The Difference Between Flexibility and Mobility

The Difference Between Flexibility and Mobility

Aug 09, 2023

There's heavy debate over the differences between flexibility and mobility. There's some school of thought that considers flexibility to be "passive" range of motion, meaning you're stretching in a static position or having a partner stretch you. Mobility on the other hand is considered to be more "active" in that you are either actively moving a joint through it's range of motion or you are actively contracting your muscles while in a stretch.

This definition however, is said to be outdated because flexibility is not exclusively passive, a stretch can be both static and active. An example being a loaded front split 



Flexibility refers to the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to stretch and move through a full range of motion. Flexibility is the range of movement in a joint or group of joints and it depends on the extensibility of the muscle-tendon unit, ligaments, and joint capsule.

Mobility, on the other hand, refers to the ability of a joint to move freely through its full range of motion. Mobility depends on the flexibility of the muscles and tendons that surround the joint, as well as the health and stability of the joint itself. Mobility also refers to the ability to control movement at the end ranges of motion and the ability of the nervous system to coordinate movement.

In other words, flexibility is the potential for movement, and mobility is the ability to control movement. To improve both, it is important to perform regular stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as incorporating movements that take joints through their full range of motion.


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