Mobility and flexibility are two terms that get commonly used interchangeably. However, there are some differences between them. Both are essential for optimal health and physical functioning. Let’s dive into some details on how each one is unique and necessary for an optimal body.
Mobility – Mobility focuses on your joints being able to move throughout a complete range of motion. Strong joints have a better range of motion than weak joints as the surrounding muscles and connective tissue are stronger and more balanced. When your muscles are weak and/or imbalanced, it can affect how your joints move and can limit your mobility. Having strong and balanced muscles can increase your mobility by allowing your joints to move throughout their natural and full range of motion. Both of the movements below, a shoulder opener and a hip mobility stretch are great for improving shoulder and hip mobility.
Flexibility is related to mobility but includes more of the muscle’s ability to fully contract and extend. When your muscles are tight or contacted they become less flexible and can even begin to develop knots. Releasing knots with foam rolling not only releases stress and tension within the muscle but helps to reengage the muscle and develop better neural connections within the tissue. Maintaining good flexibility comes from practicing regular stretching and mobility movements along with foam rolling when needed. Both of these impressive yoga poses requires high levels of both mobility in the shoulders, spine and hips as well as flexible muscles.
Building and maintaining strength through regular resistance exercise, foam rolling to loosen tight muscle tissue and performing mobility and flexibility stretches can all help to maintain both mobility and flexibility, a crucial aspect in daily life or in any sport or fitness activity.