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The Difference Between Mobility vs Stretching And How It Affects You!

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The Difference Between Mobility vs Stretching And How It Affects You!

The confusion between mobility and stretching is a very common one. Both of these terms are often used interchangeably which makes their differences confusing.


Stretching is a training which improves flexibility within a given muscle. This can be done either through static stretching holds or dynamic stretching through a desired range of motion. The effects of stretching are only temporary, and muscles can 'stiffen back up' hours after. However, when regularly completed the increased range of motion can become more permanent, this is achieved not through the 'lengthening of a muscle' but a greater stretch tolerance of them muscle.


Mobility is a fitness attribute that can be classed alongside other attributes such as:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power, and
  • Aerobic Fitness

Mobility is the combination of strength and flexibility that allows you to actively achieve extended ranges of motion. Think of sitting in the bottom of a squat position. Holding this position requires a much higher level of strength and flexibility vs trying just to touch your toes. This key difference makes mobility a much more important attribute for athletes or anyone performing regular exercise whether that be strength or aerobic training.

Common Problems

Some common problem areas we see people struggling with include:

  • Tight hips (unable to internally and externally rotate or flexing and extending)
  • Anterior Pelvic Tilt
  • Tight Shoulders (unable to extend overhead or back behind the back), and
  • Tight Muscles (unable to get the knee over the toes)

In order to try to remedy these problems we will first prescribe mobility movements to warm up to free up the range of motion, followed by strengthening exercises that force you to get stronger in these compromised positions. The strength in these positions is what will make the increased range of motion more permanent.

Some examples of the movements used to address these issues include:

  • World's greatest stretch (improve hip and back mobility)
  • Downward dog (improve shoulder mobility)
  • Toe walks and heel walks (improve ankle mobility and strengthens supporting muscles)
  • Cossack lunges (improve strength where hips are externally rotated)
  • 9090 hip switches (hip internal and external rotations)
  • 9090 hip lift with foam roller squeeze (fix anterior pelvic tilt and learn ow to compress the ribcage)

The earlier you can start implementing these movements into your training, the more benefits you'll see in the long run.

Get in touch with us at Inner Athlete if you are ready to feel better and improve your performance.

Matt Hucul
Junior Strength Coach
Inner Athlete (AUS)

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