If you're a regular at the studio, you've definitely experienced some mobility exercises. Generally these movements include animal names. We crawl around each other like bears and monkeys, hop like frogs, and try to follow body positioning cues as best as possible; while at some points wondering why your body doesn't want to move in that way, and WHY are we warming up like this? So what is better to have; more flexibility or mobility? What do I need more of?
Flexibility is generally considered how much passive range of motion you have; mobility, on the other hand, is how much range of motion you can actively control.
Most people fall somewhere between these two extreme examples on the flexibility/mobility spectrum. The person with a lot of natural flexibility but not much strength needs more mobility; the person with limited range of motion but good control might need more of both, depending upon his goals (it seems unfair, doesn’t it?).
In truth, the person with limited range of motion is going to acquire more flexibility and mobility as soon as he introduces new movements into his life, just like the flexible person will begin to acquire more active strength as soon as she/he begins adding strength based movements into her/his routine. When it comes to maintaining strength and mobility for everyday life, adopting the attitude of the generalist (a little bit of ground based movement, a few exercises that are concentrated strength and mobility exercises, and a little bit of restorative work), will do wonders for most people.
Where to now.... assess your own goals.
When you are considering your flexibility/mobility needs, it’s useful to assess specific positions based on your goals. For instance, let’s say you are more on the bendy side of the flexibility spectrum. You would like to gain more usable strength and feel a little more stable. You have no trouble dropping into a deep squat and find it quite comfortable. However, you find things like hanging knee raises and tuck holds difficult. How can you use something you are good at, like the squat, to help your knee raise?