Hypermobility and strengthening. Is it even possible?
I can understand how it can feel like an impossible task. However, if we follow key instructions on how to do so, strengthening when you have hypermobility is entirely doable.
Strengthening what? Everything!
If you are not working on your strength, you are getting weaker. Weakness will always be your enemy; whether it is because you are sick or busy, it works against you. That means that you have to accept some long-term principles.
In this blog post, we'll discuss:
- Doing crunches & sit-ups.
- Common Myths about hypermobility and strengthening.
- The issue around not having enough time.
- How to strengthen from home without equipment.
- Proper lifting techniques.
- Reasons to strengthen when you have hypermobility.
- Rules to strengthen when you have hypermobility.
Doing crunches and sit-ups
Core strength is crucial when you have hypermobility; crunches and sit-ups are everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they will do you any good.
I don’t recommend doing crunches and sit-ups if you have hypermobility. Unless you are doing them handing off of a bar where you don’t have any fixed force in your back, they will not work well.
Even if you have good form and technique, it’s too hard on your spine. Pick a core exercise where you move your legs and arms while supporting your back.
Common myths about hypermobility and strengthening
- More is always better: this may come as a shock, but the problem isn’t usually the exercise itself but the way you do it. For this reason, more is not better, but the right amount is better. Also, “no pain, no gain” is not correct either.
- Alignment is not important: using correct alignment is paramount. As with any joint injury, if you don’t use it correctly and in the right position, it doesn’t get stronger, no matter how many steps or reps you do.
- You should start big: don’t be afraid to start small with exercises. Activate the correct muscles and control them first before beginning to move.
The issue around not having enough time
The truth is time should not be a barrier.
You need 15 minutes, three days a week. If you can’t set aside a total of 45 minutes in your week to do your exercises, you might need to look at your priorities and what your health is worth.
I would argue that getting stronger and being more productive and efficient for the rest of your life is well work the commitment of 45 minutes a week.
Don’t you agree?
How to strengthen from home without equipment
If you don’t have equipment at home, you already have many options in your house, for example, water bottles.
- 16-ounce water bottles are equal to one-pound weights.
- 32 ounces, two-pound weights.
So you’ve got options where you can use them for light, light weights and exercises. If you have an old milk jug, you can fill it full of water, which gives you eight pounds.
If you like these sizes but want something a little bit heavier, then fill them up with rocks, sand, dirt, or whatever you’ve got around your space.
You can weigh them or estimate because it doesn’t matter if it’s two and a half or three pounds. As long as it feels like it’s about the amount of weight that you need for whatever exercise you’re trying to do.
Properly lifting techniques
- Squat to lift and lower. Do not bend at the waist.
- Maintain your lower back bowed in a while, bending over.
- Keep the weight as close to you as possible.
- Bow your back in and raise your head first.
- Do it with your feet if you must turn, not your body.
Reasons to strengthen when you're hypermobile
- Strengthens muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which increases support.
- Benefits aerobic capacity/endurance.
- Increases bone density.
- Improves balance and proprioception.
- Boosts self-confidence and quality of life.
You must make accommodations to decrease pain and increase strength when you have hypermobility.
By adding a strength training program to your routine three times a week and following these suggestions, you will see a significant difference.
Remember, you always need to make an effort towards strength training with hypermobility.
Having Hypermobility can affect your life in many different ways. It is up to us to spread awareness about this condition, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and tell your loved ones how you feel about these common misconceptions.
If you are looking for Hypermobility resources, feel free to check out my blog.
Are you looking to manage your Hypermobility symptoms?
Check out the Hypermobility Solution, the Hypermobile Neck Solution, and Hypermobility 101.