How do you know if you're hypermobile?

Following on from my yoga vs. Pilates article where I described how if you are hypermobile or 'too bendy' yoga might not be the best option for you. But how do you know if you are hypermobile? There are a few quick checks which physio's use that can give you an idea of how flexible you are, which is called the Beighton score. You get point for each one that you can do to give you a total out of 9:

1. Can you bend forwards and put your hands flat on the floor without bending your knees:

For me a definite no! 0/1

2. Can you straighten your knees beyond straight or +10degrees:

Nope 0/2 (you get a point for each knee)

3. Can you get your elbows beyond straight:

Nope 0/2

4. Can you touch your thumb to your forearm:

Yes on the right 1/2

5. Does your little finger bend back over 90 degrees:

Yes on the right 1/2

Total score 2/9 = not hypermobile

A score 4 or more means you are likely to be hypermobile. If you did get a high score that doesn't mean it's a problem it just means you don't need to stretch much and you will need even more control. This is where Pilates can have the edge for bendy people over yoga, even though if you are hypermobile you will be naturally good at yoga and therefore probably enjoy it more!

There is a separate condition called joint hypermobility syndrome which is hypermobility associated with pain, fatigue, recurrent dislocations and joint sprains. This can be more serious and need looking at by a rheumatologist or sports doctor. However if you have no pain and are just very mobile it's known as benign hypermobility and you just need to take care to strengthen your joints so the muscles help to add stability that your ligaments are lacking.


  • Beighton PH Horan F. Orthopedic aspects of the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. J Bone Joint Surg [Br]. 1969; 51: 444-453.


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