Mobility and flexibility get tossed around a lot, often interchangeably. They’re actually kinda different…


Flexibility = your ability to passively express joint range of motion


Mobility = your ability to actively express joint range of motion


Do this test to better understand my point –


Stand with your back to a wall, legs straight, and then have someone lift one of your legs up as high as possible. This is your passive range of motion, or your ‘flexibility’


Now repeat the same test, but instead of someone lifting your leg, you lift it using only the strength of your own leg. This is your active range of motion, or ‘mobility’


In short, mobility equals your ability to express range of motion in a joint while also expressing the necessary strength, balance and coordination – by this definition, mobility is the goddamn KING


In the test you would’ve noticed a difference between the two. Your passive range will almost always be more than your active range. The larger the gap between your mobility and your flexibility, the greater your injury potential (because that range between the two is effectively uncontrollable)


Now the reason mobility such a hot topic for BJJ athletes is that the gentle art will make some serious demands on your mobility –


You’re rolling around on the ground playing all kinds of open guard, trying to take the back by twisting, turning, flexing, extending in an immeasurable amount of variations while at the same time you’ve got somebody trying to choke you out, take your back, break your joints etc. 


You’ve got two bodies engaged in perhaps the most dynamic and unpredictable set of physical circumstances possible…


It’s some fun shit. No doubt about it…




The problem comes about when you get put into a position where your joint doesn’t have the adequate strength to resist, or the adequate range to accommodate the forces your partner is applying. It’s injury time, amigo


So to sum it up. Which do we want more of – Mobility or Flexibility?


Well, we want both, but if we had to choose – Mobility is the goal


Keep in mind that the process by which YOU become more mobile might be different to another person. For some it’s achieved through more flexibility training, and for others more strength training. It just depends on where YOUR body is at


The Bulletproof For BJJ program is designed to address both of these areas. After following the program for a few weeks you’ll become aware of what you need more of and then be able to focus on those areas


Keep up the good work. Stay strong, and mobile ; )