Archive for “flexibility training for young athletes” Tag

Young Athletes: Flexibility versus Mobility

 


 

Young Athletes Priorities

by Mike Robertson

 

What is the difference between Flexibility and Mobility?

I’ve always used the Bill Hartman definitions; they go something like this:

 

Mobility – Range of motion under specific circumstances (specific)

 

Flexibility – Range of motion about a joint (non-specific)

 

So mobility is specific to a certain movement – i.e. you need a certain amount of hip mobility to squat, lunge, etc.

 

In contrast, flexibility is non-specific – i.e. you lay someone on their back and stretch their hamstrings.  This gives you an idea of their flexibility, but it’s not specific.  Just because they have great hamstring length doesn’t mean they’ll be able to perform functional movements properly or without compensation.

 

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Flexibility Training for Young Athletes

 

 

Chris Blake gives answer some common questions about flexibility training for young athletes

 

What is the difference between Flexibility and Mobility?
Flexibility can have two definitions:

1.) The ability of muscle to lengthen during passive movements.

2.) Range of motion about a joint and surrounding musculature during passive movements.

 

Mobility can also have two ways of being defined. The main definition is the state of being in motion. But this state of motion can be looked at within certain joints (subtalar mobility) or as a physical whole (moving from one position into the next during a run).

 

Are both important to young athletes or is one more important than the other?
This is a great question. Both are important for the older athlete (ages 14-18+) as athletes within this age group tend to show more restrictions with both flexibility and mobility, often times once you take care of the flexibility then you improve mobility. But with the younger athlete (ages 13 and under) I wouldn’t place much importance on either one unless there has been a certain injury that limits each.

 

Are there different kinds of Flexibility, or is ‘bending over to touch my toes and stretch my hammy’ what all young athletes should be doing?
There are seven different ways of going about flexibility:

 

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