground. Lift your hips into the air as you extend through your shoulders to straighten your spine.
Step 2: Lean forward into your shoulders as you begin to lower your hips down towards the ground. As your hips near the ground lift your chest up towards the sky, lifting your chin upwards at the very end of your movement.
Step 3: From this upward dog position, press into your arms again to lift your hips back up into downward facing dog, remembering to open your shoulders and drive your heels into the ground. Tuck your chin towards your chest to relax your neck.
Step 4: Repeat this transition between downward and upward facing dog for 5-10 repetitions to accurately assess your mobility.
You may need to play around with hand and foot positioning to see what works best for your body. Your goal gradually narrow the distance between your hands and feet.
If you are unable to perform the transition then practice downward dog and upward dog individually. Incorporate the transition once you are familiar with each movement.