The main difference between mobility and flexibility is that mobility is the ability to move a limb through a range of motions whereas flexibility is the ability of a muscle or muscle groups to lengthen passively through a range of motion.
Most of us use the two words mobility and flexibility interchangeable, assuming them to have the same meaning. However, these two words have different but inter-related meanings. Mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion, while flexibility is the ability of a muscle or a group of muscles to lengthen.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Mobility
– Definition, Features, Importance
2. What is Flexibility
– Definition, Features, Stretching
3. What is the Relationship Between Mobility and Flexibility
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Mobility and Flexibility
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Mobility
Mobility is the ability to move a limb through a range of motions. It is a controlled voluntary movement that includes moving through its entire functional range of motion. If you want to measure your mobility, stand up straight and try to rotate your shoulder to fully extend your arm straight over your head. If you can move your arm and shoulder freely in this way, then your shoulder is mobile.
Range of motion in joints can decrease due to various reasons – injuries, sports, exercises, or even strenuous daily activities. This results in weakened joints. Mobility training is the process where you perform various exercise to improve mobility in a single joint or in all your joints. Mobility training can help you to reduce the risk of imbalance, which helps to reduce injuries. It also helps us to move better – for either daily activities or sports.
Mobility is crucial for our quality of life, especially as we grow old. Our mobility, i.e., the ability to move without pain and restriction, allows us to comfortably go through our daily life, performing various activities.
What is Flexibility
Flexibility is the ability of muscles, ligaments and tendons to lengthen. It basically refers to the ability of connective tissues to temporality elongate. Unlike mobility, flexibility is passive. Moreover, flexibility can be improved by stretching. You don’t need to do many hours of stretching to be flexible; you can simply do stretching exercises that improve range of motion throughout the body.
Before stretching, you have to begin with a gentle warm-up exercise to increase the body’s core temperature. After doing this warm-up, you can progress through a series of exercises to stretch the muscles in your feet, legs, hips and upper, head and neck. There are different types of stretching to improve flexibility. Static stretching involves moving to a position that lengthens a target muscle and holding that position for 15-60 seconds. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, involves moving in and out of a position that stretches a target muscle. This usually involves a gentle bouncing movement. AIS or active isolated stretching is another type of stretching. This involves moving a joint through a complete range of motion, holding the endpoint briefly, then returning to the starting point and repeat. Moreover, many athletes use this type of stretching to prevent injuries or muscle imbalance.
Relationship Between Mobility and Flexibility
- Mobility and flexibility are important for our quality of life, especially as we grow old.
- Both help to reduce the risk of imbalance and injuries.
Difference Between Mobility and Flexibility
Mobility is the ability to move a limb through a range of motions, whereas flexibility is the ability of a muscle or muscle groups to lengthen passively through a range of motion.
Mobility is a controlled voluntary movement, while flexibility is passive.
Part of the Body
While mobility mainly involves joints, flexibility involves muscles.
Mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion, while flexibility is the ability of a muscle or a group of muscles to lengthen. This is the main difference between mobility and flexibility.
1. ” Photo of Woman Doing Yoga, active, body, exercise, female, fit” (CC0) via Wallpaper Flare
1. “What Is Mobility Training and Do I Need to Be Doing It?” Atlas Fitness, 1 Sept. 2016, Available here.
2. Scott, Jennifer R. “3 Types of Stretching to Increase Your Flexibility.” Verywell Fit, Verywell Fit, 30 Sept. 2019, Available here.