Why Is Joint Mobility so Important?

Why Is Joint Mobility so Important?

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While exercising, many men focus on building their biceps and triceps, gaining six-packs, and increasing generally muscle mass. They put too little attention on joint mobility. Even though well-shaped body looks attractive and sexy, our joints can add or reduce the attractiveness of our body. Namely, neglected joints will make our body tight and rigid, which is far away from the sexy look. Furthermore, inflexible joints can result in frequent injuries and pain. No matter how hard we train to gain and shape our muscles, they will not prevent our body from injuries. They will contribute neither to our overall mobility nor will our body gain flexibility. To understand how our joints work and why joint mobility is so important, we should look at the joint-by-joint theory. The theory is developed by Gray Cook, a physical therapist, and Michael Boyle, a strength coach, author, and lecturer. According to this theory, our body represents a system of joints, where all joints are interconnected. Some of them are primarily designed for stability while others for mobility. Every problem in one joint will reflect on the other. To understand this concept and grasp the importance of joint mobility, the article “The Joint-By-Joint Approach” explains the basics of the theory.

Why Is Joint Mobility so Important?

Loss of function in the joint below–in the case of the lumbar spine, it’s the hips–seems to affect the joint or joints above. In other words, if the hips can’t move, the lumbar spine will. The problem is the hips are designed for mobility, and the lumbar spine for stability. When the intended mobile joint becomes immobile, the stable joint is forced to move as compensation, becoming less stable and subsequently painful.

The Process is Simple

Lose ankle mobility, get knee pain

Lose hip mobility, get low back pain

Lose thoracic mobility, get neck and shoulder pain, or low back pain

Looking at the body on a joint-by-joint basis beginning with the ankle, this makes sense.
The ankle is a joint that should be mobile and when it becomes immobile, the knee, a joint that should be stable, becomes unstable; the hip is a joint that should be mobile and it becomes immobile, and this works its way up the body. The lumbar spine should be stable; it becomes mobile, and so on, right on up through the chain.

Everything in our world is moving. Movement is an essential principle of life. If we look closer at our bodies, we can easily conclude that they are naturally designed for movement. When we watch the kids playing in the park, we can notice how they effortlessly and spontaneously jump, run, tumble, and swing around. However, when we grow up, our range of movements becomes more and more limited. Consequently, when we reach the old age, our bodies more or less experience difficulties with movements. Interestingly, the problem with joints and lack of ankle mobility do not hit only senior citizens. Athletes, as well as all types of people involved in various sports activities, can also suffer from this issue. To help our body retain its mobility and maintain a good nurturing for our joints, few exercises for joint mobility regularly performed can make a significant change. According to experts, this process is completely irreversible, which mean that consistent and persistent work on joint mobility can recover our joint system and increase mobility for our bodies.

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