Mobility versus flexibility: does it matter?Grant
If you care about the long term health of your joints the short answer is yes mobility, not flexibility, matters.
The fundamental difference between mobility and flexibility is movement control. Flexibility is the ability to allow movement using an external force (another person, gravity, band etc), whereas mobility requires YOU to generate and control movement.
Take the woman doing the splits for example. Is she flexible? Yes. Is she mobile? A picture doesn’t tell us how well she can control hip movement in this position. The control portion is critical for injury prevention and long term joint health.
Flexibility alone will not be helpful to avoid injury in situations like these. We need to train tissue to be capable of controlling movement and absorbing load in as many varying positions as possible. If you don’t prepare tissue well you are rolling the dice with each exposure. Don’t gamble with your health, consider mobility training to help develop better movement control and build tissue resiliency.