• Rhiannon Flores-Drennen

Move and Flex

Mobility Vs. Flexibility When we think about range of motion, mobility and flexibility seem like synonymous terms. This could lead us to try the same type of exercise or stretch to improve both. But when we look a little bit closer at the meaning of these words, we find a need to shift our thinking. Mobility is our ability to actively move ourselves from one position to the next or through a series of motions. It can be measured in motions such as the degree to which you can turn your head or how easily and slowly you can move from standing to sitting. Flexibility is our ability to passively assume a position. The V-sit in gym class was designed to measure this trait, or having someone else stretch your hams strings. Generally, a person’s flexibility range of motion is greater than the range of motion he or she can attain via mobility. Why is this distinction important? If a person has high flexibility it is less likely that he or she will sustain joint injuries during incidents such as sudden falls or collisions as the joints are able to be moved freely through their range of motion even without active assistance. However, this does not prevent injuries due to repetitive use or other movement. When a person has a high level of mobility she/he is able to apply pressure evenly across the joint which lessens wear and tear, increases functionality of both the joint and the muscles, and adds to overall health by preventing pain, allowing for continued movement and exercise. Though both elements are important to cultivate for maximum health, if you must choose between the two, I suggest focusing on mobility. Because working to improve your mobility involves increasing your range of motion, strength, and neural connections simultaneously. Improving your mobility helps your entire body function as a more seamless whole and lessens the likelihood of maladies such as soreness or injury. One of the best mobility exercises with which to start is the squat because it incorporates nearly every joint in the body. Always be mindful of your body mechanics when performing this exercise as it is easy to lose focus and adopt poor positioning which will increase your likelihood of ligament tears and muscle strains. To fully incorporate mobility training into your routine, it is best to seek out a personal trainer or mobility specialist. A yoga instructor may also be able to offer great insight. Last Updated: February 8, 2018

#mobility #flexibility #bend #stretch #musclehealth #fitness

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