If you’re not familiar with the joint by joint theory we’ve got a lesson for you. Do you experience joint pain or discomfort? We may be able to help you with this video.

Each joint in the body has a particular purpose. When we don’t abide by the purpose then we are going to find dysfunction in the joint that is either below or above the original joint. For example, mobility is supposed to be found in the ankle so if you find that your ankles aren’t very mobile, you will also find a lot of pain in the knee joint. A lot of people with notice this when they are hiking or walking/running on uneven terrain. Their knees will start to hurt or there might be some achiness in the centre of the knee. This perhaps is because there’s not a lot of mobility in the ankle.

As you move up through the joints the focus alternates between mobility and stability. With stable joints, you want to strengthen them but it is a myth that you can build stability on an unstable surface so we don’t want to be on a Bosu ball or an air-max pad.

We’ll take you through some exercises you can do to strengthen your joints to increase their mobility or stability. Check them out below or see them in action on our segment of CTV Ottawa Morning Live: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=839787

Ankle mobility:

Perform a simple calf stretch. If you feel a stretch through the calf, it could mean there is a flexibility with that muscle that isn’t allowing your ankle to be 100% mobile. If this is the issue, you’re going to want to work on that first before you work on your ankle mobility. If flexibility isn’t the issue and when you stretch your calf your ankle just doesn’t flex anymore and it’s not because of the calf, try these exercises:

  1. Loop a band around your toes and holding the other end in your hands, push your toes away from your body.
  2. Roll your ankles in circles or draw your name with this rolling motion.

Knee stability:

For stability in the knee, go on one leg and make sure you are on sturdy, solid ground. Then you can perform these exercises.

  1. On one leg, bend your knee to bring you into a one-leg squat. (If you lean forward, that makes this an anterior reach.)
  2. You can lunge, standing on one leg and lunging out to the side, lifting that leg again as you stand up.

Hip mobility:

Internal and external rotation of the hips is very important. If you find dysfunction in the hip, you’re actually going to feel it in the back, Give these moves a try.

  1. Sitting with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent, lean one knee inwards towards the ground. Hold and switch.
  2. Sitting with your legs in front of you in a zig-zag position (as if you were leaning both knees in the same direction toward the ground). While keeping a straight back, turn your body rotating your hips and lifting your knees while turning so that they end up pointing the opposite direction from where they began. Repeat.

Lumbar Spine stability:

  1. Pain in the lower back is common when this isn’t a stable joint. But it can be very simple to work on this.

Create tension through the core by letting your belly relax and release and then pushing your belly button in, getting a lot of tension through the core and then holding that.

You can ask any of our trainers for tips on how to work on dysfunctional joints! Our new Beechwood location will be opening to the entire Ottawa community on December 4th! We’d be more than happy to show you a few more exercises to add to your repertoire!