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Hypermobile joints and Yoga

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A lot of us who are hypermobile, or “on the more bendy side of things”, tend to gravitate towards exercise that lets us make the most of our flexibility. This is why you’ll see a lot of super flexible people in yoga classes. The tough thing about being extra mobile is that often after you finish a class, you’ll feel achy in your elbows, knees and back, without feeling the muscle burn that you were after. The good thing is, with a few modifications, you can get your muscles working without the extra pressure on your joints, which is a great way to manage your hypermobility long term.


So, what should you be thinking about in a yoga class then?


1.     Unlock your elbows:

a.     It’s easy to over-straighten your elbows in down dog and plank poses, but if you bend the elbow slightly, your muscles will work much harder, and you’ll place less stress on the joint. You may even find it feels more unstable at first, so it may mean that you need to take a few extra breaks.


2.     Unlock your knees:

a.     Similar to the elbows, it is easy to over-straighten the knees. In yoga there are several poses where you’ll hear the instructor saying ‘straighten your knees’ remember that if you are hypermobile, this cue doesn’t apply to you! When you hear this, have a look at your legs; see if your leg is straight or has started to move into that over-straightened territory.


3.     ‘Tuck’ your hips:

a.     In any lunge posture people who are hypermobile often find it easy to make use of their bendy back and forget to set up their pelvis position. You’ll often hear something along the lines of ‘tucking your pelvis’ – this is basically the action you’ll do when putting on a pair of tight pants. By doing this with the hips before starting to bend in the back, you’ll start to use the muscles around the hip even more – rather than just your joints.


If you are hypermobile and looking for more tips on how to enjoy exercise classes, book in with one of our physiotherapists here.

Click on the links below to book online for a physiotherapy assessment and treatment or give us a call on 0438 648 884.

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