Musicians' Health Collective

Musicians' Health Collective: Supporting the health of musicians

Hypermobility Resource Guide

Looking at elbow ROM.

Looking at elbow ROM.

I've been totally overwhelmed at the thousands of people who've read my last post, The Darker Side of Hypermobility, and I wanted to offer a part 2 of resources, suggestions, and other very well thought out blogs worth reading on the subject for a large range of movement professionals.  There is a ton of material on this subject, and I'm delighted to see so many people interested in supporting their clients through education, better assessments, and more. 

Some general suggestions for the hypermobile population, inspired by Katy Bowman, Brooke Thomas, Jill Miller, and many other folks here:

-Seek a movement professional who can help assess your ROM and identify where you need to stabilize your joints.  That may be an Alexander Technique teacher, Feldenkrais teacher, Yoga Tune Up® instructor, Restorative Exercise Specialist, strength and conditioning coach, Pilates teacher, physical therapist, Rolfer, or other professional. 

-Make your goal to increase proprioception (awareness of your body in space, awareness of your joints), through whatever means necessary.  This can be a movement class, a bodywork session, self-massage with Yoga Tune Up®/Melt Method®, etc. 

-Stop doing whatever is hurting you most, whether that be working with a coach/instructor who pushes you to your limits (or beyond) or a class that praises your "flexibility" as an end goal.

-Start addressing your muscle "tightness" (and weakness) issues, and stop using your ligaments to do the job. 

Self massage is an amazing way to increase proprioception and manage pain.

Self massage is an amazing way to increase proprioception and manage pain.

-Focus on quality of movement and motor control, rather than jumping headfirst into the heavy intensity/load arena.  (AKA. progress in a slow, thoughtful way in gathering strength)

-Seek a medical professional's advice, as to whether your hypermobility is part of a larger diagnosis, or correlates with other issues you may be having with your health.

Hypermobility and Athletes

Why You Must Not Stretch Hypermobile Clients, by Eric Cressey.  Great overview of ROM challenges in the strength and conditioning space for the hypermobile client.

Hypermobility and the Crossfit Athlete- survey of the challenges of being a hypermobile crossfit coach

Managing Laxity in Lifters and Athletes by Tony Gentilicore- this is probably one of my favorite blogs on the subject from the strength and conditioning vantage point.  Right away, he establishes a major priority (which I agree with) to be "increase proprioception and re-establish proper stabilization of major joints."

Hypermobility and Dance

Teaching the Hypermobile Dancer -this is more science oriented from the vantage point of a British PT, but definitely worth reading.

My Daughter is Hypermobile- a short read on what it means to be the parent of a hypermobile child dancer

Managing Joint Hypermobility, a Guide for Dance Teachers- terrific, detailed info sheet for dance and movement instructors on seeing hypermobility and assessing it

Hypermobility and Pilates

Pilates for Hypermobility- Much in line with the other articles here, this is a general blog on suggestions for pilates instructors.

Hypermobility- Keeping it In the Box: A short article on controlling ROM for pilates instructors.

Hypermobility and Yoga

Mobility's Dark Side, by Brooke Thomas - Brooke is a terrific writer, podcaster, and movement thinker, and her blog for Breaking Muscle is excellent. 

WAWADIA, curated by Matthew Remski.  This ongoing blog/project/future book is looking at the hard questions in the yoga community, and Matthew has talked about the praise of hypermobility many times.  This is just one interview with Diane Bruni in a series of many thought-provoking interviews.

Is too Much Stretching Bad for you? by Jill Miller- Jill (and many other YTU teachers, including Trina Altman) has been incredibly open about her experience with joint instability and pain as a result of too much yoga.  Jill (and the Yoga Tune Up®) challenges a dominant yoga paradigm of stretching and flexibility as the "goal" of yoga asana.

Hypermobility by Katy Bowman- As usual, KB schools the world on what hypermobility really means in general populations, and reminds us that "People with hypermobile joints actually have very (very, very!) tight muscles."

Hypermobility, and 12 steps to Stronger Shoulders - Here, Katy Bowman looks at things you can do right now to improve your proprioception, plank position, hanging position, and other hypermobile woes.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I welcome any additional resources you may have.  To learn more about Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, and the stories of people living with that diagnosis, read:

Living with EDS, which has a series of short blogs from people of all ages and types of EDS

So You Think You Might have EDS, which depicts the various symptoms of the different types/classes of EDS, and is extremely detailed.

Living Bendy: Life with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which is a very realistic, honest blog about some of the immense frustrations and challenges of EDS.