The Importance of Joint Mobility to Accompany Your Strength Training Program
by Beth Chiuchiarelli
Accredited Exercise Physiologist at MD Health Pilates
To get the most out of your strength training or rehabilitation programs we not only need to strengthen the muscles that move and support the joint but we also need to maintain normal range of motion of your joints.
Joints have cartilage that provide articular surfaces for shock absorption so that bones are protected when there is a load placed on them. They have ligaments that provide passive support as well as a dense fibrous capsule made out of many collagen fibers that encase the joint and not only provides static support but also provide a type of torque (wind up action) of the joint to help provide a transfer of load to muscles during movement.
Our joints are made to move over a millions of times in a lifetime and so if there is anything in a joint that is compromised and you feel pain or there is swelling. The damage has probably already occurred. Mobility of a joint is important to allow better efficiency of these joints so that their movements are not compromised and joints need to be strong so that they move better and in the right position. They need to be mobile enough to allow the muscles to do their job properly. If a joint is stiff there is less ability for the muscle to move the joint through its normal range of motion. The better the joint moves the better the effect the muscles will have.
Unfortunately, when there is muscular weakness around a joint or you have an injury muscles become rigid and have poor contractile ability and the capsule can become thickened reducing its ability to provide the necessary movement the joint needs. This can cause the joint capsule as well as fascia and muscles to become stiff, this can reduce your ability to improve your strength and so you may notice that we usually prescribe some sort of treatment such as myofascial release in your sessions. What we also like to do is teach you how this can be done on your own.
There are many pieces of equipment in the market today to help you complete self guided myofascial release to improve your joint mobility. We recommend foam rollers, spikey balls, even a rubber bouncy ball is fine. Currently we have been trialling the way we can use the heavy power bands to help with improved joint range of motion as well as the Lacrosse ball – which is the size of a tennis ball however made out of rubber.
Once we have assessed your joints range of motion as well as its strengths/weaknesses we can prescribe a very specific exercise and mobility program for you.
For more information contact us on 9857 0644 or email us at email@example.com