Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your Amarillo personal trainer. Today we’ll be talking about flexibility. If you have any questions about today’s post, then please give us a call at (806) 322-3188

Can you be too flexible?

Well, there is a syndrome called hypermobility syndrome, which shows that you can be.

So a lot of people fight with flexibility. And flexibility is a big issue when it comes to your overall health. If you aren’t flexible enough to perform your daily tasks, then other parts of your body will have to compensate which can lead to more injury.

So flexibility is definitely something that I as a personal trainer in Amarillo work with my clients on by increasing and enhancing it in their program. I also make sure that they can incorporate it into their daily life. Doing the little things like bending over to tie your shoe can help with flexibility without risking injury.

Now, there is a small population of people- typically 50-60% of American women- that have some degree of hypermobility. Hypermobility is where the joints bend at different directions than what they’re supposed to, so the connective tissue is not as strong as it should be. Then the joints start to move in the opposite direction of what they should. Think about someone who is locking their knees back. As they stand, their knees go behind them, rather just in the front.

So can that be a problem? Yes, it can. I said a small population, and then I said 60-70% so that doesn’t really match very well. Well the small population part pertains to those with and extreme case of hypermobility. Perhaps they’re walking down the street, and their hip tip tends to not stay in the sockett, and it slips in and out. Or they have more rotator cuff tears, or even hip labor tears. They have more of these kind of injuries than the average person would.

The 60-70% of people that have hypermobility, just maybe not to the same degree, have just enough to where they do things like locking their knees or elbows when they’re doing exercises or when they’re supporting their body weight.

So there are varying degrees of severity with hypermobility. And the more hypermobile someone is, the more support they need from their muscles.

Typically people with that syndrome have been born with it. They may or may not have known about it for their whole life. There are certain levels of it that are more progressive than the others, and that can lead to some pretty serious things.

So what do we do about it?

In the time that i’ve been working as a health professional, I’ve worked with many people in that situation in all levels of severity. And I’ve been able to help them learn to use their muscles rather than their joints.

When you’re born with something like that, you learn how to move first, right? Crawling, walking, and all of those things. But if you have a less taught connective tissue, then you typically learn how to use your joints to support your body, rather than your muscles.

Especially as females, whenever we are kids are muscles aren’t quite as strong, so we typically learn to lean on our joints rather than our muscles. The problem with that, is that is carries on into adulthood, you don’t really know how to activate your muscles. So your muscles live in a deactivated state most of the time where they aren’t being stimulated, so they cannot grow to build the muscle tone that you’re looking for, and it also cannot support the body in the way that it needs to be to keep you safe.

So what do you do about that?

Well to start off, nutrition is key. You have to have proper nutrition in order to provide your body with the nutrient complex that it needs to sustain life and enhance life. It won’t fix the problem. It’s not going to take someone from hypermobile to not hypermobile, but it can give them the things that they need in order to support their body.

The second part comes with exercise. You have to exercise, but you have to do it appropriately. Take someone with hypermobility into a typical crossfit or bootcamp class, and they could end up seriously hurting themselves. They don’t have the muscle control to control their body, so instead they just their joints.

A case in point would be if someone was holding a plank and they’re locking their elbows out, they disengage the muscles that they’re needing to hold the body up through the arms, and are instead resting the two bones of the arms on top of each other. That can turn into a problem.

What we do to help this is focus strength training in a therapeutic type of setting. So that mean higher reps, lighter weights, and focusing on strengthening the muscles all around the joints.

So let’s take the hip for example. We wouldn’t just focus on the hip by doing leg lifts over and over again, but that would be a part of it. You would need to work the leg on the outside, inside, front, back, and in rotation. You need to work the entirety of the complex to make sure that your hip joint can stay in place.

The next part goes with strengthening the core in order to be able to better support the weight of your body. This way you won’t be putting too much weight into your legs in a way that it wasn’t meant to be. In doing that you’re still able to learn to support your body through your muscles, and your muscles can then help you.

So if I was doing a flexibility test with a client with hypermobility, I would still test them on flexibility for sure, but I would be watching to make sure that it didn’t start to grow too much all of the sudden. So I would be making sure that I didn’t have an increase all of the sudden from the syndrome that they are experiencing. If they did, then we would need to reassess with a physician.

Typically through proper diet and proper exercise for the problem, then you’ll be able to control the problem a little bit better. It won’t cure anything by any means, but you can help to control the problem a little bit to where it won’t cause an issue. This way you won’t have that pain in your joints after you get done exercising. Your body will feel more energized throughout the day, because it’s not just relying on the joints and the muscles are starting to help out. Not only that, but your body will start to look different. You’ll see that muscle tone that you’ve been wanting, because your body is actually using the muscles now instead of just the joints.

So if you or somebody you know is suffering from hypermobility syndrome, and doesn’t know where to get started in the health and fitness realm, then we are here for you. We have an entire team of dedicated professionals to help you with your health and fitness goals. To get your consultation set up, give us a call at 806-322-3188 or email us at info@customfitness.biz At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.