difference mobility and flexibility

“Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.” -someone v famous

Hey Coach, What’s the difference between mobility and flexibility?


Great question, anonymous! Flexibility falls under the larger umbrella of Mobility.

Flexibility refers to an Athlete’s ability to stretch their soft tissue. (Right and left leg splits, Seal Stretch, Bridges, etc.)

Mobility is a broader term that accounts for full range of motion (restricted soft tissue, joints; overall strength, balance, and coordination).

An athlete can be very flexible, but lack overall mobility.

When I was 10 years old, I was super flexible. I could lift my right leg up in a Y scale, pull it clear behind my head, and hold on tight with my left hand. Like a Ken Doll. I wasn’t particularly strong though, because I spent most of my gymnastics practices impersonating the coaches underneath the trampoline during conditioning.

Related: I never understood why men don’t incorporate dance into their routines. I always prefer to tumble to music. Women’s gymnastics shows  incredible strength AND artistry. I have always watched women perform their routines in awe of both their flexibility and mobility. I digress.

In the 6th grade, I had a crush on this girl Alayna. Her mom was a famous singer and she was on the cover of a bunch of teenager books. These are not so important details.

Alayna was the best dancer in school. Her small body could produce so much power while conveying drama and truth through every inch of her 4 ft frame. This was probably when I fell in love with Dance and Movement.

I wanted to leap through the air with the wings of a butterfly, too! And so, to win Alayna’s affection, I tried. My gymnastics background would certainly serve me here! In front of everyone! On the way to lunch.

What I didn’t account for was the slick mud in the school parking lot. You see, it had been an especially rainy week, and the dirt had turned to slippy dippy sludge. Well, I took off you see, and flew through the air!

But because of my poor conditioning and mushroom hair cut (Not the most aerodynamic of cuts, you understand.), I missed my footing and fell flat on my face, nay, flat on my body. A slow motion SPLAT.  Mud stain; Nose to Toes. In front of the whole 6th grade. Awesome.

I wish that I had paid more attention to mobility at that point, I could have saved the skill! But to be honest, I was more interested in having the right grey sweatpants on, then doing lunges and foam rolling after gym class.

Hope this very scientific answer meets you on a glorious day!

-Coach Judah


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