If you want to avoid injury and get the most out of whatever is on your current fitness agenda–including lifting weights, golf and yoga–then you will most likely want to increase your flexibility and mobility. Simply explained, mobility shows how well you can move your joints and muscles. Flexibility, on the other hand, indicates how far you can bend your body. However, there’s a little more to it.
The Matter of Mobility
According to MensFitness.com, mobility demonstrates your body’s ability to move efficiently and properly during an exercise or a sport. Mobility is the big picture. For example, individuals that possess total range of motion during an activity have excellent mobility. They have the ability to successfully perform the desired movement without any problems or restrictions. Individuals with abundant mobility can usually perform daily tasks with ease. Mobility also addresses how easily specific joints can move during an exercise. You can increase your mobility by foam rolling. In addition, you can use massage to relax muscle tension and improve tissue quality. To increase muscle length, you can stretch. For the nervous system, you can practice corrective exercises.
Depending on the activity exercise, activity or sport, mobility may require aspects such as strength, healthy soft tissue and nerves, balance, and coordination. Flexibility may be required as well. However, although it may be an important aspect in some cases, it is not necessarily the most import thing in all cases.
Fitness and Flexibility
Flexibility focuses on lengthening and stretching your muscles and body. Although it is generally just a component of overall mobility, in some cases, flexibility is extremely important to performance. For example, during certain yoga poses, you may need to touch your toes to properly complete a movement. If you are not flexible, you won’t be able to perform the exercise as intended. However, other yoga exercises may not require flexibility at all. Instead, they may simply require strength, stamina and balance. In addition, some flexible individuals do not necessarily move easily. They may be flexible but they may lack mobility.
Flexibility and mobility are both important additions to any workout program or sports activity and both can impact your workouts. Together, they ready your body for physical activity, help you recover from a workout quickly, improve posture and make you stronger. When you are able to move and bend to the best of your ability, you are less likely to hurt yourself and more likely to achieve your fitness goals.
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