Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Joint mobility

I've been reading about joint mobility a fair bit recently and trying to practice some moves daily.

I've either been doing Maxwell's Daily Dozen or Scott Sonnon's free book of Intu Flow moves. I'm finding some benefit I think.

The theory as far as I can see is that moving your joints through all their range of motion bathes them in sinovial fluid - oils the hinge if you will. Stretching doesn't always help, but moving does.

Mobility is body’s own anti-aging agent. When you bathe each joint in nutritive and lubricative flow, you revitalize “endogenous energy” (an energy independent of outside sources). Mobility removes aches and pains which are the body’s last effort attempt to communicate to your brain that injury is imminent. Mobility halts and reverses accelerated aging which happens not only from physical activities, trauma, and injuries, but also from just daily living in a gravitational field. As such, mobility is the elixir of life, a truly innate fountain of wellness. Movement is life!

I've been doing a search to see if I can find any studies about the effectiveness of such moves but haven't found much yet. Those that promote it makes it out to be the Fountain of Youth. I think I need some evidence. Is anyone aware of any studies?

It feels good though whatever.

Here is Scott Sonnon throwing out some moves:


Anonymous said...


Great blog. I think there are some physical benefits to dynamic joint mobility ("DJM") work such as getting the synovial fluids moving, etc, but I think most of the benefits from DJM (or most other exercise for that matter) take place by affecting the nervous system rather than the actual physical structures of the joints. In other words, you are affecting the software of the body, not the hardware, or put yet another way, the target for the exercise is the brain, not the body. A major benefit of DJM, if done mindfully and precisely, is proprioceptive enhancement, which allows the brain to refine its "maps" of the body. (See Sandra Blaseklee's great book The Body has a Mind of its Own for more on the fascinating emerging neuroscience behind the body maps.)

Z-Health, developed by Eric Cobb, is an excellent joint mobility practice that derives in part from Sonnon's work and focuses to a much greater extent on affecting the central nervous system. You may be interested in checking out my blog discussing some of the science behind the benefits of DJM work such as Z-health. It includes discussions of pain science, motor learning theory and proprioception. toddhargrove.wordpress.com

Brian PCF said...

Greg A. over at Crossfit.com has a joint mobility warmup that I've been using for a long while. I can definitely attest that when I do it often, I rarely get any injuries. When I start rushing directly into a warmup and workout without using this warmup, I tend to get injured. Anecdotal, but food for thought. Here's the video links:



Ty said...

Interesting idea about sinovial fluid, perhaps this is where practices like tai chi or qigong provide health benefits?