What is the difference between range of motion and the ability to move freely?
Great question. Range of motion is about the distance available in the joints. Moving freely is about the quality of the movement, regardless of the range. By moving freely, I mean moving with muscle, ligament, tendon, and facial integrity in relation to the alignment of the bones and the flow of forces passing through the whole body.
Obviously both range of motion and moving freely are important. It would be ideal to move freely through a full range of motion.
A problem arises when we have the range of motion but don’t move with integrity in the joints. This can lead to joint, ligament, and fascial issues. Because of this, moving freely is paramount to a healthy range of motion, especially in the aging process.