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Mobility vs Stability

Are you paying enough attention to your joints and movement patterns while you're training, or are you too focused on fat loss & building muscle?

Give me 5 minutes of your time, to help you understand why you should be putting more effort into programming joint health into your programmes.

Some joints require more stability, while others require more mobility. For example the ankles require more mobility, whereas the knees require more stability. If however, your ankles lack the mobility needed to performance certain tasks, this will put added stress onto your knees, requring your knees to become more mobile, which is then asking for an injury.

'Injury occurs when stabile joints are forced to become mobile'. After the knees are forced to become mobile, this then translates further up the chain, requiring more stability from the hips, (which acutally require more mobility) and so on. When this happens, your body has been put through an abnormal movement pattern, you're starting to use excess muscles that arent required during that task, this is where injury occurs. If you don't address the issues, then whatever you do in the gym/ everyday tasks will only contribute to the issue, making it worse.

In other words... if you can't demonstrate the required mobility or stability at a specific joint, your body take it from the joint above or below the issue.

'DR shirley A Sahrmann' states that when a joint loses its ability to move through its intended range of motion with control, then the entire joint system in the human body reverses and stable joints are forced to become mobile, leading to movement compensations, loss of optimal posture, decreased loading & strength potential and injury.

Hopefully, by now you're starting to get the idea of how this can become an issue?

Lets look at each of the major joints involved in the body, and see if they require more mobility, stability or both:

Cervical spine (neck)


Glenohumeral joint (Shoulder)


Scapulae (Shoulder blades)

Stability & mobility

Thoracic spine (mid back)


Lumbar spine (lower back)










Big toe


To really understand where you need more mobility/stabilty you would need a professional to do an assessment of static, passive and active tests on you, and to provide you with the results.

However, now you know which joints require more mobility, stability or both, you can start to focus more on that, and be able to feel where you feel restricted. Another simple way, is to put focus on External rotation, abduction and extension! When the hody has more of a sedentary lifestyle, your body wants to reverse into a fetal position e.g. flexed, adducted and interally rotated, so training out of this position will do you many benefits!

Try these warm ups, to get your body working in its proper synergies!

For lower body you could focus your warm up on hip, ankle and thoracic mobility, then begin to activate your lower traps, rhomboids and glutes to provide stability in your scapulae and knees.

For upper body you could focus your warm up on shoulder & thoracic mobility, then begin to activate your lower trap, serratus anterior, external rotators and rhomboids for scapulae stability.

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