Mobility apps and programs can help to improve range of motion at the joints. This may ultimately lead to improved athletic performance, reduced risk of injuries, better posture, and better overall movement.
Often confused with flexibility, mobility is an incredibly useful thing to improve… however, it can be challenging to know what movements to do and how long for…
Luckily, mobility apps can provide the structure and guidance you need to help create habits around mobility training. As we discuss in this review, some apps even include tests to help you understand your current levels of mobility so you can identify weaknesses and areas to improve.
We’ve listed out 6 of the best mobility apps and programs for various purposes below, helping you decide which mobility app is likely to help you reach your goals.
AT A GLANCE – BEST MOBILITY APPS
2. MOBILITY MANUAL
Best customized program.
Best stretching program.
Why Trust Us? Review Process Explained
We believe in editorial integrity and providing genuine value to our readers. For this review of the best mobility apps, we tried and tested 14 different fitness apps that promised to improve mobility. We evaluated each app based on ease of use, features, content, programming and overall effectiveness.
Best Mobility Apps and Programs
Pliability – Best Overall
Pliability (previously known as ROMWOD) is a fantastic mobility app, designed to help you move better. From average gym-goers to elite athletes, Pliability’s daily mobility routines and programming are second-to-none.
The workouts are science-backed and include a lot of movements that are common in sports physiotherapy.
Originally focused on CrossFit athletes, Pliability recently re-branded to illustrate their value to a wider audience.
We think this was a very smart move as CrossFit always highlighted the importance of mobility training and stretching, but lots of other sports and those just going down to their local gym, or even exercising at home, probably don’t give these seemingly simple movements enough focus in the week.
We selected Pliability as the best overall mobility app because the membership gives you access to a vast library of online stretching and mobility workouts, as well as daily routines to follow along to.
Pliability’s mobility app includes a baseline mobility test so you can better understand your current mobility levels. This also helps to get tailored recommendations to address potential weaknesses, which we think is a really powerful tool.
With an average rating of 4.8/5 on both Android and iOS, it’s clear most users also consider this the best mobility app.
We’ve found compared to other apps, Pliability’s use of expert instructors and well-thought-out camera angles, make following along to the movements very easy and straightforward.
The app also tells you how long each routine is and what body parts are worked, which makes it very intuitive to find specific routines that will suit your requirements.
You can also grab a 7 day free trail and see for yourself what it’s like.
Mobility Manual – Best Customized Program
Mobility Manual, founded by British Olympic weightlifter Sonny Webster, offers a range of programs designed to help you improve your mobility.
Their online reviews are outstanding, and we were really impressed by the level of customer support we received and the overall experience of signing up and gaining access to the programs.
They are also the only company we found that offered a completely customized plan, designed specifically around your needs and requirements. For us, the value this offers is huge and although it is priced higher than a more general mobility app subscription, the level of support and accountability you get with this one-off purchase means you’re likely to see noticeable results quicker.
This customized program lasts 6 weeks and will empower you with the tools, knowledge and movements needed to help you move better.
A problem we’ve seen many fitness programs and apps fall into is how to adapt the movements for different levels of experience, strength and existing mobility/flexibility. “Beginner” means different things to different people, so it’s often hard to create universally popular programs in the fitness space.
A solution is to offer a more customized and personalized program that allows the customer to provide details on what they want to get out of it… and this is where Mobility Manual’s custom plan really shines.
Their flagship training program, “The Lifter’s Mobility Manual” is also a great place to start if the custom plan isn’t for you, especially if your workout routine includes lots of Olympic lifts or weightlifting.
Recently, the company has expanded to include additional programs, including ones targeting specific areas, such as knees, shoulders and spine.
If you enjoy any of the programs, you can also sign up to their ongoing membership, which feels more comparable to other apps on this list like Pliability, GOWOD and StretchIt. Mobility Manual’s membership is very well priced for the features you get, and includes a lot of live-classes and community content, as well as gaining access to all their programs.
You can start a free trial and save 54% by opting for an annual membership if you like it.
We selected Mobility Manual as the best for a customized mobility plan because we think this is where it stands head and shoulders above competitors. Having an Olympian work with you to help you improve your athletic performance, or to simply move better, is hard to compete against and this is why we think Mobility Manual is well positioned to become a leader in the market.
StretchIt – Best Stretching Program
StretchIt claimed our top spot for the best overall stretching app, and it undoubtedly deserves mention for mobility apps too.
StretchIt is ideal for those who want to follow along to simple stretching routines, primarily focused on flexibility and mobility.
We selected StretchIt as the best option for stretching as the app includes a lot of challenges and programs designed specifically to achieving certain flexibility and mobility goals, such as doing the splits, or touching your toes, that come from stretching.
As we highlighted in our StretchIt review, the workouts go beyond just “stretching” and include a lot of mobility movements, balance training and coordination skills.
The online reviews are also largely very positive, with lots of users saying it’s really helped with their flexibility training.
StretchIt offers a 7 day free trail too, so you test it before you commit to a monthly or yearly plan.
(The promo code FITNESSDRUM30 gets you 30% off your membership so make sure you use that as you sign up to lower the price on both monthly and yearly plans).
VAHVA Movement 20XX – Best for General Movement
We recently discovered VAHVA, which includes various health and wellbeing programs.
VAHVA Movement 20XX is a beginner-friendly introduction into how to move better. It includes a lot of mobility exercises, as well as strength and conditioning workouts too.
If you’re a bit bored of the regular gym workouts or perhaps aren’t reaching your goals by following such programs, then VAHVA could definitely be worth considering.
We selected VAHVA Movement 20XX as the best for general movement because it includes all sorts of flows and workouts designed to get you moving better, without requiring any equipment.
It’s also beginner friendly and you can pick and choose which movements are suitable for your current fitness level.
Once you sign up for VAHVA you will be given access to their online portal, which includes all the content and programs. This can be accessed on mobile and desktop.
VAHVA is different from other options in this list in terms of pricing. Instead of paying a monthly membership, VAHVA Movement 20XX requires a one-time fee that gives you lifetime access to the content. Although this appears quite pricey at first, no ongoing membership fee means after a year or two, VAHVA probably becomes the cheaper option… but the initial cost may put some people off.
The technology system VAHVA uses is also quite basic (especially compared to some apps that offer very intuitive features), however, this shouldn’t detract from the fact the content is very high quality and you’ll learn a lot of valuable lessons around how to move better and avoid injuries and pain.
The Movement Athlete – Best for Calisthenics Athletes
As well as CrossFitters, the calisthenics community have also prioritized mobility training and exercises as part of their daily routines. Doing handstands, for example, requires not only strength and balance, but also a high level of shoulder range of motion.
Consequently, it’s only fitting that our next top pick for the best mobility apps is one that was born from calisthenics.
The Movement Athlete is similar to VAHVA in terms of helping improve all aspects of fitness, not just mobility. The difference between the two, however, is that The Movement Athlete packages this sort of training into more of a traditional app. Once you log-in, you have a dashboard that feels similar to what you’d expect from an app.
We really like the “assessment” feature to understand your current strengths and weaknesses. There is also a strong community and support group.
We selected The Movement Athlete as best for calisthenics as the program will introduce you to a lot of skills and movements associated with calisthenics and bodyweight training. If you like that sort of exercise, then this app won’t disappoint.
A feature we really like is the requirement to “unlock” stages within the program, making the experience feel like a game. Ultimately, this helps boost motivation and encourages you to keep at it.
The Movement Athlete is a more complete fitness app/program, so if you solely want something for mobility, the drawback would be that you need to manually search through it all to find the relevant content. If, however, you like the idea of following workouts to eventually allow you to do handstands or the splits, then this complete approach is likely the best option.
GOWOD – Best Free Option
Historically, GOWOD has been the main competitor to Pliability (previously ROMWOD).
The apps are pretty similar and until Pliability re-branded, both focused on mobility workouts for CrossFit athletes.
The features and content is pretty similar with that of Pliability, and personal preference will likely dictate which one you prefer.
Like Pliability, GOWOD has an impressive roster of users, including Matt Fraser (5 time CrossFit Games Champion).
We selected GOWOD as the best free mobility app because we felt the free content was head and shoulders above other basic, free apps.
We really like the fact GOWOD has a free plan which allows you to get familiar with the app… although to enjoy the more impressive features, you will need a premium plan.
Nevertheless, the free plan still helps highlight useful movements and workouts to improve your mobility and if you simply can’t afford any paid option, the GOWOD free plan will still provide good value for users.
Unlike Pliability, GOWOD brands itself very much as a tool for CrossFit, however, anyone doing any sort of activity/sports would benefit from the content too.
What is Mobility Training?
Mobility training is designed to improve the range of motion at the joints. This helps improve better overall movement. Mobility training goes beyond just static stretching and requires you to build up strength around the joints, so you can move with purpose, and ultimately increase your overall mobility in joints like the hips, knees, ankles and shoulders.
Although mobility and flexibility are different, to have good mobility, you will likely need to have good flexibility too… if your muscles are tight and stiff, you’ll struggle to move your joints through their full range of motion.
What to Look for in a Mobility App
Mobility training is still quite an ignored part of fitness. Compared to “HIIT” or “yoga” apps, there just aren’t that many options to choose from.
Ultimately, you want an app that is easy to use and allows you to follow mobility exercises in a way that suits you.
We find instructor-led video demonstrations are better than graphic illustrations to ensure you know how to move your body.
We also like apps that put mobility exercises into more structured programs, so you can follow more tailored training.
Impressive features, reserved for the more tech-savvy apps, would be things like mobility tests, that then build customized mobility training plans around your existing mobility levels. This applies to Pliability and GOWOD on this list.
Difference Between Mobility and Stretching Apps
There’s definitely some overlap between mobility and stretching apps. Many “stretching” apps will actually include mobility exercises too, such as StretchIt.
As a broad summary, mobility training would likely include more types of exercises, such as those designed to improve the strength and stability around joints, as well as passive stretching, that a dedicated stretching app might focus on.
We think mobility apps are a great way to improve movement, whether that’s for everyday living or for performing sport at an elite level. The movements are often quite simple but when performed consistently, they have the power to really help improve joint range of motion.
This review highlights that range of mobility apps all offer something slightly different. We hope it is useful to help narrow down your search so you can take your mobility training to the next level.