What is Mobility?
Most people know what flexibility is. But often, people confuse this with mobility. There is a difference between the two. Flexibility refers to the ability of your joints to move pain-free and without stiffness through a range of motion. For example, flexibility is when you are able to lift your leg further with the assistance of your arms.
However, with mobility, you are able to control the whole range of motion with just the muscles. Mobility refers to the strength of the muscle in this range of motion. For example, you would be able to control the entire movement of the leg with just the leg muscles. Unlike flexibility, there is no requirement for any assistance to perform the move.
Now we’ve covered what it is, let’s look at how mobility training benefits your workout.
Once you develop strength and flexibility in your body you’ll be able to withstand more physical stress. Plus, you’ll rid your body of any muscle imbalances, which will reduce your chance of getting injured during physical activity. Correcting muscle imbalances requires a combination of strengthening the underactive muscles and stretching the overactive (tight) ones.
Improved posture and balance
When you focus on increasing muscular flexibility your posture is likely to improve. Working out your body allows you to have proper alignment and correct any imbalances. Plus, with an increased range of motion you may find it easier to sit or stand in certain ways. Yoga has been shown to improve balance.
Another benefit of mobility training is the effect on sports and athletics. Improving mobility also leads to improvements in an athlete’s performance. Moving with a limited range of motion could end up holding you back from performing at your body’s full capacity.
Not only does increasing mobility improve athletic performance, but it also contributes to a healthy and comfortable daily life. If you happen to spend most of your workday sitting down, over time this can limit your body’s mobility, particularly around your hips. Joint pain and discomfort can radiate to other areas of your body, creating further problems and discomfort. So by addressing a limited range of motion in one joint, you’ll also help promote healthy joints throughout your body.
Mobility is cheaper than a massage therapist
Deep tissue massages can run you more than $100 an hour. You can hit those same trigger points with your mobility tools and achieve effective results in only 10 to 15 minutes a day. Even if you go see a massage therapist every week (which I highly recommend), using mobility techniques and tools will help improve your results.