Flexibility vs. Mobility Explained

Flexibility vs. Mobility Explained

February 11, 2020

If you’re new to working out, you might have heard “flexibility” and “mobility” being used interchangeably. They’re actually two very different concepts, both of which are important for whole-body health and fitness. While connected, you should aim for achieving both flexibility and mobility in Phoenix, AZ.

The short version: flexibility refers to the ability of your connective tissues to temporarily elongate (think of doing the splits), while mobility refers to your body’s general range of motion. If you had trouble moving your right shoulder thanks to sleeping on it strangely, for example, you don’t have mobility—but that wouldn’t necessarily mean that your shoulder wasn’t flexible under normal circumstances.


If you’ve ever tried to bend over and grab your feet (or envied those who can), you’re aware of your flexibility. Your hamstrings are just one part of the body whose flexibility can vary, depending on age, exercise and natural ability. If, for example, you can only reach your knees or calves when you bend over to touch your toes, that indicates that your hamstrings have shortened and are less flexible.

The more flexible you are, the better—sometimes shortened tendons and ligaments can lead to pain during everyday activities. For whole-body health, you should focus on a workout that stretches your muscles and connective tissue as well as builds strength and endurance.


When mobility is an issue, you might notice that one body part has a limited range of motion. Some people refer to mobility as having strength within your flexibility—for example, you might be able to do the splits, but can you get back up from that position? That would depend on your mobility.

If you want to measure your mobility, try this simple exercise: stand up and raise your arms fully over your head. If that’s easy, you have a mobile shoulder joint, but if you’re having difficulty, you may need to use exercises that will improve your mobility.

This is especially important as we age. The unfortunate fact of life is that it gets more difficult to complete everyday activities the older we get, thanks to our bodies losing control over muscular function. However, the more you work out, the better your strength, flexibility and mobility will be. That not only makes you look and feel good, but it helps prevent injuries, too.

Improve your flexibility and mobility in Phoenix, AZ

Concerned about whether your flexibility and mobility are what they should be for your age group? Pamela Young Fitness is dedicated to helping our clients find the right workout program for them, whether they’re targeting flexibility, mobility, strength or all of the above. We work with each individual client to develop a workout plan that’s just right for you, making sure to address all of your concerns. We’ll work with you to create a workout plan that keeps you happy and invigorated instead of dreading your trips the gym—we want to be a friendly and comfortable gym you’re always happy to visit. Come check us out today!

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