Hypermobility and Pilates – What does hypermobility actually mean?

We all live inside a different body. No two are exactly the same. Some are tall. Some short. They can be big- or small-boned. There are slow, heavy and fast-moving bodies. Toned and squishy bodies. Rather than pursuing a particular (and often unattainable) body type, the way to really explore our limits is to learn about our own particular type of body. The more we understand it, the more fun we can have with it!

Firstly, we need to identify the aspects of our bodies that don’t change, like the structure of our bones. A large-boned, seven-foot-tall person will remain tall their whole life, perhaps only shrinking a few centimetres in older age due to postural changes and normal disc height reduction.

But there are many other body traits that are changeable depending on how we live and what we do. The connectivity of our muscles, ligaments and tendons fit in to this category. Muscles have been described as the organs of the will – our mind can control them. We can use knowledge about the type of muscles we are born with to exploit this characteristic to make positive and lasting changes to them.

Some people’s muscles naturally hold a lot of tension. Others inherit muscles (and ligaments) that are more flexible and mobile – therapists often label them as hypermobile.

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