6 Athletic Exercises for Mobility and Stability

September 8, 2017 by VAHVA Fitness

Athletic exercises to develop many physical attributes such as mobility, stability, balance, coordination and speed!

Athleticism is greatly sport / art specific but many general athletic attributes can easily be developed with proper training. These physical attributes transfer to almost all physical movement.

Pure strength plays a relatively small part in being athletic - mobility and stability are far more important. Moreover, your strength is quite useless if you don't have the stability and mobility to support it.

Many lifters preach how the best exercises anyone can do are the bench press, deadlift and back squat, and how everyone who wants to become more athletic should be doing them. 

It's absolutely true that these are excellent compound movements, but they won't give you the functionality, athleticism and ability to move you are looking for.

When it comes to athleticism, you want to be strong and mobile EVERYWHERE. This quality of "limberness" makes you significantly more competitive in most athletic fields than pure strength ever will. 

When you want to build speed, agility and have control over your movements, stability is the second half of the equation (explosiveness matters as well). Stability training gives you control and support.

To become mobile, your training style needs to be very different (less weight, more control and a slower tempo) and your selection of exercises and movements need to be comprehensive. 

If you are interested in building mobility, ensuring the structural balance of the entire body and developing many physical attributes, Movement 20XX program was designed for this exact purpose.

Here are several excellent athletic exercises you can do to develop stability, mobility and explosiveness.

Balancing and stabilizing will be VERY difficult in the beginning but you will make significant improvements over time. The forms demonstrated here are very "polished" and no one starts this way.

You can do 3-5 sets per exercise until your muscles get tired and the form starts to suffer.

Hip Waves

exercises for athleticism rotational stability

Hip waves is an outstanding exercise to develop the rotation of the hip (both internal and external rotation) while working on the balance and stability of the rest of the body.

Developing the rotators of the hip will make you a better athlete and allow you to kick harder, higher and with a smaller chance of injury.

Focus solely on rotating the leg from the thigh. The feet merely follows the motion set up with the thigh. Keep the leg up the entire duration of the exercise, this will train hip flexor stability.

Keep the body rock solid and learn to balance with the strength of your muscles alone. It's normal to feel your quads, glutes and core burn.

Back to Front Kick / Back Kick

leg raise athletic exercises

Back to front kick is a great exercise to target many parts of the body: hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes and many other less engaged stabilizing muscles. Excellent for balance, coordination, stability and mobility.

When you bring your free leg to the front, you will be working the hip flexors and quadriceps of that leg. In the beginning this leg can be bent. 

When you bend over and extend the free leg behind, you will be working the hamstrings, glutes and lower back of the supporting leg while you develop the glutes of the free leg.

In the back kick you are solely focusing on rotating the hip and extending the leg behind. You will work the hamstrings, glutes and lower back of the supporting leg, but your primary focus will be on the glutes and rotators of the free leg.

Movement 20XX also has similar mobility & stability movement sequences. For developing the mobility of the glutes, these are some of the best movements you can do.

Air Stomp

knee lift stability

Air stomp will strengthen the hip flexors of the moving leg. Obviously your other leg and core needs to work hard to stabilize the rapid movement.

Air stomp is a great exercise for speed and ideally you will be working the hip flexors quite explosively. You also need to extend the leg quickly behind which will develop explosiveness in the hamstrings and glutes. 

The easiest variation is to do the air stomp with a bent leg (knee lift). This will target the hip flexors very nicely.

As you get better with the knee air stomp, you can gradually start straightening the leg until it's completely straight. You will notice that this will heavily work the mobility of the quadriceps.

You can also alter the emphasis by raising the leg up from the side. This will target more the outer hip flexors. 

The most important thing is to keep the entire body stable while you only move the leg. You can use your arms for assistance. Keep your core tight and don't crunch with the abs to raise the leg up.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

You may also like

3 Tips to Move Fluently, Gracefully, Beautifully.

3 Tips to Move Fluently, Gracefully, Beautifully.

The 3-Minute Marching Warrior Challenge ⎼ Almost Impossible?

The 3-Minute Marching Warrior Challenge ⎼ Almost Impossible?

Gymnastics & Powerlifting are NOT Functional-Athletic-Strength Training

Gymnastics & Powerlifting are NOT Functional-Athletic-Strength Training

The 3-Minute Bigfoot Challenge – Do You Have the Strength?

The 3-Minute Bigfoot Challenge – Do You Have the Strength?

The 10 Bodyweight Skills of a True Skill Master

The 10 Bodyweight Skills of a True Skill Master

Does Movement Training Build Muscle?

Does Movement Training Build Muscle?
  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}