top of page

Strength training and hypermobility

Updated: Apr 22

Building muscle requires energy. Approximately 2800 calories to build a pound or 453.59g of muscle to be exact. And the body can build about 1/2 pound or 227g of muscle each week.

To build and maintain muscle the body needs protein, at least 1g per 454g of body-weight or 200g/day if you weigh 91kg. Whilst you can build muscle strength, to be able to withstand greater loads and increase muscle endurance the question remains why is it that the muscle is not strong? Is it that it lacks strength? Is poorly aligned due to posture? Is the muscle timing out? Or is the problem structural or soft tissue?

Resistance training is a good way to build muscle strength and endurance but what about stability and balance? It is much easier to build greater strength and endurance from a stable base. When building endurance how aware are you of what is doing the work? For example what is moving? what is still? which part of the body is taking any excess strain? If you have increased your training do you help your body to recover, does stretching alone work, do you know what you can do?


Hypermobility or double-jointedness, affects about 10 to 25% of the population. It is common and now more fitness professionals and exercises specialists are starting to realise that a different approach may be needed for clients. Hypermobility can be experienced to different degrees but is does impact on joint function and stability and any disorder, such as Elhers Danlos Syndrome, needs to be managed.

Strength and resistance training can really help to support joint stability and function but it is important that joint integrity is maintained at all times. There is no single solution for strength and resistance training for those with hypermobility, it is important to assess each person individually. There are however some commonality and guidelines for approaches that can be taken.

It is common for hyper-mobile people to also experience additional conditions such as issues with gut, digestion, chronic fatigue, learning difficulties and also dislocations or subluxations.

  • Subluxations are when a joint is partially dislocated, there is a shift in alignment but the joints are still in close proximity.

  • Dislocations are when two or more bones in a joint are separated and forced out of alignment. The bones fully separate from each other and the socket or container of soft tissue where they are usually held.

When strength training for hypermobile people with dislocations, we need to ensure the joints are centred in their sockets and knowledge of prior dislocations is important. This will guide the initial ranges of motions worked with and the loads or size of weights used. When working with anyone with pain and inflammation, it is important to ensure that time is taken to calm the nervous system before gradually addition resistance and weights.

MELT Pilates is a great way to calm the nervous system and get the stability mechanism of the shoulder girdle, pelvis and core working. This then enables the body to work from a more aligned, connected, stabile place. It also improves proprioception, flow and less stress, strain & joint compression when performing exercises.

Working on a Pilates reformer provides closed chain exercises which also increases proprioception, control, support and resistance during sessions. The reformer exercises also offer greater degrees of progression, regression, adaptability and intensity that fast-tracks improvements,

To find out more book your 121 session with Zoisa

47 views0 comments


bottom of page