Flexibility, Mobility and their Benefits.

 In Blog, Dublin

Most of the time when you hear the term joint come up in conversation, it usually has the word ‘pain’ to follow. Generally, we focus on one joint at a time. However, it is important to think of all the bones, muscle, and connective tissue around each joint as an integrated system. Ankle joints connect to the knee joints. Knee joints connect to the hip joints. In other words, if a single joint does not work properly, the joints above and below it can be affected.

Flexibility is the absolute range of motion in a joint or system of joints, and the length of muscle that crosses the joint involved. It directly correlates with range of motion and mobility.  Range of motion is the distance and direction the joint can move, while mobility is the ability to move without restriction.

Even though mobility and flexibility sound similar they are slightly different. Mobility within a joint is the degree to which the area where two bones meet (known as an articulation) is allowed to move without being restricted by the surrounding tissue such as tendons, muscle, and ligaments. Think of mobility as the range of motion around the joint.

A good level of mobility allows a person to perform movements without restriction, while a person with good flexibility may not have the strength, coordination, or balance to execute the same movement. Good mobility does not always mean good flexibility.

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Benefits of better Flexibility and Mobility:

Injury prevention
-The strength of your tendons and ligaments are dictated by the stresses that you put on them. Training in the full range of motion will place positive stress on that connective tissue and decrease the chance of injury. In some exercises, however, especially if you are using heavy weight, going in the full range of motion may not be a good idea.

Burns more calories
-Another reason to train full range of motion is that you will burn an extra calorie or two. In order to burn more calories make your muscles work harder by making them move your joints farther. If you are only doing quarter squats, your muscles are not doing as much work as they would be if you got down into a full squat . The farther you have to move, the more work you are doing and more energy you are expending.

Improvement in effectively of movements.
Your muscles should be able to produce force even in awkward positions. This is especially important for athletes. If you train in the full range of motion, your muscles will be used to producing force even in the farthest point of mobility. If you only train one segment out of the whole range of motion, you can only expect your muscles to work efficiently when they are in that specific range that you train. Flexibility can be decreased if you only train in a short range.

Increase in muscle strength/size.
There have been studies done that support the fact that when weight training is done in the full range of motion there are greater strength gains and more muscular growth when compared to training partial range.

Try Mobility with Mark classes on Sundays at 11.15am

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