The Difference Between Mobility and Flexibility

Mobility and flexibility are two things strength coaches often talk about during training. Both are crucial for athletes to perform at their highest capabilities. Although these things may sound similar in our heads, they are actually different. 

At Warren Academy, we offer a variety of athlete training programs that focus on improving both mobility and flexibility, on top of strength, speed and conditioning. Below, we go over the differences between mobility and flexibility, how they work together and why they are both important for athletes looking to perform at a high level. 

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 muscles 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 also the joints around them 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. 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! Being a flexible athlete will help decrease body aches, improve strength and 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. It does this by providing them with a fuller range of motion, ultimately allowing for more intense movements. Mobility helps keep your joints and ligaments healthy, while also allowing your body to recover after a workout!

How do they work together?

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 athlete training programs, it’s important that athletes are focusing on improving both of these sports performance elements! 

At Warren Academy, we are here to help all athletes unlock their full athletic potential. If you are interested in joining any of our athlete training programs, visit our website today!