Flexibility & Mobility 101


What are the different types of flexibility? What is mobility?

For simplicity’s sake, we usually stick to the two pairs of passive/active flexibility, and cold/warm flexibility.


  • Passive Flexibility or passive range of motion (P-ROM), “refers to the maximum ROM that can be produced by imposition of an external force without causing joint injury.” (Supertraining, p. 173) Think of it as your safety buffer or protective reserve of how far your body can be pushed into any given joint angle.
  • Active Flexibility or active range of motion (A-ROM), lately often referred to as mobility too, “refers to the maximum ROM that can be produced under active muscular control for a particular degree of freedom of any joint”. (Supertraining, p. 173) Developing active flexibility entails working on muscular control and strength in end-range.
  • Cold Flexibility simply refers to the flexibility we have at our disposal at any given moment without having done any prior warm up. Usually this will be worst right after waking and get noticeably better during the day.
  • Warm Flexibility then refers to the increased flexibility we have right after physical activity, especially after a stretching-specific warm up.
Your passive flexibility will always be greater than your active flexibility, but with proper active stretching techniques you can close the gap considerably.


Similarly your warm flexibility will always be greater than your cold flexibility due to soft tissue’s viscoelastic properties, but developing great active flexibility will enhance your cold flexibility as well.
Source: Verkhoshansky, Yuri; Siff, Mel C.: Supertraining, 6th Edition, 2003


The Dark Side of Flexibility Training

Can you be too flexible?

Stretching for Runners

There seems to be an endless debate in the running world of whether stretching before and after a run is necessary or not. One camp suggests stretching avoids injury and protects the body from the harshness of the road, while the other camp believes stretching offers little benefits and in fact can actually cause injury.


So who’s right?


Well both camps are right to a point. Stretching, when done properly, can decrease the chances of an injury but if not performed properly, can actually increase your chances of an injury.


I’d suggest working on active & dynamic flexibility first, & make passive flexibility secondary.


I’m not knocking passive stretching (I do yoga everyday myself), but understand that it rides on the back of active flexibility & strength training.


The stronger your muscles are over their full range of motion, the better results you’ll get with your yoga or stretching.



 Stretching 101


Why Stretch?

While many programs out there now recognize the need for a
specific warmup before a vigorous training session, there
are still quite a few that either neglect a cool-down or
just toss in a few arbitrary stretches for a couple of min-
utes here and there.


This neglect can lead to increased resting muscular
tension, often felt as the sensation of being “tight” after
a hard workout. This increased tension can accumulate and
cause chronic muscle shortening and postural changes.


What are the different types of stretching?

  • Isometric/static
  • Dynamic/ballistic
In general, it’s nice to limber up with dynamic motions and if you’re warmed up, end it with isometric/static stretches.


Now that you’ve become oriented with the general framework around which we design our training routine, go on over to the Daily Flexibility & Mobility Routine.


Is there something you’re dying to ask but I haven’t addressed here? Leave a comment or reach out to me.


Join the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s