Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays. This week, we are talking to those of you who are experiencing joint issues. Perhaps your joints are feeling achy, or you have been noticing your joints are stiffer during the day. Whatever your scenario, you want to improve the health of your joints, and you are hoping that exercise can help. Good news – it can! In fact, there are two very specific things you are going to want to make sure you do with your exercise to start improving the health of your joints.
1) Use Full ROM with Resistance Training
The first thing you need to make sure you are doing with your exercise in order to improve your joint health is to use full range of motion when you are doing resistance training exercises. Now, full range of motion can mean different things to different people, but to us, full range of motion means moving as far as you comfortably can while performing an exercise without compromising the integrity of your neuromuscular system or your structure.
Too often we see people trying to use “full” range of motion but doing so at the expense of the function of their muscles and the health of their structure. The health of both of these systems is vital to ensuring that your joints stay feeling and functioning well, so we do not recommend using more motion than your body can tolerate. However, moving fully within what your body can tolerate is also necessary to make sure your joints stay healthy.
Action Step: Not sure how much motion is your “full” range of motion? Download our 5-Minute Mobility Check to start to get a feel for how much motion the different joints of your body have. And if you want to take it to the next level, enroll in our Virtual Membership Program by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Doing Exercises In Different Planes
The second thing you need to make sure you do if you want to build your joint health with exercise is to do exercises in different planes of motion for the same joint. For example, you can do an exercise for your hips where you are pushing your legs apart (i.e. side to side), called hip abduction, and then do another exercise where your legs are moving front to back, such as a leg press. Diversifying your exercise choices to incorporate different planes of motion will help you to maintain joint health in all the various ways your joints can move.
Action Step: Check out the video episode of this week’s 2-Minute Tuesdays to see a demonstration of doing exercises in different planes. You can do exercises for different planes of a joint within the same workout, or you can plan to do them over the course of a week. Either way, make sure you are challenging your joint motion in different planes on a consistent basis!