Mobility Joint, Stability Joint, Strenghening

Joint Mobility

Mobility Joint – Stability Joint – Strengthening

We refer to Mobility as the degree to which a joint can move before being restricted by surrounding tissues.

Not all the joints taught are considered mobility joints.

Starting from the big toes joint, and moving up the body, to the upper cervical joints, we can count one mobility joint alternating with the stability joint, one after the other one.

So this would be like this:

  • Big toes – M.
  • Metatarsal – S
  • Ankle -M
  • Knee – S
  • Hip – M
  • Lumbar -S
  • Toraci – M

mobility, stability, strenghening diagram

  • Lower Cervical – S
  • Upper Cervical – M
  • Shoulder – M
  • Elbow – S
  • Wrist – M
  • Tarsal – S
  • Fingers – M

The major differences are:

  • Mobility joints are surrounded by a Muscular structure
  • Stability joints are surrounded by ligaments and tendons
  • Mobility joints move in more planes than stable ones.

The stability joints indeed are important to the body mechanics to ensure that gravity and force applied to the body by its own weight are well distributed.

Now, if we are planning to strengthen our body, like by going to the gym, running or doing any sports activity, ideally we would like to ensure that the mobile joints are capable of delivering the minimum required of ROM.


Well, because if the mobility joints are stiff or not mobile enough, the priority of moving would not diminish and the stability joints, are going to do their best to compensate.

But let’s see this with an example.

Mark (name of fantasy) who is an office worker, spends about 40 hours a week at his desk, and to reduce the work and life stress decided to start a routine run 3 to 4 times a week for 1 hour per time.

Mark thinks that to go for a run you don’t need training, and has no clue about the mobility, stability and strengthening chain.

After a few weeks that is enjoying his new routine Mark start experiencing knee pain.

knee pain stability joint

What also Mark didn’t realise, is that due to the long hours of seating at the office, his hips joint are tight and his external rotator, such as the gluteus max and piriformis are tight.

As per consequence, when Mark stands up the angle of the gate (AOG), which refers to the rotation of the foot in a standing position is up to 4 toes per side. (3 toes is the max AOG we would expect in the foot).

Now, what happens next is that when mark goes running his ankle mobility and hip mobility are visibly restricted.

So, he will lean forward with the upper body, by having tight hips, and strike the floor with the feet externally rotated, so all the body weight is going to be loaded in the middle of the foot.

As per result, the Stability Joint that seat between the ankle and hip, so the knee, is going to compensate for the other 2 joint dysfunctions.

In this case, the knees, would take extra pressure medially and stretch out laterally.

So, what Mark should do?!

Well, initially, to stop the pain to happen, stopping running would be a good idea.

Said so, that would not fix the problem.

What Mark should do, is:

  • Massage to boost the change within the tight joints and reduce the knee pain
  • Start a mobility program, to improve the Hip and Ankle functionality
  • Exercises that aim to reduce tension in the external rotator reinforce the internal rotator (Gluteus Med and Min)
  • Train on how to run

These are the basic steps to implement a model of Mobility, Stability, and Strengthening.

Does this model apply to other sports activities?

Of course, it does.

Visualise your body as a giant mechanical machine, made of rope and hinges.

If the hinges are stiff, and the ropes are tight, the mechanic result is not going to be ideal.

In order to improve the result, each component needs to be looked after.

So what message would be the most recommended?

Along with Melbourne Massage and Treatment services, Thai Massage, Remedial Massage and Myotherapy soon are the most recommended services that Giovanni has to offer to improve the mobility of the body.

In regards the mobility training, Thai Yoga is also a really effective way to improve joint mobility, as these types of exercises focus primarily on improving joint mobility.

What there is to take into consideration, is the patient presentation, medical history and pre-existent injuries.

If there are no major concerns I would suggest Thai Massage as the best approach. 

For people who have presentations such as Diabetes n1 or hypertension Remedial Massage is mostly recommended.



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