What is Mobility?
Mobility is best defined as your active range of motion in a joint. In order words, the amount of usable movement that is available to an individual.
Whereas, flexibility is defined as the available range of motion in a joint. This is your passive range of motion (where you use your hands to put assist and move your leg to your chest, for example).
While much of the limits to your Passive Range of motion will be structural (bone, joint shape), most of the limits to your active range will be neural ( nervous system influencing tissue tension).
The amount of mobility you have, should be close to the amount of flexibility in your joint. If you are way off, then this potentially may cause some problems.
How much mobility do you need?
This depends on what you want to do. If you want to be a martial artist you need lots of mobility, if your a long distance runner you still a certain amount of mobility but less than someone who does martial arts.
However, if you are someone who trains and exercises a lot, then you will need to do some amount of mobility work to go into your training program. The reason been, is that your tissues will be put under a lot of strain from the training and due to overload, fatigue or a lack of stability in a movement, it will cause your body to ‘tighten up; as a way of protecting itself.
If this tightness or protective tension is not addressed it will possibly limit your movement for your sport and may lead to pain and potentially injury.
So, should I stretch all the time?
No, you shouldn’t as this would take up a lot of your time and may not be the most best use of your training time.
Also, certain areas of your body may not need to be stretched. Just because a muscle feels ‘tight’ or restricted, it does not always mean that it should be stretched. Sometimes muscles feel ‘tight’ because they are already in a lengthened position and stretching them will add to this.
Often the key is to get assessed by a qualified therapist who can tell you where you are lacking mobility and whether you need to add some stability to help the problem or if you simply need to stretch the are a more.
Ask about our specially designed mobility programs
At Midlands Physical Therapy I can offer you a mobility program that is designed just for you and your specific needs.
What it includes:
- Consultation to see what you need
- Mobility and stability assessment to see where you need to improve
- 3 hands on sessions during the 6 weeks to work out any areas of excessive tension
- A Plan and 6 week program consisting of specific movements and exercises tailored for you
- Videos – Videos of the exercises will be sent to you each week
- Support and guidance throughout the program
Click on the button below to see an example of a 3D Adductor movement.
This can be used as a warm up exercise or as part of a mobility program