I put the polls out, and you answered “heck, what even is mobility”. I’ve been told a few times that the vocab I use is not always newbie friendly and can immediately be a bit off putting/ make my posts a bit harder to understand. Today I am here to set the bar straight and give you a guide into all of the technical jargon.
Lets cover some things we may already know and define them with examples:
Flexibility = Your passive range of motion
Gently reaching for your toes
Range of Motion = The range you can access passively or actively
Circling one arm around in a circle
Passive = Little to no effort/ no engaging muscles
Pulling you leg with your hands as high as you can
Active = Effort exerted/ muscles engaged
Lifting your leg with your muscles as high as you can
In essence, flexibility is just how far you can stretch with no real power behind it. Think of a dancer/gymnast sitting in a split. They in full stretch and can comfortably sit there with relatively little effort because they are flexible enough to rest there.
Mobility = Your active range of motion
Mobility refers to your ability to power through your end range/ maximum range of flexibility. I know lots of people who are VERY flexible, but they can’t do a whole lot with it because they don’t have good mobility. Starting to see the point?
Why is mobility superior and how does it differ from active range of motion?
I like to think of mobility as the superior to flexibility because it is powered and engaged by the muscles and is very controlled. Flexibility is awesome, and you somewhat need it to keep expanding your mobile range, but ultimately it is passive and un-engaged which increases the risk of injury and damage. Mobility is not for old people – mobility is for everyone and will have you moving optimally for the rest of you life. You can start mobility training from as young as 3-4 years old, it re-enforces joints, strengthens bones, builds muscle, reduces the chance of metabolic disease and movement related pain.
How can I benefit from mobility?
Do you have stiff joints? A weaker side? A funny knee? Back, neck, shoulder or hip pain? Want to become more “flexible”? Want to build strength? Want to get into shape? Sleep better? Move better? Feel more connected to your body and mind?
These are all things that mobility can fix and/or enhance. Mobility is something humans take for grated because we no longer require the same physical outputs from a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, we were not built for a sedentary lifestyle, we evolved to run, jump, hunt, collect and defend. Great mobility meant that top hunters won breeding rights because they had strength, health and longevity in their genes. Fortunately there are solutions for modern day lifestyles and mobility training is one of them.
If you want to know how mobility changed my life, check out the rest of my website and see why I am so passionate about helping others move, play and feel better. Mobility changed my life and i’ll never look back. No gimmicks, no schemes, no “walk in the gym and drag yourself out” mentality – just peaceful, calm, strength-work designed for everyone to enjoy.
Movement and Mobility is Medicine