I have been told to have hypermobility of joints and I'm not comfortable with the idea of doing any kind of stretches unless it is about stretching a tight muscle after a workout. My joints tend to have higher ROM making me vulnerable to injury even in normal activity and strengthening muscles will likely help me cope.

Is there anything else I can do warm up for a weight training regime without having to do dynamic stretches, especially anything pertaining backward bending or twisting of spine?

  • 2
    Some light steady state cardio (for 5-10min) will get your heart rate and core temperature up. Other than that, you should be doing warm-up sets of your lifts already (starting at 30-50% of your maximum training weight). If that's not enough try doing bodyweight equivalents of your lifts, e.g. air squats before squats, pushups before bench press to ease your muscles, joints, ligaments into it. That's how I do it, at least...
    – user8119
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 7:19
  • Am I missing something by skipping working on joints through ROM for warmup? Commented May 8, 2014 at 2:11
  • I would think it is necessary to lubricate the joints and warm up the tendons. But maybe someone with more knowledge could answer that?
    – user8119
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 7:53

1 Answer 1


Good question- according to the American College of Sports Medicine, a good warm up will get your heart rate to about 50-60% of maximum. This increase in HR will increase blood flow to skeletal muscle and joints (and to address your question in the comments, if you are doing almost any kind of warm up, that should put your joints through plenty of ROM... getting more ROM is not a good strategy for you). For someone who has hypermobile joints, I would do a longer warm up (try 20 minutes), and definitely avoid stretching (http://www.theptdc.com/2013/10/why-you-must-not-stretch-hypermobile-clients/). With hypermobile joints, make sure not to lock your knees or elbows during movements such as stepping or jogging, and do not exaggerate ROM during exercise. Closed chain exercises (where feet are on the ground) are recommended. I would also avoid plyometric exercises like jumping, leaping, etc.

  • A good warm up for you might be closed chain exercises that keep you in your mid-range of motion, like step-ups, light bodyweight squats, wallsits, throwing in a little arm movement such as clapping or flapping motions, keeping good control of your ROM, staying low, and avoiding aggressive movements.

You are definitely right to be wary of stretching- the myth of stretching before and after workouts is unfortunately widespread throughout the fitness industry. In many of my classes in preventing athletic injuries, the consensus was that stretching is only necessary to achieve a ROM which allows you to perform necessary activities to YOUR life. Meaning, if you're a cyclist and you don't need to get your arms behind your back, there is no need to stretch that way. You can actually do more harm than good by overstretching and stretching more than necessary.

Bottom line: if it doesn't feel right, don't do it!

Hope that helps!

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