Flexibility Versus Mobility by Jennifer Pilotti

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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?

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What is Your Ability?

All levels: this class is open to anyone.

Beginner? Beginner rhymes with blood thinner, breadwinner, prizewinner, shore dinner, web spinner which you are none of these so we think.... but you may be someone that is beginning something or doing something for the first time. You maybe using the equipment for the first time and needs extensive instruction on proper range of motion.  A beginner may not have ever attended a gym or class, but still may be fit. If so then start here!

Intermediate? Maybe your here? You may feel like your occurring in the middle or between extremes of a beginner athlete or a advanced/ Pro Athlete. This is where you may workout regular and have used some of the equipment. You have taken a TRX class somewhere before and know how to operate the straps or know what a kettlebell is? Do you know the fundamentals of movement and can you work in your bodies full range of motion? If so then you will fit in perfectly at this level to get you progressing to the advance and pro classes.

Advanced? or do you want to barn dance, lap dance, clog dance, closed stance, and by chance your not these... but advanced you workout regularly and enjoy pushing yourself hard and to the next level. You work on bettering yourself with every workout, love to sweat, and enjoy the sore muscles the day after a good hard workout... then here you go and bring all that you have to the table. Lets Go Hard and Big or go home.

Pro? You're an athlete, you do races, you have that competitive sprite, your life is about movement and the next best thing. These style classes will help you train harder and faster for your next big goal. Ultimately making you a faster, stronger and more agile athlete. Lets find your limits and then find new ones!