Step By Step Exercise For Joint Stability In Hypermobility?

Step By Step Exercise For Joint Stability In Hypermobility?

Joint hypermobility, is when all joints in the body have an unusually large range of motion. While as a younger person, the ‘talent’ puts us at an above average performance in certain sports and activities, it has a hefty price to pay later and that ‘later’ is not many decades later either! It comes with risks such as joint instability, pain, and an increased injuries such as dislocations and sprains. Managing hypermobility means recognizing the wrong tendencies and replacing them with the correct mechanics of movement. This involves exercise regimen that not only protects the joints but also strengthens the muscles around them, providing stability and reducing pain.

Why Is exercise Important For Joint Hypermobility?

Regular exercise plays a critical role in managing joint hypermobility for several reasons:

  • Strengthening Muscles: Strong muscles around hypermobile joints act as stabilizers, reducing the risk of injuries and improving joint function.
  • Improving Proprioception: Exercises enhance body awareness and coordination, helping individuals better control their joint movements.
  • Pain Management: Consistent physical activity can help alleviate chronic pain associated with joint hypermobility.
  • Enhanced Posture: Strengthening exercises improve overall posture, reducing stress on hypermobile joints.

Why Are Muscles Tight With Hypermobility?

Muscle tension is present because of:

  • Compensation: Muscles work harder to compensate for the lack of joint stability, leading to increased tension.
  • Protective Mechanism: The body may tense muscles around hypermobile joints to prevent excessive movement and potential injury.
  • Dysfunctional Movement Patterns: Poor proprioception and coordination can lead to dysfunctional movement patterns with mechanics of movement that call for too much and too little work of the muscles that would have been otherwise used in those specific movements. This creates imbalance with tension being a part of that picture.

What Are The Best Types Of Exercises For Hypermobility?

The best type of exercise is the one necessary to set the foundation for other movement and exercises. That means Developmental Exercises such as Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization or DNS which is learned by studying babies moving from helpless infant stage to the running toddlers.

If we all have gone through those same movements, without being coached, going to a gym, lifting any weights, seeing any PT, DC or a personal trainer, then we must be programmed to do that automatically.

Why reinvent the wheel when we already know what our ‘factory designed’ methods of movement are! These are exercises that require following the principles of movement as shown in the video below which I emphasize for all of my patients, pelvic floor dysfunction or not.

Once the foundational exercises are established, we can focus on activities that enhance strength, stability, and proprioception further while minimizing the risk of injury. Here are some of the best types of exercise:

Strength Training

Strength training is crucial for stabilizing hypermobile joints. Focus on exercises that target the major muscle groups around the joints, such as:

  • Bodyweight Exercises: Squats, lunges, and push-ups following the principles of movement.
  • Resistance Bands: These provide a controlled way to strengthen muscles with a lower risk of injury. Once again, following the principles of movement.
  • Weight Training: Light to moderate weights with higher repetitions can build endurance and strength without overloading the joints.
  • My favorite exercises here are:

Functional Bridge:

and Functional Squat:

Pilates

Pilates emphasizes controlled movements and core stability, making it ideal for those with hypermobility. It focuses on strengthening the deep stabilizing muscles, improving posture, and enhancing overall body awareness. It is so important to note that skipping DNS exercises to do pilates exposes you to potential injuries. Pilates will extend core strength, allow controlled movement and flexibility (not instability)

I am not a big fan of Yoga for my hypermobile patients because most hypermobile individuals can easily fall on the instability of the joints with many yoga movements.

Swimming

Swimming and water aerobics are excellent low-impact options that reduce stress on the joints while providing resistance to build muscle strength. However, many times flapping the feet can lead to injuries. I, therefore, recommend to my patients to walk and move the arms. I recommend swimming because it is low impact, involves the whole body, and resistance with water is on the whole body.

Advance Developmental Exercises

Developmental exercises of DNS, focus on improving motor skills, coordination, and muscle control. I find these exercises to be extremely important because many of them challenge us to keep the principles of movement in place as performing them. These exercises enhance proprioception and stability.

When performing any exercise, the following should be kept in mind:

  • Start Slow and begin with low-impact exercises and gradually increase intensity.
  • Focus on Form vs sets and reps
  • Have a consistent schedule. I like the DNS exercises with heavy emphasis on the principles of movement; you can apply those concepts to the daily chores and activities, turning each movement an exercise opportunity.
  • Listen to Your Body and avoid pushing through pain. If an exercise causes discomfort, stop and reassess.

If you are hypermobile, it is so important to see providers that treat hypermobility. In the world of clinical rehab. what we do with our Normie population can actually hurt the Bendies. If you are hypermobile and are ready to tackle your joint hypermobility, please contact me.

Recommended Reading:

Who Diagnoses Hypermobility?

What Is The Best Hypermobility Treatment?