What’s your restriction?
For many of us, stretching is not part of our daily routine. We work with whatever natural flexibility we have and ignore the tight spots. However, if you’ve spent a day in a Crossfit gym you know how quickly those imbalances become visible. Along with flexibility, mobility has developed into a prime focus for athletes. So, what is the difference between mobility and flexibility and is one more important that the other? ⇒Flexibility is specific to the length of a muscle. ⇒Mobility refers to how well the actual joint moves in respect to its appropriate range of motion. Flexibility is considered passive and not dependent upon strength to produce a position. Mobility is active and requires strength in order to reach full range of motion.
How Lack of Flexibility and Mobility Can Hold You Back
The flexibility (length) of your muscles determine the level of restriction you will face in a movement. As your muscles cross over certain joints, they allow appropriate range of motion and limit abnormal range of motion. When a person has very poor flexibility, the movement of the joint becomes very limited. In this case, the tension across the joint rises and drastically increases the chance of injury. As the load increases in a movement, the ability to reach full range of motion is key to prevent injury and accomplish the correct position. This is why it is so important to have the right movement pattern before adding weight. When a muscle is more flexible, it is able to move through a wider range of motion which leads to improved strength and endurance.
Poor mobility prevents a joint from reaching adequate range of motion. As a result, the surrounding joints and muscles compensate in order to accomplish the desired position. As compensation occurs, the risk of injury skyrockets. Our joints and muscles have specific job descriptions. Asking them to perform movements outside of that job description leads to higher tension and stress eventually causing some sort of breakdown.
Stretch Out and Open Up
Adequate mobility of a joint and flexibility in the surrounding muscles is a priority in order for movements to be performed correctly. Practicing movement patterns without a healthy amount of mobility and flexibility puts your joints in an unstable position. Higher instability results in higher potential for injury. Working towards full range of motion throughout your joints will give you the ability to complete olympic lifts in the desired manner. Improvement movement patterns will aid in your specific quest towards greater strength and stability.
Click Here for 5 great exercises to increase mobility and flexibility.
As always, keep moving, keep pushing, and keep pressing. Your body will love you for it,
Human Kinetics; http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/the-importance-and-purpose-of-flexibility
Importance of Mobility; https://www.thespotathletics.com/blogpage//the-importance-of-mobility