It's common for people to use the words "mobility" and "flexibility" interchangeably. But, in fact, they are two different concepts. It's understandable why some think mobility and flexibility are the same because they both involve stretching and ranges of motion. Let's get into a few key differences. MOBILITY Mobility occurs when a joint moves through a range of motion. Mobility requires muscle activation and strength to get to the end range of motion. Think of a squat, for example. Without proper hip and ankle mobility, the ability to lower into a deep squat is much more challenging. Mobility can improve by building capacity and mind-to-muscle connections. Examples: 1. Thread the needle 2. Cat cow 3. Windmill FLEXIBILITY Flexibility is when a soft tissue (muscle, ligament, or tendon) is passively stretched in a certain range of motion, lengthening the muscle. Passive stretching means there is an external force encouraging the range of motion. This can be done by using a band, towel, or yoga strap, or having a person manually stretch you. Flexibility can occur in ranges of motion both with and without control. Tapping into flexibility is done both neurologically and structurally. Examples: 1. Static hamstring stretch 2. Doorway chest stretch 3. Static quadricep stretch Both mobility and flexibility are worth spending time on. You can look at your warm-up as an opportunity to work on mobility, and your cool down as the time to work on flexibility. Mobility is also challenged throughout your lift by moving in a full range of motion with resistance.
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