flexibility vs joint mobility

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by bowlie, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    I need to be more flexible to do pistols, especially in my hips, hamstrings and calves/ ankles. However I have read that just increasing flexibility without increasing joint mobility, i.e. the range of motion you have control over can lead to more injuries. Is greater flexibility a good or bad thing for combat sports (I have heard people say there is no point or that it can be detrimental) and how do you go about increasing joint mobility after?
     
  2. miaou

    miaou barely keeping it together

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    I don't think I've ever come across a strict definition of "joint mobility". The way I understand it, it has to do with the range or motion in all degrees of freedom of the particular joint in question and the muscular control over them.

    As such, muscle flexibility is an important factor in joint mobility. Connective tissue flexibility can also be a very important factor. Architectural properties of the joints can be important factors (stuff like femoral head angle, acromion type, bone spurs, etc. can significantly affect joint mobility). And then you have muscle control, that can also be a factor (inhibited muscles, improper motor patterns/muscle activation patterns, etc.). And then you have the interplay of all of the above (for instance, bad ankle joint mobility due to bone spurs will obviously result in bad gastrocnemius/soleus flexibility, etc.). And that is of course without mentioning the impact injuries (acute and chronic) can have on joint mobility (as an easy-to-grasp example, think about what IVD hernias will do to your spine mobility).

    tl;dr: there are many factors involved in joint mobility. In order to improve your joint mobility you need to assess each case on an individual basis and deal with your specific deficits.
     
  3. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    The definition I was going with is the range over which you have muscular control. I guess I was asking how to increase the range of muscular control over just range of motion it can be force through
     
  4. IbruiseEasily**

    IbruiseEasily** White Belt

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    At its simplest level - for the context of what you are asking.. you have passive range (the ability to passively move a joint in space) which is flexibility, and you have active range (using your muscles to move a joint through space), which is joint mobility.

    As miaou said - there are many factors at play. If you lack passive range, you aren't going to get more active range, simple as that. If you have tight antagonists, or weak agonists, you'll lack active range. You have to determine what muscles are tight and what muscles are weak.
     
  5. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    Active range is what im talking about. From your post I gather I work on stretching tight muscles or strengthening them?

    One of the arguments I have heard against static stretching is that weak antagonist thing. If you are tight in one area its because you are lose / weak in another, and by stretching the tight muscle you aren't addressing the underlying issue, and are just pushing your body further out of whack. Is there any truth to this? or is static stretching combined with strengthening fine?
     
  6. IbruiseEasily**

    IbruiseEasily** White Belt

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    To not make things too convoluted - if you stretch what is tight, and strengthen what is weak, you'll be fine.
     
  7. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    Perfect, Cheers
     
  8. Machete Juarez

    Machete Juarez Blue Belt Professional Fighter

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