- Why use a Mobility App?
- Difference between a Mobility App and a Mobility Program
- Difference between mobility and stretching
- The 8 Best Mobility Apps
- #1 Cali Move Mobility 2.0
- #2 VAHVA Movement 20XX
- #3 Berg Movement App
- #4 The Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach
- #5 The Movement Athlete
- #6 Pliability (ROMWOD)
- #7 GOWOD
- #8 Move Well
- Conclusions About the Best Mobility App
- Frequently Asked Questions About Mobility Apps
The best Mobility App makes you supple, strong and endurant. It keeps your body mobile so that you can go through with your day doing all the things you like to do. This can mean something as simple as bending over to tie your shoelaces to as advanced as climbing up a vertical cliff. Mobility, which is partly but not only strength, is the most important part of our existence. Yet, it is so often neglected, even among fitness and Calisthenics practitioners. A Mobility App gives you the tools to mobilize your body, keep it agile and supple and do it all from your pocket. These are the best Mobility Apps that get the job done.
Why use a Mobility App?
The mobile phone is completely integrated into our society, so it makes perfect sense that a Mobility App is also mobile. Many Mobility exercise routines are meant to be done on a regular basis. Day-to-day life often gets in the way of opening a Calisthenics Book about mobility or following a Mobility Program on your computer. A Mobility App lets you take your exercises with you, to work or on vacation. Most Mobility exercises don’t take nearly as long as, say, a full Calisthenics Program. Your Mobility App gives you the opportunity to sneak in your exercise during a break.
The app’s nature also makes using this program intuitive and convenient for most modern people. If you’ve used any other app on your phone, you’re almost certain to successfully navigate a Mobility App. This is coupled with the fact that apps, like computers or laptops, allow for a more interactive experience with HD training footage, all at the press of a thumb or finger.
Difference between a Mobility App and a Mobility Program
The difference between a Mobility App and a Mobility Program is largely semantic. All Mobility Apps contain a Mobility Program. The Mobility Program is the set of exercises you perform and (if it’s a good program) which progress over time. Most Mobility Programs you can follow online, via a website login or via a Mobility App. In a practical sense, there is very little difference in the use of both phrases. When we say Mobility Program, we mostly refer to the interactive programs you can follow online.
Most Mobility Programs, even if they are not truly apps you download but you login too via a browser, are very well adapted for the smartphone screen.
That said, there are Mobility Programs that were built entirely with the Mobility App in mind. These do tend to work more streamlined on your smartphone and don’t require a browser to work. Often, they can also be cached in your phone’s memory, meaning you can pre-download them beforehand and then follow the exercises even if you have no internet access at that time.
Difference between mobility and stretching
Mobility goes beyond stretching exercises, although stretching is a vital and important part of any Mobility exercise. Next to stretching, Mobility exercise strengthens your joints and muscles. Many techniques in Mobility exercise are known to the Calisthenics practitioner, and are used in Calisthenics to build agility, muscle and strength as well. This is why a Mobility App is a much better companion to a Calisthenics routine than simple stretching, since it can help mobilize and stretch exactly those muscles you are working out already.
The 8 Best Mobility Apps
We’ve used many Mobility Apps to date, these are the best 8 that we could recommend. Our main criteria of course included ease of use and the quality of the software. The most important factors to us were effectiveness of the exercises and how much training worth we got out of the program itself. These last factors preclude many apps from making it to our list. Other apps did have the right stuff in theory, but were frustrating to use, confusing or too expensive for what you got out of them.
Many of these apps and programs we have already reviewed. We’ve left links to very in-depth reviews where we have them. In these articles, we’ll take these programs and apps apart in much greater detail than we can do here.
#1 Cali Move Mobility 2.0
- Starting Level: beginner
- Price: $108.89 one-time, lifetime access
- Full Cali Move Mobility Program Review
- Discount Code: CWW10 for 10% off
Cali Move Mobility 2.0 lands in the top position with some margin to its direct competitors. The Mobility 2.0 program has no prerequisite to start yet advances to a very high degree of mobility over time. The 32-week program guides you from a preparatory phase to becoming a very supple practitioner with an acute sense of balance and ample endurance. Progress is just about right for the average person, but you can slow down if you come from farther away. By the end of the last level, you only need to repeat the last routines as maintenance.
For beginners and advanced users who seek an all-round Mobility App, we can highly recommend Cali Move’s Mobility 2.0 program. It is a very balanced program that will integrate perfectly with a Calisthenics program as it emphasizes both agility as well as strength and endurance. Cali Move is of course famous for its other high quality Calisthenics Programs like the Cali Move Complete Calisthenics Program. This Mobility app integrates seamlessly with that, both in terms of skill progression as well as general esthetics, learning curve and philosophy.
We found the sleek design of Mobility 2.0 very easy to navigate and it emphasizes the HD-footage of the train-along videos. Mobility 2.0 is browser based; however, the webpage is designed in such a way that it responds to your smartphone’s dimensions. You won’t notice any difference between a Mobility App and Cali Move Mobility 2.0 while in use.
#2 VAHVA Movement 20XX
- Starting Level: intermediate
- Price: $497 one-time, lifetime access
- Full VAHVA Movement 20XX Review
VAHVA Fitness’ Mobility App focusses on functional strength and mobility by mimicking animal movements. Especially those movements used by our nearest cousins in the animal kingdom, that of apes, are the inspiration for many Mobility exercises in Movement 20XX. It should come as no surprise that Movement 20XX tilts more towards the strength and endurance side of Mobility exercise. The emphasis lies with explosive strength and bouts of agility over isometric holds and static stretching.
Movement 20XX delves deep almost immediately, which can be quite a challenge to keep up with for the beginner. The app’s aim is to learn and control “Flows”. These flows are seamless transitions from one movement or hold to another without fail. Once mastered, they do instill a very high level of Mobility and strength in you. Flows are learnt first by mastering the holding techniques, then individual transitions and finally they are slowly combined into complete Flows.
This app is on the high end of the price spectrum, a point where we have dismissed other apps due to affordability alone. VAHVA Movement 20XX though is of a very high quality and its exercise routines should suffice for many years to come, even for the very advanced practitioner. Even with just 3 years of use, which would be short, you’re paying less a month than with many other subscription-based apps. That said, the price upfront is steep.
#3 Berg Movement App
- Starting Level: n/a (beginner to expert)
- Price: $19.99/mo. or $99.99/6 mo. or $159.99/y
- Full Sondre Berg Movement App Review
The Berg Movement App is at first glance a Calisthenics App, but one which focusses on developing movement techniques. These techniques borrow and more often copy from Mobility exercises to come to a very efficient amalgamation of Calisthenics and Mobility exercise. The general idea behind the Berg Movement App is to create something just short of your personal coach. The program can be tailored exactly to your needs, from a light Mobility App to heavy duty muscle building.
This customization is very easy to do. Exercises are grouped into modules and each module describes what it targets. You build your own workout using these modules as drag and drop building blocks. There are also preexisting routines made with these modules which you can either follow as is or customize those to your needs and goals. This makes the Berg Movement App extremely versatile and effectively becomes a 1-package deal for both Mobility exercise and your Calisthenics routines.
Navigating the sleek app is very quick and intuitive. All exercises feature train-along HD-footage of Sondre Berg himself, eagerly displaying the techniques you must mimic.
#4 The Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach
- Starting Level: mobility impaired / beginner
- Price: $14.99/mo. or $12.99/mo. with an annual subscription
- The Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach
The Virtual Mobility Coach by The Ready State is one of the most well-researched and physiotherapeutically sound Mobility Apps we ever used. Designed by Dr. Kelly Starret (author of Becoming a Supple Leopard), this app can take you from being mobility impaired up to a highly mobile, supple and agile athlete. Many in professional sports leagues and even the military rely on The Ready State for their mobility exercise. The Virtual Mobility Coach brings all that professional expertise together into your pocket.
The Virtual Mobility Coach consists of 4 chief parts; a mobility test, an automatically created Mobility exercise routine based on that test, daily maintenance exercises and a pain relief section. You can start using this app even if you are currently mobility impaired or are experiencing pain (we advise you consult your physician or physiotherapist beforehand).
The Ready State’s Virtual Mobility Coach functions best either as a standalone Mobility App for people who want to regain mobility, maintain mobility or who want a Mobility routine next to a dynamic sport like football, soccer, basketball, baseball, martial arts, and so on.
#5 The Movement Athlete
- Starting Level: beginner
- Price: $24.97/m or $497 for life-time access
- Full The Ready Movement Athlete Review
The Movement Athlete is a Calisthenics App with an equal emphasis on Mobility, strength and endurance. It is also highly customizable, offering a test of your current abilities and suggesting a training course tailored to your goals. You can tweak the progression curve and your goals whenever you want. This means you can also use The Movement Athlete as a great Mobility companion next to your Calisthenics exercise. Both can be done using the same app, if you wish.
Exercising using The Movement Athlete involves being active every day. Muscle groups and joints are alternated over various days, leaving enough rest and recuperation for each part of your body. The exercises are good for maintaining and building up mobility. Through the modular aspects of this app, you can progress from Mobility into general Calisthenics seamlessly.
The app itself is very easy to navigate and provides just the information you need to know without crowding the screen. Pictures and video-footage are very crisp and of high quality. Pricing is a bit on the higher side, in the same ballpark as VAHVA Fitness.
#6 Pliability (ROMWOD)
- Starting Level: beginner
- Price: Free or Premium ($13.99/mo.)
Previously called ROMWOD (Range of Motion Workout of the Day), Pliability has branched out to general fitness. With its roots in CrossFit, Pliability features many Mobility and Yoga inspired techniques to mobilize your body and make you more agile and supple. On top of this, techniques familiar to the Calisthenics practitioner to build strength and stability are also a part of its core workout routines.
Pliability has some of the best camera work we’ve seen in all Mobility Apps, or any other app for that. The camera angle is shifted accordingly to give you the best view of the exact technique used, including placement of each hand and how far to bend your joints.
Core strength plays a vital role in Pliability, which isn’t strange considering it started with a CrossFit focus. Calisthenics practitioners and general users of Pliability will find that its library of 1500+ movement routines is more than sufficient to retain mobility, gain mobility and build crucial core strength necessary to progress in Calishtenics or other sports.
- Starting Level: beginner
- Price: $11.99/mo. (14-day free trial)
GOWOD is a CrossFit centric Mobility App that is ideal for customizing your own Mobility routine. It focusses on the Mobility needed for more dynamic sports, like CrossFit, that demand a high level of endurance and stamina. Each individual technique comes with its own HD instruction video, ideal for learning the move perfectly.
The app tests your current mobility against 5 key factors, corresponding to the essential body-parts and joints needed for mobility. It creates a daily routine to develop your weaker areas based on the results. You can fully customize your routine as you please.
Exercise moments also come in either 8-, 15- or 22-minute versions so that you can choose whatever timeframe best fits your schedule. The app will adjust the routine, meaning you won’t miss out just because you can’t always exercise for the full 22 minutes.
We liked the graphics and display of GOWOD very much. Your progress is succinctly displayed using bar graphs and line graphs, giving you an excellent overview of your day-to-day and week-to-week results and progression. It really gives you a sense of how you’re progressing and where you could focus more on; be that investing more time or maybe changing up your routine.
#8 Move Well
- Starting Level: beginner
- Price: Free or Premium ($4.99/mo.)
Move Well is a Mobility App you use in preparation of other exercises, with a Calisthenics focus. You can compare your regular Calisthenics routine, and which exercises you plan on doing. Based on those exercises, you select the preparation for them in the Move Well app. This means a Move Well routine complements your Calisthenics Program perfectly, keeping you supple and agile and preventing injury.
Move Well features both static stretching and light Mobility exercises. With that, it leans more towards the stretching apps side of Mobility exercise. This can be a good thing if you’re already combining your Mobility with dynamic Calisthenics exercises, and you do not need (or want) more movement in your routines.
The app has you work out a 15-minute session every day, even on training days. Some exercises make use of a ball or a foam roller, which you can get separately. We found a simple tennis ball also does the trick.
Conclusions About the Best Mobility App
Which Mobility App is the best fit for you comes down to personal goals and meanwhile aims. By that we mean, what are you doing next to your Mobility exercise? If that’s nothing, then a more comprehensive Mobility App that also has you move more might be a good fit. Apps like The Movement Athlete and Pliability come to mind.
If you come from a very long way or are mobility impaired or are in pain, we recommend you seek the help of a doctor or physiotherapist first. With their help, you can use The Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach to alleviate pain, regain lost mobility or train up for a higher degree of functional mobility.
Combining a Mobility App with a Calisthenics routine is another option we see frequently mentioned. In that case, nuance is key. For more strength an app like VAHVA Movement 20XX is excellent while the best general purpose Mobility App for basically anyone is Cali Move Mobility 2.0.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mobility Apps
A few more frequently asked questions about Mobility Apps to close off this article.
Mobility Training, or Mobility Exercise work out the joints and adjoining muscles with the aim to promote mobility, agility and endurance. Mobility exercise can regain lost mobility due to injury or age, enhance existing mobility or be complementary to other workout routines like Calisthenics, weightlifting or dynamic sports. It also helps prevent injury.
Pliability (previously ROMWOD) has its roots in CrossFit mobility. Good alternatives would be GOWOD and the Sondre Berg Movement App.
The best stretching app for general Calisthenics is Cali Move Mobility 2.0, followed by VAHVA 20XX for a more strength-oriented approach.