People generally have some issues with the specific hypermobility knee exercises that are currently out there. They either don’t work or they yield very little results. This is largely due to the simple fact that the current treatment around exercises for those with hypermobility, are built on a false premise and simply do not take into account the nuances that come with this population.
The gold standard at the moment for hypermobile knee exercises, and indeed any exercise for those with hypermobility, seems to be the old “build muscle around the joint to help stabilise it” approach.
This old outdated approach that has seen many hypermobile people simply lose interest in, after seeing it return such little results, comes with 2 main issues. Issues that most people don’t really talk about.
- Building muscle requires sufficient load and consistency to do so. How is anyone with unstable joints supposed to use such load required to build muscle and not get injured?
- Muscle gains are slow. If we use women as an example, and whilst ensuring that training and diet are on point, we could expect to see around a 10lb gain in muscle mass over the course of a year. However, there are no studies that follow muscle gain in those with hypermobility. So how much muscle are we supposed to add to create stable joints: 5lb, 25lb? and how are we supposed to even add muscle tissue when we can’t handle the load required to build muscles in the first place?
There are also other issues, such as why do women with high muscle mass still dislocate, whilst others with less muscle mass dislocate less?
The current treatment seems to fall apart somewhat when we start to question it. No wonder this current treatment has caused so much distress and gaslighting to those with hypermobility when it doesn’t even make any sense. We have seen so many people in the studio who have all reported the same thing, they did their physio, it didn’t work, and they were blamed for not trying hard enough.
What’s needed in a hypermobile knee exercise?
In order to stabilise a joint, a few key points need to be met:
- You need a tactile cue to light up the areas of the brain dedicated to the knee, in order to connect to the tissue.
- The load needs to be used in a closed chain fashion.
- Specific mapping techniques need to be used to detail those cortical maps and give control over the joint again.
- Load needs to be increased over time to ensure tissue tolerance goes up.
Many people have used many different forms of exercise to help stabilises hypermobile knees, and whilst we often see swimming or hydrotherapy as a form of great exercise, please remember there are issues with these.
We live on land and we need to be able to deal with the various forces that enact upon us. Whilst swimming can be a great form of cardiovascular exercise, it is not doing a great deal in the form of stabilising our joints, and it takes away the loading forces that will help up in the long run, which can decondition us further.
There is also an issue with the use of hydrotherapy, those 39-degree waters will vasodilate our blood vessels, forcing our hearts to work harder to pump blood around, as well as causing blood pooling, potentially making us dizzy and faint. Which is not want we want when we are in a large body of water.
Load is a crucial part of stabilising joints, however, it needs to be the right form of load. Open chain exercises such as the leg extension machine you would find at any gym, are a good example of bad load, putting large leverage forces through tissue, which those of us with hypermobility can not properly handle(yet).
A good hypermobile knee exercise needs to be transferable to everyday life, meaning the benefits of it cross over to other movements and other activities.
How to do the hypermobility knee exercise in the video
There seems to be much demand for a simple and effective hypermobility knee exercise. So, below you can find one of our favourite hypermobility knee exercises, which is aimed at helping those with hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, by addressing some of the real issues that need to be addressed.
Keep in mind, that a large problem with hypermobility exercises, in general, is that individuals tend to have trouble contracting the right tissues or even feeling the muscle they are exercising in the first place. This is why a tactile cue, used with a closed chain exercise, is a great way to train the tissue and your brain, in an exercise that is transferable to everyday life.
For this type of exercise, it is far better to use time, rather than sets and repetitions. You can start off performing this exercise for up to 1 minute twice per day, and spend the next 3 weeks trying to get up to a total of 4 minutes.
— The Fibro Guy Team —