Because of the generally greater degree of laxity in the joints, active stability becomes very important. Stretching is not a good idea for people with this condition. As much as it feels good, stretching is for decreasing tension in tight tissues–specifically, muscles–and with stretchier ligaments, chances are you’ll end up stretching ligaments instead of your muscles. Stretching—whether you’re hypermobile or not—generally does not help with this. This program is all about static and dynamic stretching of hip flexor muscles. Doing this program might stretch not your hip flexors but the ligaments of your hip and it may cause more harm than good.
However, having this type of condition should not stop you from exercising. These are the following types of exercises you can do:
1. Aerobic- This is the exercise that gets the heart and lungs pumping and transfers oxygen to the muscles. We generally achieve this form of exercise by means of activities such as walking, use of treadmills, use of exercise bikes, using cross-trainers and swimming to name but a few. Going up and down stairs if you can is another way. Swimming may be an option. You can either swim or simply walk around in the pool.
2. Strength -This form of exercise enhances muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. Being stronger reduces the risk of injuries and provides additional support to your joints. Having strength offers you greater capacity to undertake physical and functional tasks. Use some form of load (resistance bands, dumbbells, body weight – you can even use gravity). Some examples might include strengthening your legs simply by doing sit-to-stands from a chair, or loop a resistance band around the back leg of a chair that you are sitting on, pull it forward and place your foot in it, then straighten out your knee. Strengthen arms by doing bicep curls holding a tin of beans or a carrier bag with stuff in it. Strengthen shoulders by holding a small dumbbell in your hands and raising your arms out to the side (be careful if you are prone to subluxations/dislocations).
3. Flexibility - Despite being hypermobile, parts of you can still get stiff. Stiffness can be a common complaint. Global muscles can often overwork and get tired, causing ache and muscle spasm. Stiffness can occur through pain and disuse, so maintaining flexibility can be beneficial. Parts of our body can often stiffen up if we maintain static (and poor) postures for long periods of the day. Think how long you sit, stand or lie in one position throughout the day. This is why it is important to change position regularly. Yoga can be useful too, but find a good teacher and please take care not to overstretch into hyperextended positions.
4. Proprioception/balance - Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense position and movement within joints. It enables us to know where our limbs are ‘in space’ without us looking. It relates to coordination. Impaired joint position sense can cause joints to slip out of place. In general the better your proprioception, the better your stability.
>T’ai Chi – an excellent form of exercise, comprised of slow, controlled movements. Good for balance and stability.
>Standing balance exercises – these can range from standing with feet together, trying this with eyes closed, single leg standing or standing on a wobble board. You could try throwing and catching a ball whilst standing on a wobble board or even try mini squats if you’re really brave.