Flexibility and mobility training

Flexibility and mobility are the key components to physically being able to do the things you want to do, from everyday things like bending to tie your shoes, riding a bike and dancing, to the more athletic sports training and running a marathon.  As a trainer, regardless of your training goals, I ensure flexibility and mobility exercise is included in your workout.


The majority of the time, we hear the terms flexibility and mobility together, almost to the point of making it seem like they are the same thing.  However, even though they go hand in hand, they are different.

What is the Difference Between Flexibility and Mobility


So, if they are different, then, what does “flexibility” really mean?  In general, flexibility refers to the total passiveness and availability of range of motion (ROM) around a joint.  However being flexible doesn’t necessarily mean being able to move well.


On the other hand the word “mobility” is used as a term to express how well one can move.  If you can move yourself in a functional range of motion then you can say you have good mobility.


To look at it another way, we can all agree that there is a huge difference between a person who can raise their leg over their head and one who can raise their own leg for normal use easily and comfortably. 

So therefore, flexibility simply refers to the quality of your muscle while mobility refers to your joint’s actual movement.


Being flexible means you can get out of bed, squat down, bend your hip over or turn your head over your shoulder with relative ease.  You need flexibility in order to perform everyday activities without difficulty.


Unfortunately, flexibility deteriorates along with age and often because of a sedentary lifestyle.  With less movement your body can lose adequate flexibility and daily activities become more difficult to perform.

Flexibility - Work it or Lose it


As we age we tend to have less flexibility or have difficulty in maintaining it.  But aging is not the ultimate reason for losing flexibility. You might ask health experts and doctors might even advise you it is because of the aging process, but it is not.  Loss of flexibility is a result of lack of movement.


The moment you start leading a sedentary lifestyle your flexibility deteriorates.  It is not actually because we are not moving at all or have been more active previously, but more of not making it a priority to have an actual stretching program designed to maintain flexibility.


According to the famous Davis’ Law as it was originally stated by Henry Gassett Davis in 1913,  


“Ligaments, or any soft tissue, when put under even a moderate degree of tension, if that tension is unremitting, will elongate by the addition of new material; on the contrary, when ligaments, or rather soft tissues, remain uninterruptedly in a loose or lax state, they will gradually shorten, as the effete material is removed...”


As it applies to our flexibility and mobility, it basically means if we don’t use it, we lose it.  


Take a moment and look at a baby or a toddler; most of us would envy their flexibility.  When we are young we have good flexibility. We get to be a few years older and then realize how important that flexibility and mobility was and now we are fighting to get it back.  


So it is very important to stay active, maintain optimal posture and stretch regularly to help prevent the loss of flexibility and mobility.  We want to ensure our independence as we age.


Having both flexibility and mobility significantly reduces occasional and chronic knee, lower back and neck pain.

.Flexibility and Mobility - Flexibility Training


Self-Myofascial Release:  Self Myofascial release, also known as SMR, is designed to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by adhesions which keep your muscles from working in the way they are supposed to.  


This is an effective self-treatment protocol to target the adhesions (knots) that most stretches will not effectively loosen.


SMR involves using very specific pressure techniques typically on a foam roller but also on a sports ball.  SMR can be rather uncomfortable when done with too much intensity, so most people do not continue this effective technique.  


Appropriately taught, SMR does not need to hurt or be exhaustive.

The Benefits of Jason De La Cruz As Personal Trainer for Flexibility and Mobility


Everybody is different, and that means everyone’s abilities and requirements are different when it comes to exercise.  This could be anything from having an old injury that requires special care and consideration for safety, to having had a very sedentary or non-athletic lifestyle.  


I will not only help you exercise in the correct way, but also help you set realistic goals that you will be able to achieve - if you put in the effort, of course.  I can make things fun and interesting changing your workout so you do not get bored.  And I am great at encouraging you, reminding you of progress made, and keeping you on track to hit your goals.  

And remember, to schedule a complimentary training session or to get more information and chat with me personally, call me or text me at 951-206-7410


Tags:  Flexibility and Mobility, flexibility stretching, flexibility training, Murrieta personal trainer, active stretching, passive stretching, SMR, dynamic stretching, resistance stretching

flexibility and mobility training

There is a scientific evidence that proves when people include flexibility training in their workout routines the incidence of injury decreases.  This is because the ability to move in an unimpeded wider range of motion is enhanced during flexibility training.


If done correctly and accurately, flexibility training allows people to become in tune with their own body.  Flexibility training has many benefits and beyond the very obvious, flexibility training in known to improve both the mental and physical state through relaxation.


Flexibility training focuses on using stretching techniques to bring the muscle to a point of slight tension, therefore it should not cause any pain if done correctly.


Flexibility Training Stretching Techniques

There are many different types of stretching which can be used in flexibility training each designed for specific benefits and results. Below are some of its categories:


Static Stretching. This is the most common type of stretching technique.  It is wherein the stretch will move your body into a position and the position held for about 15-30 seconds.  


Static stretching involves a challenging but comfortable position held, slightly past the end of comfortable range of motion and held completely still (static).  This is also called Static-passive.


Productive as it may seem, beginners may have the need to prolong the hold for up to 1-2 minutes in order to achieve the true stretch that will lengthen the muscle fibers. Static stretching can be an easy way to begin and to work into more challenging stretches.


Passive Stretching:  Passive stretching requires the use of outside assistance to help you achieve a good stretch.  This assistance could be a strap, form of gravity, stretching device or another person, a leverage or even your own body weight, as examples.


With passive stretching, you relax the muscle you’re trying to stretch and rely on the external force to move and hold you in place.  This movement is the difference between this passive stretching and static stretching described above.


Active (Isolated) Stretching: Active stretching is a technique where you’re stretching a muscle by actively contracting the muscle which is in opposition to your target muscle. The target muscle refers to the one you want to stretch; it is the active part contracting the opposite side muscle.


With active stretching, you do not use any external device, or your body weight, etc.  As an example, with active stretching, you contract one muscle, such as the quads, to move the leg and stretch the opposing muscle, the hamstrings.  


The stretch is achieved via the brain recognizing the activity of the quad and telling the hamstring to relax;  This is referred to as Reciprocal Inhibition.


Dynamic Stretching: Dynamic stretching is a technique which involves movements that increase the range of motion at a specific joint to mirror a sports movement or activity.  


Most often, with dynamic stretching, a stretch is performed by moving through a challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly, usually 10 to 12 times.  This is also called Active-Dynamic.


The difference between Dynamic stretching and the previously described active stretching  is that Active is a slow controlled movement and this means it would be very hard to move past a safe range.  


Dynamic stretching has more speed and could really potentially move past a set safe range.  So one should start with a moderate movement and then gradually increase it while maintaining control.


There is a big difference between the stretching above and the old-fashioned and potentially harmful ballistic stretching.  Ballistic stretching is the kind of stretching which involves high speed bouncing which may cause harm.


Dynamic stretching on the other hand is controlled, smooth and deliberate as compared with the ballistic stretching which is uncontrolled and erratic.


Resistance Stretching: Resistance Stretching involves contracting muscles while simultaneously lengthening them.  This technique is based upon the natural way that muscles stretch.  


Resistance stretching is the most effective and efficient way to gain tissue flexibility and joint mobility safely.  This technique requires a well-trained individual as coach to ensure safety.


PNF Stretching: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, better known as PNF stretching, is a technique that uses contract and relax actions combined with Active Isolated Stretches.  The role of the coach here is to provide resistance as you also resist.


The coach is to guide the trainee’s limb into a stretch position while the trainee actively does the same.  The movement should just be very small. The trainee will relax for 10 seconds while the limb is held. This technique requires a well-trained individual as coach to ensure safety.