While lifting heavier and moving more quickly may feel like a fitness “win,” it is important to understand that fitness goes much further than performance numbers and is truly defined by our quality of life. 

What do we mean by that? Mobility and flexibility need to be just as important as strength and conditioning. 

But what are mobility and flexibility? Is one more important than the other? How do you make sure to take care of both? 

Here’s the breakdown: 

  • Mobility: how a joint moves.
  • Flexibility: length of a muscle. 

Ultimately, mobility is an overarching term that covers multiple factors that will affect the range of motion around a joint, and one of those factors is flexibility. Why? Because it is difficult to move a join if the muscles around it don’t stretch well. 

So, why should we care? 

Mobility and flexibility, as we stated, go far beyond the gym and play a huge part in your health and everyday life. If you have a general mobility problem that affects how you move, your body won’t function the way it’s supposed to which can result in wear and tear over time in addition to general pain.

These are some of our favorite ways to improve flexibility and mobility: 

  • Foam Rolling: while it can be painful, it is equally effective. Essentially, foam rolling is a way to self massage to release muscle tightness.
  • Mobility Drills: mobility drills are different exercises that are specifically tailored toward training your range of motion. This can also look like dynamic stretching.
  • Stretch: If your muscles feel stiff, stretching in place before a workout for a short period of time, followed by longer stretches after a workout can be very effective.

The Bottom Line:

Both flexibility and mobility are not only important to performing well in the gym but are also vital to living a whole, comfortable, pain free life. 

What are you doing to prioritize stretching and functional movement?