Some time ago, I did an interview with Eric Cressey on ‘Young Athletes & Mobility Training’…
… You’re about to understand why Eric is considered one of the VERY best in the world:
BG: Eric, what is the difference between ‘Mobility’ & ‘Flexibility’ and when in a training program do each apply
EC: Those are great questions, Brian; very few people understand the difference – and it is a big one.
Flexibility merely refers to range of motion – and, more specifically, passive range of motion as achieved by static stretching. Don’t get me wrong; static stretching has its place.
I see it as tremendously valuable in situations where you want to:
- Relax a muscle to facilitate antagonist activation (e.g. stretch the hip flexors to improve glute recruitment)
- Break down scar tissue following an injury and/or surgery (when the new connective tissue may require “realignment”)
- Loosen someone up when you can’t be supervising them (very simply, there is less likelihood of technique breakdown with static stretching because it isn’t a dynamic challenge)
However, the principle problem with pure flexibility is that it does not imply stability nor preparedness for dynamic tasks.