You know that feeling when you’re under a ruck and you feel like some fat bastard is going to pop your shoulder out?

Sucks balls right.

Well it probably hurt that bad because you’re so tight through your shoulders and chest.

You want to know how to fix it right?

Well I’m not going to tell you (ha)

I’m going to go one better than that. You’re going to find out why it got that way in the first place, how to fix the route of the problem and keep it fixed.

There is a joint by joint mobility theory (yup sounds dull right) that we can use to find the source of  pain, restrictions, tightness and all that other junk that stops you being the most awesome you can be.

Here’s the real basics:

The site of restriction, like your hammy that keeps going when you’re sprinting, isn’t always the source of the problem. Same as if your lower back gets sore (front row i’m looking at you) it doesn’t mean that it’s your back which is what’s causing the pain.

So, if it’s not the exact area of pain which is the problem then what’s causing it?

Well this the the theory. Joints do are made to either move well (be mobile) or stay strong (be stable). Then they are arranged in an order where one joint is surrounded either side by joints of the opposite type.

Here’s an example:


Hips are meant to be mobile. So the joint surrounding (the knee and lower back) them must be stable.


Makes sense right?

But what happens if something goes wrong with it. Maybe your hips get tight because you can’t be bothered to do your mobility drills and warm ups. So your hips aren’t mobile now which means you’re either giving up a ton of movement or you have to steal some movement from somewhere else.

So if the hips are tight you can’t reach the bottom of a squat so you steal the extra movement from the stability in your lower back and start rounding out. So hips get tighter and lower back gets less stable. Leading to back pain.

You still with me?

But this can go further.

Let’s look at the ankle, should be mobile (front to back at least), but if it’s tightened up through an injury or you’ve been wearing too many ankle supports and hightops (maybe you’re a baller who knows bud). So you need to steal mobility from somewhere else.

The knee is pretty stable so maybe it’s not so easy to steal from there. Can’t steal mobility from the hip because, hopefully that bad boy is already mobile, so next stop is lower back.


"damn ankles"
“damn ankles”


Lower back loses stability because of your ankle. Pretty shitty right!

But that’s not what hurts, maybe it hurts in your shoulder?

So lower back stability is compromised which means you need to steal stability from somewhere else. The next joint up, the thoracic spine (upper back) so that bad boy tightens up.

This means mobility needs to come from somewhere else. So the stereno-clavicular  (where you collar bone meets your sternum) gives up it’s mobility



This means that stability has to come from the next joint down the line, your shoulder. Where the pain is.


That was a trek I know, but now you can see how just because something hurts somewhere that doesn’t mean that’s where the problem is.

Get your warm ups and mobility work done guys and start being able to move better and feel better.


Comment below if you have any similar injuries that keep playing up, and then how you think you might solve it? We can then respond to each one and give you a little hand.