I lift weights and I do yoga regularly. I did notice I'm a bit stiff so I was looking for some stretching/mobility exercises I could integrate maybe after/before I do weight lifting or even specialised sessions for these exercises.

I mean specific exercises I could do beside the normal stretching you could do in between series when you lift weights.

With this in mind I was looking for inspirations and I came across this video (which I found very interesting).

The explanation of why she does certain exercises is between 0:50 and 3:16.

She specifically talks about very specific training for small muscles (between joints for examples) which I found really interesting.

I essentially want to design/develop a program for these very small muscles which I believe I might benefit both for weight lifting and yoga (because it's my understanding they would involve both flexibility and strength for these very smaller group).

So the questions are:

  1. What sort of muscles group are we talking about here?
  2. Is there maybe some routines I could look up just for some research in general?
  3. Any other suggestion/keywords on the matter would be useful.

About my self I try to work out 5 days (for weight lifting) a week + 1 day with a yoga instructor (though the lockdown right now is making this a bit more difficult but I'm still managing at home). I usually also do smaller yoga sessions a couple of days on my own (but nothing fancy just to get the blood flowing).

I'm not a fitness expert, but I try to read around to know what I'm doing. Typical exercises

Exercises (typicals at least):

Biceps : Arm curl, arm hammer curl. Chest : Barbell chest press, cable chest fly, push ups. Triceps : Cable extensions (usually with different hand poses so I can train different parts of the triceps), extensions with dumbells. Legs and gluteus : leg press (which I also use for calves). Back : rows and fly (both machines and weights). Shoulders : shoulder press (machine, dumbells or sometimes the barbell) and lateral raise. Abs : Crunches, leg raises, plank... and variations.

As compound exercises I usually do pullups, squats and deadlift.

I hope I gave the pictures.

  • Would you please add what exercises you're doing for weight training, it would help identify any isolated / compound movements you're already doing so the answer can fill gaps / address any potential tightness / weakness through stretching / myofascial release Apr 25, 2020 at 20:01
  • @getbackintofitness Done Apr 25, 2020 at 20:34

2 Answers 2


In regards to that video: The woman speaking is aerialist and contortionist Haley Viloria. Look at this Youtube video at 1:08s and you will see that she is clearly hypermobile. She didn't have to earn that flexibility; she was born with it.

I'm assuming you are an adult male with normal flexibility. If so, then your body works completely different from hers. It is like comparing apples to oranges. You should never take advise on stretching from someone who is hypermobile because that person has no idea how your body works.

Nonetheless, if we listen to what she is saying, when she talks about "small muscles", she is effectively talking about stability exercises. That is the term for the subject in physical therapy. Unfortunately, if you google "stability exercises" almost everything that comes up will be core exercises and a lot of Planks. The subject is much broader than this. For example, a great stability exercise for the shoulder is Floor Angels. Shoulder External Rotation is another shoulder stability exercise. The subject of stability exercises is much bigger than I can cover here.

As far as a mobility exercise, here is a great one I just picked up from Pavel Tsatsouline: the Face The Wall Squat (see 57s). Note that this is not a beginners exercise. Enjoy.

  • That video you sent is good. By I was looking for "small exercises" to add to my routine. Apr 27, 2020 at 7:59
  • I changed my answer and added to it. Please reread. Thanks.
    – Chris
    Apr 27, 2020 at 18:23
  • Can you give a reference for stability exercises? Not necessarily internet, even a book would be great. Apr 27, 2020 at 21:04
  • I'm afraid I can't give you one all-around reference on stability exercises. I have a book called "Spinal Control: The Rehabilitation of Back Pain", but it honestly isn't very useful. MiIke Reinhold has some videos about "Functional Stability". His expertise is the shoulder; I haven't purchased his videos. The best answer I can give you is to google "shoulder stability", "knee stability", "lumbar spine stability", "hip stability", and hunt down exercises. Then you have to try them for yourself. I don't know of one source that puts all this together. Sorry.
    – Chris
    Apr 27, 2020 at 22:25

She mentioned something about small muscle in joints? I'm not quite sure what she meant by that because there are no muscles within your joints. I think the point she was making is that she uses multiple different stretches and exercises to focus more on stability muscles which may not get much attention otherwise. For your routine, I think you would benefit from more exercises that focus on core strength and stability. Some exercise includ farmers carry, suitcase carry, planks, deadbugs, bird-dogs. All of these focus on core strength and endurance as well.

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