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December 19, 2023

233 | Mobility and Flexibility: Improving Range of Motion and Performance

Flexibility is the capacity for mobility. And mobility CAN certainly make for superior strength and hypertrophy. 

I mentioned in another podcast recently that more and more I view mobility as youth.

Range of motion can be looked at in passive and active lenses.

Passive = flexibility. Think sitting in the splits or doing a pec stretch in the doorway. These are passive and/or assisted.

Active range of motion = mobility.

How well can your muscles move your joint through its range? Think about sliding into a straddle and using your legs to pull yourself back up. Or for the pec example, doing shoulder CARs. What is your shoulder mobility if you simply and SLOWLY take your shoulder through internal and external rotation as you flex and extend your shoulder in as large of a circle as you can?

If you don’t have the passive range, you won’t have the active range. But you can absolutely HAVE the passive range and still not have the active range.

So what is the role of mobility and flexibility in performance (let’s say strength and movement patterns in this case) and building muscle?

That’s what todays episode is all about.

And it matters. It’s why mobility is integrated into Built by Annie programming.

Mobility and Flexibility benefits for Hypertrophy

  • More muscle fiber recruitment (more range often = more STRETCH leading into a contraction)
  • More functionality
  • Potentially less pain
  • More range = more time under tension *potentially*

Mobility and Flexibility benefits for Strength

  • More range = more potential to build strength at different angles (improving OVERALL strength of a movement pattern or muscle group) 
  • More mobility potential to be GAINED
  •     Loading an end range and pushing that end range can be HIGHLY effective for gaining even more mobility (light loads likely)
  • More range, like hypertrophy = more fiber recruitment if loaded properly which IS potential for strength gains 
  • More comfortability within a movement pattern
  • Less energy leaks within said movement pattern 

Hyper mobility is a thing. And it’s VERY important that we gain STABILITY in addition to flexibility and mobility. But generally, for most people, there are few downsides to gaining mobility and strength.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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