Difference between Flexibility and Mobility

Today, we will talk about Flexibility and Mobility; how it affects your training performance, range of motion for your posing routine/exercises and overall posture. Did you wonder why your lower back was activated so much during your squat? Did you wonder why your shoulder press can only lower to your nose level? Did you wonder why your lats pulldown can only pulled down halfway? I do agree to a certain extent that it can be due to anatomical causes but at the same time, flexibility and mobility plays a part too over here.

So what is Flexibility and Mobility? A lot of people thought these two terms are the same but No. They are close but not the same. Flexibility is the range of motion that joints can go through while Mobility is the body’s ability to move freely with the aid of flexibility. These two terms are usually related to tightness too.

The general crowd always think that bodybuilders, weightlifters, powerlifters are big and bulky for nothing; Body full of tightness and cannot really move. I strongly disagree the latter to a certain extent. People who just started out will develop muscle tightness over the years and this is inevitable. Then we will learn about stretching, self-myofascial release(SMFR) and mobility over the years. This is where our body will be better at performing as the tightness has so called been ‘neutralized’ for awhile. Some athletes would go for additional chiropractic, deep tissue massage etc to better improve their flexibility and mobility.

Competitive athletes will never allow any chance of limited flexibility and mobility. Example, a bodybuilder with tightness in his body, his range of motion during training will be shortened and muscle recruitment will be greatly hindered. It will also affect his entire posing routine on stage. He will not be able to fully twist/turn his body for certain poses.

Finally, posture. When a person’s anterior part of the body has tightness(Chest tight, shoulders tight), he will tend to round his shoulders forward. These people usually do too much pushing exercises and does not do anything to remedy their tightness. Imagine these tightness are not being rectified and the person continue to lift.

The photo in this post is a modified stretch which sprinters always perform: Hip flexor stretch, commonly known as the lizard stretch. Yeah, notice that I am like a lizard in this pose. This is a very good stretch because it primarily open up the hip-flexors and at the same time, stretching the adductors, glutes, hamstrings, calves, mid and upper thoracic and neck. Almost a full body stretch, yes!

The above stretch is very good for almost any activity especially you spend 8-10 hours sitting in front of the desktop.

For remedy on any tightness you feel you are encountering, please feel free to contact me and I will be more than willing to help you.

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Your Fitness Coach, Amirrudin Ong