Mobility vs Flexibility

Is Yoga the Best Way to Increase Flexibility and Mobility

Mobility vs flexibility is an intriguing realm where your body's range of motion, strength, and balance converge. In this discourse, be captivated by the arena of flexibility and mobility training, shedding light on the subtle distinctions between these two pivotal aspects of physical well-being. 

Furthermore, flexibility vs mobility are essential in note-making. So, join us as we embark on a journey to examine whether yoga truly reigns supreme as the best way to enhance flexibility and mobility. This exploration of mobility vs flexibility is essential for anyone seeking to optimize their physical performance.

Flexibility vs Mobility

Flexibility is about a muscle's passive lengthening ability, like when reaching for your toes; it's determined by connective tissue length and extensibility, such as fascia and tendons.

Mobility refers to a joint's freedom of movement through its full range. It needs flexible muscles, strong connective tissues, healthy joints, and also good nervous system control.

Think of it this way: flexibility is like the length of a rope, while mobility is like the smoothness of a pulley. A long rope doesn't guarantee a smooth pulley, but a smooth pulley will always allow the rope to move freely.

Moreover, according to Grayson Wickham, C.S.C.S, a physical therapist and the creator of Movement Vault, a mobility and movement company says, "People have been using flexibility and mobility interchangeably forever, but recently there's been a push to separate the two concepts." Since flexibility vs mobility modalities are commonly linked to recovery, longevity, and injury prevention, they adopt distinct methods for promoting joint health and sustaining pain-free movement. Consequently, they have varying effects on your fitness.

Is Mobility vs Flexibility More Important?

Good mobility and flexibility offers a multitude of benefits, including:

  • can improve mobility and flexibility
  • reduced pain and stiffness 
  • improved posture and balance
  • Muscle flexibility vs mobility is crucial in how a joint moves.
  • Reduced risk of injury. Tight muscles and poor mobility can stress your joints, increasing the likelihood of strains, sprains, and other injuries.

    Flexibility and Mobility Yoga

    Warm Up

    1. Wrist Extension Stretch

    Begin in an upright kneeling position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Shift your hips back to rest your seat on your feet. Extend one arm in front of your body. Flex your wrist to raise your fingers toward the ceiling with your palm facing away from your body. Using your opposite hand, pull your fingers further back to intensify the stretch. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Wrist Extension Stretch
    Wrist Extension Stretch

    2. Wrist Circles

    From the Wrist Extension Stretch position, bring both hands in front of your body at head height. Start rotating your wrists in a circular motion. After several repetitions, repeat the movement in the opposite direction.

    Wrist Circle
    Wrist Circle
    Wrist Circle
    Wrist Circles

    3. Infinity Circles

    From the Wrist Circles position, interlace your fingers and start a gentle infinity circular motion, creating an infinity sign. Perform the movement for as long as necessary.

    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Infinity Circles

    Wrist Stretches are just one piece of the puzzle in a comprehensive approach to maintaining joint health, improving mobility and flexibility exercises, and also incorporating motion exercises regularly to ensure that joints move effectively and smoothly.

    4. Wide Arm Lifts

    For this exercise, use resistance tubing, a yoga strap, a belt, or anything that you can use to bridge the distance between your hands.

    Firstly, begin in an upright kneeling position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Shift your hips back to rest your seat on your feet. Hold the ends of the tubing in each hand with your arms wider than shoulder-width apart, creating resistance on the tubing. Secondly, raise both arms in front of your body at shoulder height. Engage your core and extend your arms overhead, maintaining tension on the tubing and pulling as far back behind your head as comfortably as possible. Lastly, lower your arms to the starting position and repeat the movement.

    Remember, the closer you hold the strap toward the center, the harder for you to reach back. So, it’s important to stay in a position where you are comfortable. 

    Moreover, to intensify the stretch, bring your arms further back or move your arms side to side to open the shoulders before starting the routine. If the resistance tubing is not accessible, clasp your hands behind your head and swing your arms side to side or in a circular motion to open the chest and stretch the shoulders. 

    Wide Arm Lifts
    Wide Arm Lifts
    Wide Arm Lifts

    Depending on your comfort level, perform Arm Stretching with your fingers interlaced, palms facing outward. Move your joined hands up and down.

    5. Eagle Arms

    Firstly, begin in an upright sitting position on the floor with your legs crossed in front of your body, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Secondly, cross your arms in front of your body at shoulder height, wrapping at the elbows and wrists. Engage your core. Take a deep breath and then bring your arms up, elbows away from your chest. Exhale and gently lower your arms down toward the floor. Lastly, after several repetitions, repeat the movement on the opposite side. Relax and then return to the starting position.

    Eagle Arms
    Eagle Arms
    Eagle Arms

    6. Cross Arm Stretch

    Begin in an upright sitting position with your legs crossed in front of your body, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulder, and hips. Engage your core and then bring one arm across your body at shoulder height. Intensify the stretch by pulling your arm closer to your chest with your other hand. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat the movement, alternating sides. 

    Cross Arm Stretch
    Cross Arm Stretch

    7. Cow Face

    Firstly, begin in an upright kneeling position, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Shift your hips back to rest your seat on your feet. Engage your core. Secondly, raise one arm overhead and bend your elbow to lower your hand behind your back. Bend your other arm behind your lower back and grasp your fingers together. Lastly, hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Use a strap or also towel to bridge the distance between your hands to make the exercise easier. 

    Cow Face
    Cow Face

    Routines for Flexibility

    1. Table Top with Leg Extension

    Begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keep your toes tucked under your heels. Contract your abdominal area and then extend your right leg out to the side. Keep your palms firmly planted on the floor for support as you slowly rock your body back and forth.  Return to the staring position and then repeat the movement on the opposite leg.

    In addition, to make the exercise easier, perform the Cat Cow routine instead. 

    Table Top One Leg Extended
    Table Top One Leg Extended
    Table Top with Leg Extension

    Variation Exercise- Table Top with Leg Extension

    From the Table Top with Leg Extension position, untuck your toes and shift your hips back towards your foot. Lower your head slowly down to the floor as you extend both arms in front of your body. Depending on your comfort level, progress the exercise by walking your hands toward your extended leg, then either lowering your head towards the floor or grabbing your foot with both hands. Hold the position for 3-5 deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Variation Exercise-Table Top with Leg Extension

    2. Thread the Needle

    Firstly, begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Engage your core, rotate your upper body upward, and extend one arm towards the ceiling. Secondly, rotate back and slide the same arm under your body with your palm facing upward, lowering your shoulder to the floor. Thirdly, rest the side of your head on the floor and place your opposite hand either behind your back or to the floor to maintain your balance. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Lastly, return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side. 

    In addition, to make this exercise easier, rest the side of your head on a bolster or pillow for support. 

    Thread the Needle
    Thread the Needle
    Thread the Needle

    Opening Mobility Exercises

    1. Table Top Knee Circles

    Begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Engage your core. Bring one knee out to the side, and then begin an exaggerated sweeping circular motion in one direction. Lower your leg back to the starting position and then repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Table Top Knee Circles

    2. Lizard Pose

    Firstly, begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Contract your abdominal muscles, then step forward with one foot. Secondly, lower to your forearms and stack your knee over your foot on the outside of your elbow. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Lastly, relax and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    To make the exercise easier, stay in a position where your back leg is either bent or extended as you keep both arms straight under your shoulders.

    Lizard Pose
    Lizard Pose

    3. Twisted Lizard Pose

    From the Lizard Pose position, bring your left hand on the inside of your left knee. Gently push your knee out as you twist your upper body to the same shoulder side, bringing your gaze up. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Twisted Lizard Pose

    4. Lizard Pose to Half Splits

    From the Twisted Lizard Pose, rotate your upper body back to return to the center, keeping your foot in the middle of both hands. Press into your front foot and straighten your leg, keeping both hands planted on the floor for support and balance. Hold this position for a few deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    In addition, to intensify the movement, rock your hips from side to side. Depending on your comfort level, place a yoga block, pillow, or book underneath each hand for support if needed. You may also utilize the wall for easy movement.

    Lizard Pose to Half Splits
    Lizard Pose to Half Splits
    Lizard Pose to Half Splits

    5. Lizard Pose with Quad Stretch

    From the Lizard Pose to Half Splits position, lift your back foot up with your toes pointing toward the ceiling. To intensify the stretch, grab your foot with your left hand and pull your heel closer to your hips, keeping your gaze either to the side or to the ceiling. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    If reaching your foot is difficult, bend your back leg with your toes pointing toward the ceiling and reach back with your left hand.

    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Lizard Pose with Quad Stretch

    6. Skandasana (Side Lunge)

    Firstly, begin in an upright standing position with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, maintaining good alignment in your upper body. Bring your hands together at chest height. Secondly, tighten your core and bend one knee to shift your body weight to one side while extending your opposite leg. Lastly, return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Skandasana (Side Lunge)

    Variation Exercise-Skandasana 

    Move into either a Lizard Pose or Low Lunge position. Slowly slide your front forward as you extend your back leg, feeling a comfortable stretch in your hamstrings and groin. Depending on your comfort level, hinge through your hips to lower your upper body towards your knee and grab your foot with both hands. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Relax and then return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Variation Exercise-Skandasana
    Variation Exercise-Skandasana 

    Routines for Hip Mobility

    1. Windshield Wipers

    Firstly, begin in an upright sitting position on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor while maintaining good alignment in your upper body. Place your hands on the floor behind you for support. Secondly, engage your core and widen your stance. Slowly rotate your lower body to lower both knees to one side, holding each position for a few seconds. Lastly, return to the starting position and repeat the movement, alternating directions.

    Windshield Wipers
    Windshield Wipers
    Windshield Wipers

    2. Wide-Legged Deer Pose

    Begin in an upright sitting position on the floor with your legs extended to the sides and your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Place your hands on your knees, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Engage your core. Bend both knees and gently rotate your body to one side, lowering both knees to the floor. Hold each position for a few seconds. Return to the starting position and then repeat the sequence of movements to the opposite side.

    Wide-Legged Deer Pose
    Wide-Legged Deer Pose
    Wide-Legged Deer Pose
    Wide-Legged Deer Pose

    3. Skandasana to Warrior III

    Begin in an upright sitting position on the floor with your legs extended to the sides and your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Place both hands on the floor in front of your body for support. And then engage your core. bend one knee and press through your hands to lift your body into a side lunge. Pivot towards your bent knee. Shift your body weight onto your left leg, then slowly lift your back leg until it is parallel to the floor, with your toes pointed to the floor. 

    Slightly bend your supporting knee and hinge your hips, bending forward until your upper body is parallel to the floor while extending your arms and opposite leg back. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Relax and then return to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Skandasana to Warrior III 

    4. Wide-Legged Forward Fold

    Begin in an upright sitting position on the floor with your legs extended to the sides and your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Place your hands on your knees, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Engage your core and hinge through your hips to bend your upper body forward. Depending on your comfort level, progress the movement by lowering your forehead to the floor and grabbing your feet with each hand.

    Furthermore, to make the exercise easier, hinge your upper body forward and lower on your forearms, pressing your palms together to make the stretch easier.

    Wide-Legged Forward Fold
    Wide-Legged Forward Fold

    Cool Down

    Side Bend

    Begin in an upright sitting position on the floor with your legs extended out to the sides, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Engage your core and then bend your upper body to one side, reaching over your head with your opposite arm. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Return to the starting position and then repeat the movement on the opposite side.

    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Mobility vs Flexibility
    Side Bend

    When performing these exercises, it is important to breathe deeply. The oxygen during deep breaths helps fuel the muscles and keep them working efficiently. It also helps to remove carbon dioxide, a waste product of muscle activity. In addition, deep breathing can also help to relax the mind and body, improving performance.

    Furthermore, aside from the stretches above, there are other ways to improve your mobility, including:

    • Mobility exercises: These exercises specifically target your joints and connective tissues to improve their range of motion.
    • Static stretching: Holding a stretch for a sustained period can help lengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility.
    • Dynamic stretching: Dynamic stretches involve moving through a range of motion in a controlled manner, aiding in preparing your body for activity and improving joint lubrication.
    • Foam rolling: A foam roller can help release tension and trigger points in your muscles, improving mobility.
    • Bodyweight exercises: Exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups can help improve your strength and mobility.
    • Movement patterns: Focusing on proper movement patterns during workouts can help improve overall mobility and prevent injuries.

      Conclusion

      To sum up, yoga is a holistic practice that fosters physical and mental well-being while balancing mobility vs. flexibility. It combines dynamic movements, static stretches, and deep breathing to enhance both aspects. This unique blend of mobility vs flexibility exercises focuses on proper alignment and core engagement, optimizing movement patterns and muscle adaptability. Yoga is a comprehensive approach that nurtures a balanced range of motion and controlled movement, ultimately fostering a more resilient and healthier lifestyle.

      Improving your flexibility can also help you lose weight, reduce back And joint pain, and increase your energy. So check out now this Flexibility Over 40 Handbook!

      Flexibility Over 40 Handbook
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