Hypermobility

Hypermobility is a condition that allows joints to move easily beyond a normal range for a particular joint.

We all love to see the people who can put their foot over their head in a stretch, but when we bring this back to connective fibre, it is the hypermobile people that suffer more with pain in their knees, fingers, hips and elbows. Hypermobility can be passed on to children through their parents genetic makeup, as these type of people tend to have loose, smooth connective tissue.

Because hypermoblie people can move through greater ranges, they tend to be weaker in joint stability and they tend to find it hard to stabilise unless they use a full lockout position.  By placing joints into a full lockout position we are changing the natural curves the body should have. By placing the knees into a hyperextended position we are turning the knee from a secondary curve into a primary curve, which interferes with good body posture up and down the chain.

The worst thing hypermobile people should do are activities that increase their flexibility. This is because where a Viking (less mobility) person would take a stretch too, to feel it, the hypermobile person will stretch past the point of the normal range as they don’t feel a stretch at the normal range but unfortunately this will damage their joints and their joint stability, which can lead to osteoarthritis.

Im not saying that these people should give up their yoga, as I believe that yoga has many benefits besides flexibility, but they need to be aware in their yoga practice, to keep their joints slightly bent, even if they don’t feel the stretch.

The best exercise for hyper mobile people is to strengthen their muscles. Strong muscles are better equiped to protect the joints and their surrounds. The best kind of strength training for hypermobile people is Isometric Conditioning. This is when the muscles are working but the joints don’t change position. They should always practice control on any movement, whilst maintaining the natural arches of the body. NEVER LOCK OUT. Maintaining strength at the end of the range of movement helps counteract the joints vulnerability. They should try to avoid eccentric loading, which is almost impossible, but you can avoid taking the muscle back to it’s full length. An example of this would be a Bicep Curl. Take the movement up through the concentric phase but when lowering hold at the middle phase (isometric) then when lowering never go to full extension.