Flexibility and mobility are two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably. However, it turns out that flexibility and mobility are distinct fitness skills that can affect your Jiu-Jitsu training and performance in different ways.
Here are some of the differences between flexibility and mobility.
Flexibility vs. Mobility
In simple terms, flexibility is passive, where mobility is active. Flexibility is the passive lengthening of a muscle or group of muscles. It relates more to muscles. Static stretches that you hold for a certain period of time, like touching your toes, will increase your flexibility.
On the other hand, mobility is the ability to move through a joint’s range of motion actively. It relates more to your joints and how much of the full range of motion you’re able to use. If your movement is limited, then it can also limit your performance.
Which One is Better for Jiu-Jitsu?
It’s important to work on both flexibility and mobility as part of your martial arts training. Because Jiu-Jitsu includes various movements that are multi-directional, improving your mobility will increase your strength and movement in these different positions.
At the same time, you’ll likely find yourself held in irregular positions while training with a partner. In these cases, increasing your flexibility will improve your ability to stay in these positions (without sustaining injury).
What’s the Best Time to Work on Flexibility vs. Mobility?
Mobility is best done as part of a warm-up or as a stand-alone training session. Doing mobility exercises before training will prepare your joints and make it easier for you to use a larger range of motion. Flexibility work and exercises are better to do after training when your muscles are already warmed up.
Flexibility and mobility exercises can contribute to your training efforts. But the downside for some athletes is that it does take some extra time and effort throughout the week. For the benefits to last, you need to do this work consistently. But even just a few minutes regularly throughout the week can lead to significant gains.
To learn more about the Jiu-Jitsu programs we’re currently offering at Team Rhino Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Meridian, contact us today.