Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

Take a walk The stretching area of ​​any gym, and most all use the terms “flexibility” and “mobility”. Have thought, if you stretch enough, you will be limb, mobile and ready to move.

However, flexibility and mobility are not the same thing – and flexibility is not always a great predictor of mobility. This means that you can be super flexible and able to show off easily, but really have a hard time doing basic movements and day-to-day tasks,

How does that work? To understand, it is important to first know what flexibility is and Mobility In fact, says Rachel Cosgrove, a certified strength and conditioning expert, is the co-owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita in California.

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She points out that flexibility is the ability of muscles to temporarily Stretch when needed. Think of it like a rubber band. If you pull both ends and it pulls like any good rubber band, it is flexible. If it’s not a stretch (hopefully it’s not a photo), it’s inflexible. This is the same thing with muscles, which are actually elastic components designed to aid muscle stretch.

Meanwhile, mobility is the ability of the joint to move actively through its range of motion, says physical therapist Kara Ann Senicola with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. For example, if you think of your shoulder joint, which is shaped like a ball-socket, it is designed in such a way that you can move your hand forward, backward, side-to-side. And can move in circles. If it can move in this way, the joint has healthy mobility. If, however, you can’t move in all those directions – maybe when you raise your arms upward, you can’t keep your arms near your ears – it’s a lack of mobility. And it can increase your risk of injury or major movement issues down the road.

Simply put, flexibility is the ability to stretch a muscle. Mobility is the ability to move a joint.

What to do with flexibility?

“to happen Good joint mobility“Muscle flexibility is essential,” says Cenicola. Eventually, your hamstrings stretch to touch your toes. “But there is a misconception that lack of mobility is only due to limitations of muscle flexibility or muscles losing natural length.” She notes that a person may have a lot of flexibility but still have poor mobility.

This is because the flexibility of the muscles in a joint is one of several factors. The primary determinants of a given joint move are its structure – the shape of its bones, how they meet and how the joint is formed. Ligaments and tendons She connects with those bones, she says. Do an X-ray, and no two people are equal. Okay. Each one is designed with a different available range of motion.

However, when a person does not reach that limit of speed, it is a problem. And, interestingly, for most people, having trouble performing certain movements – such as touching their toes – is not due to poor flexibility.

“Muscle flexibility can be good but hyperactive (hypertonic) because they are trying to lack stability elsewhere,” says Cenicola. “The muscles that cross many joints are the muscles that cause us to move. Stable muscles only have a tendency to cross a joint. When stabilizers are not doing their job well – or a person’s posture does not allow them to do their job – the mover muscles try to stabilize. But because they cross multiple joints, they limit joint mobility. “

Those Hamstring A great example, many people complain that tight hamstrings prevent them from being able to touch their toes. Often, however, hamstrings are not actually inflexible. They are very active. This is because if a person’s stabilizer muscles are not strong enough to keep the pelvis in proper alignment – or if a person’s posture is poor – the front part of the pelvis is bent downward. As a result, the back of the pelvis is bent upwards. A common sign of this “anterior pelvic tilt” is a large dip in the low back.

However, the hamstrings are attached to the pelvic back. When the pelvis is bent, it pulls and pulls the hamstrings, which, in turn, pulls back. And now you’ve got a hyperactive muscle that already extends to the max. When you try to touch your toes, it cannot stretch any more.

How to improve your mobility

When you understand the link between flexibility and mobility, it becomes clear that stretching exercises Dynamics are a part of the equation. To improve mobility, says Senicola, it is also important to train the body’s stationary muscles (such as the core), move your joints through a full range of motion and consciously improve your posture Do the work. Cosgrove noted that myofascial release, such as foil rolling, can help promote mobility.

If you are not sure you have a healthy level, consider talking to a certified trainer physical therapist Who can assess how you proceed, Cosgrove advises. After evaluating both your flexibility and mobility, he will help you create your personal plan that will meet your unique mobility needs.

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