A joint by joint approach.

The joint by joint approach is a concept founded by coaches named Grey Cook and Mike Boyle a number of years ago and since then has become a go to approach for rehab, strength training and exercise prescription. Its a great way to simplify an effective way to look after the primary needs of your joints.

The joint by joint approach is based on the premise that each joint needs adequate amounts of mobility and adequate amounts of stability to perform effectively. As a result this identifies the joints primary training needs and raises awareness as to where they are to prone to dysfunction.

This is what it looks like

Joint–Primary Need
Ankle–Mobility (sagittal)
Hip–Mobility (multi-planar)
Lumbar Spine–Stability
Thoracic Spine–Mobility
As you can see the joints alternate between mobility and stability. Despite a joint having a primary need of either mobility or stability it does require elements of both in order to optimally function.
Here it is in picture form;
A joint by joint approach to training
image taken from strongergolf
From an injury perspective we know that injuries often relate to dysfunction at a joint which can cause problems at another area above or below. If one joint looses movement then it has to make up for it somewhere else. For example, if you lack the strength and stability in your lower back then your hips are likely to tighten to compensate resulting in reduced range of movement their. This pattern can repeat itself throughout the body.
This simplified approach is a great way to initially start to manage your long term injuries and see if they start to make a difference. Progress takes time as you have most likely been moving in a dysfunctional way for long periods but with consistency comes change.
About the author
Michael is an Osteopath, competitive powerlifter and trainee strength coach based in South Liverpool
a joint by joint approach