Mobility vs Stability: How to Better Understand How Your Body Works

Did you know that different joints have different needs? To fully understand which exercises are beneficial for you and whether you need to strengthen or stretch your different muscles, you need to better understand how your body works. First:

What Is the Difference Between Mobility and Stability?

Mobility and stability are two completely different functions in your body, determined by different bone and joint systems.

Mobility is the ability to move

for example: leg swing, knee circle …

Stability has to do with being not easily moved

altered or firmly fixed, for example: squat, deadlift …

Let’s talk about what these words mean in the context of your body joint. Our body is composed of many joints. The two I like using to explain this concept are the hinge joint and ball and socket joint.

What Are Hinge Joints and Ball and Socket Joints?

The hinge joints are the joints of the elbow and knees. They are meant to only flex and extend. I like comparing them to the hinges of a door. For that type of joint, hinge joint, they require stability which means strong muscles to support their extension and flexion. Again, if we talk about the elbow, we need the muscles above (biceps and triceps) and muscles below (forearms muscles) to be strong to support the flexion and extension. It’s very common for women – I am one of them! – to have hypertension of the elbow and that can indicate weak muscles (especially triceps muscle). For hinge joints like the elbow and knee the priority is stability, so it is important to strengthen muscles above and below the joint.

Now let’s talk about ball and socket joints, like shoulder and hips. These joints need mobility, they need to move freely. Again, to come back to my example of the hinges of a door for the hinge joint, then the doorknob would be like a ball and socket joint of your body. If the range of motion is compromised in these joints, it might bring problems to the joint that is above or below. For example, if you have a really tight shoulder when you lift your arms above your head, you might push your head forward or bring the rib cage out forward to give you a greater range of motion in the shoulder. Or something similar could happen in the hip joint where your tight hips might start affecting your knee joint or lower back. When you want to improve your mobility, I would advise you to do dynamic movement, stretches and self-myofascial release.

I hope you start seeing the importance of understanding the body movement and function to have a better game plan on how to feel stronger and healthier in your body.

I also offer online pre-recorded packages that you can do at your own pace and at your own time.

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