Flexibility and mobility are two great terms that float around the fitness world. Everyone usually wonders about the difference between these two terms. They are frequently interchangeable but have different meanings.
Flexibility is the ability to stretch the muscles, which involves a variety of ranges of motion. But mobility is the ability to move a joint actively through a range of motion, which also includes the strength to hold the flexibility.
To clarify the differences between these two terms, we are now going to talk about them and accurately define them before you continue reading.
Flexibility refers to the ability to stretch your muscles, while mobility is an umbrella term that contributes to movement with a full range of motion. Mobility includes moving restricted muscle tissues, soft tissues, joints, and joint capsules. In one word, mobility is a broad term that covers flexibility, but flexibility is only a part of mobility.
For example, while you’re sitting on the ground, you might be able to touch your feet. Can you reach them while your leg is raised in the air? That’s why you must need mobility. Besides, if you have flexibility, you can get into certain positions, such as a deep squat. But you cannot maintain the correct form if you don’t have enough mobility.
Instead of focusing on improving any of the terms, you have to focus on the significance of which one is much needed for you. Although you need to try to become equally mobile and flexible, you won’t be able to do those at the same time.
In this regard, you can face muscle imbalances that cause these problems. But, you can fix them with the help of three S’s —soft-tissue work (foam roll), stretch, and strengthen.
You can start with the common working areas that are affected by bad postures, such as the lower back, mid-back, neck, hip flexors, calf muscles, hamstrings, etc.
You must follow three S’s in these working areas. For better results, you should do these steps sequentially. If you cannot do them properly, it’s almost obvious that your mobility will decrease. That’s because your squat, deadlift and other physical movements will negatively be affected.
Mobility exercises are usually held a little longer, aiming to stay for a minute. A great workout that we do in our areas, which requires excellent mobility, is a back squat. If you have poor mobility through the hip and ankle joints, the range of motion is limited. In these circumstances, we recommend you to do ankle and hip mobility exercises.
Besides, improved flexibility produces a wide range of physical benefits and can have a positive effect on your overall body. Once you develop flexibility in your body, you can withstand more physical stresses. Also, you can get rid of the muscle imbalances of your body during physical activities.
Overall, your body may feel better after working on stretching your muscles. It ensures your muscles the right amount of workouts so that they can be strong enough, allowing you to become more physically fit.
Healing from Injuries
Reducing the gap between mobility and flexibility is a key factor in preventing severe injuries while having exercises. Although maintaining flexibility is essential, it alone cannot avoid or recover you from injuries. A person may be very flexible, but a lack of mobility doesn’t make flexibility within a joint.
For example, you are at risk of being injured when your active range is less significant than your flexibility range. If you are flexible in the ankle but don’t have any strength to back it up, you can end up damaging the ligament by putting that joint in an open position.
We’ve used a variety of words to talk about flexibility and mobility. The better we understand these concepts, the more effectively we can apply them in our exercises.
The working knowledge of their difference has the potential to change the way we exercise and loosening our weight. Once you increase your flexibility to allow more significant movement in your body, you’ll be able to perform better physically.