Joint by Joint Approach

In the never-ending quest to keep our bodies healthy and happy, it is important that we understand what is going on under the hood. If we break our body down to it its most basic components, we can understand how it works and how to keep it working.


Two of my biggest professional influences, Gray Cook and Mike Boyle popularized the “Joint-by-Joint” approach to programming to help athletes mitigate injury and recover faster. The premise is that every major joint in the human body falls into one of two camps, prioritizing either stability or mobility. The body is also stacked in an alternating pattern, and can be broken down as follows:

  • The ankle needs to be mobile. 
  • The knee needs to be stable. 
  • The hip – mobile. 
  • The lumbar spine (low back) – stable. 
  • The thoracic spine (mid back) – mobile. 
  • The cervical spine (neck) – stable. 
  • The shoulder joint – mobile. 
  • The elbow – stable.

Knowing how to properly treat each joint allows us to bias our programming and prescriptions to keep everyone’s machine running properly!

– Coach Mike Martino

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