Does Pliability Equal Flexibility?

Here at TB12™, we believe pliability is the key to achieving sustained peak performance. The difference between pliability and flexibility might confuse you. It’s easy to think that people who stretch frequently would be pliable, but that’s not necessarily true! Pliability and flexibility are not the same.



Flexibility, which often comes as a result of stretching, may lengthen your muscles to some degree, but it doesn’t soften them. When a muscle is “tense,” that means it’s overloaded, which can cause pain or lead to a damaging muscle tear. Stretching alone doesn’t address this. Pliability is all about lengthening and softening your muscles — which you can do through deep-force body work — to relieve tension.

In addition, when you stretch too much, you also run the risk of making your ligaments too loose. This makes it hard for the muscles to contract to an optimal state, and can increase the risk of injury.



Stretching doesn’t stimulate your muscles or train your brain in the way pliability work does. Pliability work helps enable 100 percent muscle pump function, which is extremely important to both sport performance and overall vitality. By providing positive and intentional trauma, pliability work helps optimize your muscle capacity in a way flexibility can’t.



Instead of traditional stretching, we believe that an active, dynamic warm-up paired with pliability work is the ideal preparation for any workout or athletic activity. Examples of good dynamic warm-ups are jumping rope and agility ladder drills. This kind of preparation, in conjunction with pliability work via a TB12™ Vibrating Roller or Vibrating Sphere, is more effective than stretching. If you need to stretch for any reason, TB12 recommends avoiding static positions and doing pliability work before and afterward in order to minimize muscle injuries, like micro-tearing and scarring.



The optimal form of pliability comes through targeted, deep-force muscle work provided by a TB12-certified Body Coach. However, you can also improve pliability at home. At-home pliability work can be done using devices like the TB12 Vibrating Roller and Vibrating Sphere or through partner pliability. If you’re unsure about pliability over flexibility, give the TB12 Method’s pliability exercises a try. You’ll feel better and will learn why pliability is the key ingredient in helping you achieve your version of sustained peak performance. You can find these exercises in our TB12 Method mobile app!



  • Pliability over flexibility: Stretching doesn’t provide all the benefits that pliability work does, and can even cause harm if done too often.
  • Train your brain: Enable 100% muscle pump function through intentional and positive muscle trauma.
  • Pre- & post-workout pliability: Open and close your workouts with targeted, deep-force muscle work to improve your pliability.


Shop Pliability