Mobility vs. Flexibility: What's the Difference?

In athlete training, many coaches often talk about flexibility and mobility, and stress that these two components are vital in attaining optimal athletic performance. However, many athletes and even coaches sometimes get these two things confused. And although both flexibility and mobility are related in a way, they in fact are not the same thing. 

At Warren Academy, we offer youth athletic training programs to help athletes of all ages and levels develop strength, speed, agility, flexibility, and mobility! Below, we discuss the differences between flexibility and mobility and why both are important. 


What is flexibility?

Flexibility is defined as the ability of a muscle to be lengthened or stretched. When trying to understand flexibility, you can think of your muscle acting as a rubber band. The farther that rubber band stretches, the more flexible it is. The same goes for all of your muscles. When athletes have good flexibility, their muscles tend to stretch and allow for more movement.  

What is mobility?

Mobility, on the other hand, is the ability to control movement through a range of motion. Mobility is not just about muscles, but the joints around them as well that allow for a full range of movement.

In summary, flexibility refers to how well your muscles can stretch for a certain movement, whereas mobility is how well your muscles and joints can work together in a full range of motion!

Why is flexibility important?

Flexibility has a huge impact on the performance and overall strength of every athlete. First off, having good flexibility helps athletes prevent injuries from happening since their muscles aren’t super tight all the time. Good flexibility can also help improve your balance, which is important in just about every sport! Other than that, being a flexible athlete will help decrease body aches, improve strength, and just provide an overall better performance. 


Why is mobility important?

Mobility also has a big impact on an athlete's overall performance. Just like flexibility, good mobility helps athletes prevent injuries from happening by providing them with a fuller range of motion, ultimately allowing for more intense movements. Mobility also helps keep your joints and ligaments healthy, as well as allows for your body to recover after a workout!


How they work together

Long story short, mobility means having strength within your flexibility. When athletes have good mobility, they are usually able to perform functional movements without limiting their range of motion. On the flip side, when athletes have poor mobility but good flexibility, they may not be able to fully perform these same movements. 


Although flexibility and mobility are very similar and work together to optimize athletic performance, they are in fact different from each other. During youth athletic training, it’s important that athletes are focusing on improving both of these sports performance elements! 

At Warren Academy, we specialize in youth athletic training for all sports! Visit our website today to learn more about our sports performance programs and how we can help you reach your goals!