Think of mobility as strength within flexibility.

Difference Between Mobility & Flexibility

Think of mobility as strength within flexibility.

When it comes to buzzwords in fitness, the word “mobility” has been really having a moment. What exactly is this “mobility” that trainers and web articles talk about? You have been doing your stretches but is it enough to improve your mobility?

Mobility and flexibility are related, but they are not the same. Flexibility is the ability of your connective tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons to elongate when an external force is applied. Mobility is the ability to move through a range of motion with control.
You might be very flexible, but you may not have the strength to move through that range without someone or even your own hand exerting force on it. Think of mobility as strength within flexibility. Both flexibility and mobility are important for sports performance and injury prevention.

I have poor mobility, so what?

A body with poor mobility will compensate the lack of range of motion by using other parts of the body that is not ideally suited for the job. For example, picking a child off the floor would have been easy for the large muscles in your legs. (Remember? Always lift with your legs, not your back.)

Lift with your knees and not your back to prevent injury!


However, if you do not have sufficient mobility in the hips to drop into a squat and stand back up, you will compensate by bending over at your waist instead. This action recruits the smaller muscles in your lower back, placing a load that it is not suited for, and that is when injuries can occur.

What you can do to improve your mobility

Practice Mobility Daily

Spending just a total of 3 minutes a day in poses like the “Asian squat” and downward dog can do wonders for the mobility in your hips and shoulders. You can check out these recommendations as well as variations of the deep squat and downward dog to build mobility, once your are comfortable with the basics.

Stay active

If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle, some form of physical activity will be beneficial for your overall mobility. Start slow if you are just getting back into exercise after a long layoff.

Start exercises to build mobility incrementally, especially if you haven't been working out for a while.


Vary Your Activity

Your activity should be varied to prevent muscular imbalances which will lead to poor mobility. For example, if you are only doing bench presses in the gym, you will end up having overdeveloped and tight chest and front shoulder muscles, while neglecting the back and rear shoulder muscles. This not only gives the appearance of a hunched posture but may also restrict your range of motion such as lifting loads overhead.

Seek Qualified Professionals When Needed

If you have a previous injury that is hampering your range of motion, seeking help from a  physiotherapist or sports doctor can help you progressively get your mobility back in a safe and controlled manner. You can book physiotherapy sessions on DA Marketplace.