The Importance of Mobility
First off let’s start with defining the difference between mobility and flexibility since most individuals seem to get the two confused. According to Shannon Trotter of Southside Physiotherapy,“Flexibility is defined as the ability of a muscle or muscle groups to lengthen passively (with assistance) through a range of motion, whereas mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively (without assistance) through a range of motion.
The mobility of joints is necessary in order to increase range of motion and improve the form of all movements. For instance, squat depth is a main focus for many when it comes to their abilities. Many individuals have trouble adding weight to their barbell given they don’t have the proper range of motion to utilize all the muscles involved in squatting. This limits their capability to improve their performance and make the gains they wish to make. A solution to this would be, to increase the mobility of the hips to allow for more depth and recruit muscles that were not as accessible before. However, with the new found mobility of these hips, there comes the necessity for strength and stabilization. Finding the right combination of strength and mobility is unique to the individual. This comes with consistency in doing mobility exercises and continuing to put those muscles to the test with strength training.
Other than improving performance, mobility helps in the prevention of avoidable injuries. Not having the accessibility to move the joints to their potential in a strong and safe way can cause harm. According to ACE Fitness, “Lack of movement in a joint’s structural range of motion can actually lead to atrophy of the involved muscles, which could fail to provide necessary support or stabilization when needed.” This also relates to the day-to-day activities that we all need to perform, such as being able to get up and off the ground, in and out of a chair, reaching for the top shelf, and bracing a fall. These are all movements that require not only strength and awareness, but mobility as well.
To find out more about how to become more mobile and strong, check out our Mobility classes daily at Body One Fitness!
McCall, Pete. “Stability vs. Mobility: What's the Difference?” ACE, 5 Feb. 2018, www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/6928/stability-vs-mobility-what-s-the-difference.
Trotter, Shannon. “Mobility vs Flexibility.” Southside Physiotherapy , ssphysio.com.au/view/post/mobility-vs-flexibility.