Tips & Techniques

Mobility vs Flexibility vs Stability

Megan Long 
January 11, 2024

Mobility vs Flexibility vs Stability

How do you keep them all straight and how do they impact your overall health?

The trio of mobility, flexibility, and stability is crucial in optimizing physical performance and overall well-being. Let's take a moment and break it down for you. 


First is Mobility. Mobility is defined as the ability to actively move freely through a full range of motion. Good joint mobility allows you to transition through movements without feeling restrictions or having limited range. 

To better understand this, let's break down squatting. Have you ever noticed how some people can easily squat all the way to floor and others struggle to reach a 90-degree squat? There are many factors that may be contributing to your squat depth. One factor being good hip and ankle joint mobility.  To improve the depth of your squat one area that would need to be addressed is hip mobility.

Here are two examples of hip mobility exercises:

Next, let's talk about flexibility. Flexibility is the ability of muscles and connective tissues to passively stretch through a range of motion. Without good flexibility achieving the needed mobility in a joint can be limited. If we consider the squat as discussed before, in addition to good hip mobility, there needs to also be flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and gluts. Utilizing exercises such as passive stretching and elongating exercises will help improve flexibility.  Here are two examples of hip flexor and hamstring stretches:,



Last, but equally important, is stability. Stability is the ability to maintain control of movements or sustain a held position. Stability requires the engagement of muscles throughout the body. In order to properly utilize your mobility and flexibility, you need to have stability within the joint and the strength to control the flexibility. 

For example, having good core stability allows you to maintain your balance during activities such as yoga and dance; but is also needed to maintain control when running or kicking a soccer ball. Exercises to achieve this include core strengthening, balancing on unstable surfaces, and single leg exercises. 

In conclusion, the connection between mobility, flexibility, and stability is essential for overall well-being and optimal physical performance. Together they form the foundation needed for a balanced and well-functioning body throughout both daily activities and sports.

Meet the Author
Megan graduated with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from The University of Illinois at Chicago. Since graduating Megan has been treating patient in the outpatient orthopedic environment. She specializes in treating performing artists such as dancers, cheerleaders, gymnasts, and ice skaters. Megan has participated in several dance and gymnast specific courses and conferences over the years. Some of Megan's advanced training includes: Graston Technique, Rock-tape, Pose Certified Running Technique Specialist, Myofascial Decompression.
You were made to move!