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What is the difference between stretching and mobility?

The processes are very similar however there are distinct differences between the two that I am going to discuss today. You must know as well due to the similarity there could be some crossover with exercises and forms of training for both however the differences are more in line with your reasoning behind doing what you do!

So What Is Stretching?

There are many forms of stretching that you can participate in and use to your advantage for a variety of reasons. The main reasoning behind stretching is to increase your joints/muscles flexibility and range of motion. This means you are able to get into more positions that you weren't able to get into before through different forms of stretching.

  1. Static stretching involves the process of getting into a position and holding it for a period of time so your muscles/joints can get used to that position therefore increasing the range of motion within that area.

  2. Dynamic stretching involves the process of getting into positions through the use of movement. E.g. getting lower with your squats or lunges

  3. PNF stretching involves the process of contracting and relaxing a muscle/joint with the reasoning being after contraction the muscle will relax into a more stretched position.

  4. active stretching involves using your body to form the stretch and this is commonly used and seen through yoga

  5. passive stretching involves the use of aides and partners to assist with stretching e.g. foam rollers, lying down partnered hamstring stretch

  6. ballistic stretching involves the use of quick bouncing movements that can increase the length of the joint if done in that stretched position.

Doing these forms of stretching will ensure you are increasing your muscles/joints flexibility and range of motion so you can get into more flexible positions. Can be done for every joint in your body ranging from the tips of your fingers to the ends of your toes :)

So What Is Mobility?

Mobility on the other hand involves the process of allowing your joints to move freely through its full range of motion. Your goal with mobility training is to have your joints able to go through full range which means you are getting fully optimised function and movement ability in that area.

Having your joints optimised in their functional mov

ement patterns and of free movement ability within their full range of motion means the joint is going to perform at its max capacity. Max capacity performance means increased ability to surpass on the athletic stage, reduce pain and reduce the risk of injury!!!

I like to think of mobility training as doing both the stretching and strengthening component together in unison. Stretching can be done on its own and the same can be said for strengthening. But doing them together in one unit will provide the most benefit for joint optimisation and function!

Your goal should be focused on joint performance when you are doing anything in the mobility realm :)

Closing Thoughts?

As stated the main difference found is your targeted reasoning behind why you are undertaking a stretching or mobility program.

Is your goal to get better function within your joint? - then you should focus your efforts on mobility training

Is your goal just to increase the flexibility within your joint? - then maybe all you need is a stretching program for that area

I push mobility because you are essentially doing it all at once, no need for multiple programs on strength and stretching when you can just get 1 that gets both :)

Doing both means you are creating a body/system that has a decreased risk of injury, has high athletic performance ability and your joints are freely able to move in compromising positions.

So what do I think? Get mobile today!!


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