Mobility and flexibility seem to be two words that are often interchanged with each other, but really they mean two different things. When someone says mobility, they might actually mean flexibility. Next time you hear someone say one or the other, maybe ask them a follow-up question to see which one they actually mean. Not sure what follow up question to ask, read on to learn and understand the difference between the two so that you know the next time it comes up in your fitness world.
What is Flexibility?
Flexibility is the ability of a muscle or muscle groups to lengthen passively through a range of motion.*
What is Mobility?
Mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion.*
In other words, flexibility is part of mobility, and mobility is an umbrella term that includes flexibility.
We probably all know that stretching regularly can help with your flexibility, but what can improvig our mobility do and how do we increase our mobility?
Focusing on mobility techniques can:
- start to activate dormant muscles
- improving motor control
- releasing trapped or restricted muscle tissue
- reduce your risk of injury
- correct muscle imbalances
- decrease pain in your joints
A big area of fitness that talks a lot about mobility is CrossFit. If you are curious about learning more about mobility, we suggest popping into a couple CrossFit classes. To get you started though, here are some mobility exercises you can start practicing today.
- Deep lunge with rotation – great for the hips, legs, and trunk rotation
- Tabletop bridge – great for the shoulders, hips, core, and the back side lower body
- Deep static squats – great for opening the hips, improve your ankle dorsiflexion and help improve your torso angle
- Active hangs with rotation – great for the shoulders, back, and core
*definitions by Southside Physiotherapy