You train to increase strength, endurance, and cardio, but when was the last time you trained to move better?
Many of us focus on those three fitness components but neglect the two main components that will affect our workout results. Mobility and Flexibility. Sometimes used interchangeably, it’s important to know that they aren’t the same, though they do share some similarities. Knowing the difference between them can help you better understand why they’re important and how you may be able to improve them.
MOBILITY: is the ability of a joint to actively move through a range of motion.
FLEXIBILITY: is the ability of a muscle to passively lengthen.
Mobility is Dynamic, muscles lengthen and shorted while the joints are moving. Where flexibility is passive, the tissue can move a joint with the help of a person or tool while the muscle passively allows the movement to happen.
The biggest difference between mobility and flexibility is that mobility requires strength to move the muscle through the range of motion with control. Which is why mobility is a better indicator of how efficient and well we move. Flexibility is only one part of mobility.
Mobility before your workout can ready your muscles and joints for the hard work to come. Adding it to your workouts can improve your overall strength and lower risk of injury.
It’s easy to integrate into your workout. For example, if heavy deadlifts are in your workout, start with mobility exercises like internal and external hip rotations, t-spine rotations, and controlled leg swings. Mobility exercises should be dynamic.
You can also incorporate self-myofascial techniques like using a foam roller which can help improve your range of motion.
There are many dynamic yoga classes that not only work on your flexibility but mobility as well.
Flexibility after a workout will help relax tense muscles, reduce strain, and again reduce risk of injury.
It’s important to note that flexibility can affect mobility. You don’t have to be very flexible to perform most exercises, but your mobility can be limited by a lack of flexibility.
The term “if you don’t use it, you will lose it” applies to both mobility and flexibility. A little every day can go a long way. Without a healthy combination of both, you may not be able to squat with the right technique, catch or throw a ball properly or even maintain proper running technique.
Can’t get to the gym? Some of the best exercises can be done sitting at the office or at home at the end of the day in front of the t.v. Adding a few minutes, every day can have a huge impact on your overall health and your overall movement.
If you want to squat deeper, run faster, train harder or feel better you need to add mobility exercises which include some flexibility in your daily routine. It’s incredibly important to one’s health and daily function.
Whether at the gym, the office or at home do it everyday and your body will thank you.
If you would like to learn more about mobility, join Nadia on Tuesday December 6th 5:15pm as she takes you through a yoga mobility workshop. Sign up today …..