Flexibility and Range of Motion Copy

Flexibility and mobility are two terms that often get used interchangeably, even though they are not the same. To really understand the difference between the two you must first know what the difference is. Range of motion or commonly abbreviated ROM, is the full movement at a joint in flexion and extension. For example: think of the shoulder joint and raising the arm in flexion, some people may have limited ROM in the shoulder girdle prohibiting them from raising the arm straight up over head. To help aid in finding more ROM they can hold stagnant positions for up to 2 minutes to allow the fascia to release around the joint.

Flexibility refers to the length of a muscle in the passive ability for any body part to be in a certain ROM. We often see this with hyper mobile people and their ability to appear more “open” which simply means their muscles have to ability to lengthen a bit more than others. Hyper mobile people often have a harder time engaging their muscles because of this. To help them find engagement you can walk them through task that are muscle specific and work on creating healthy resistance and engagement. For example: in half pigeon, ask them to drive the front shin to the ground to find lift through the torso and hug the ribs in, they can also pull the back hip forward to create lift and engage in the hip flexor. Alternately when they fold in half pigeon you can instruct them to squeeze the chest and the front thigh together while pressing the the extended (front of thigh) into the ground. One of the main reasons mobility is so important is it helps prevent injury. It’s not always glamorous but very important for longevity of the body.