Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 47: Assessing Your CARs Part 3

In the first two parts of this series, I discussed how to use CARs to help figure out if your pain is joint related or soft tissue related, and what you should be looking for during your controlled articulations.

Today’s post will begin to teach you how to create a routine, as well as other CARs options that you can use to help build better joint health and control of your mobility.

If you are not sure how to do CARs, click here and here for the upper and lower body routines respectively. 

Once you are familiar with the basic routine and have a handle on the movements, let’s talk execution.

CARs are unique because they can help you achieve 3 different goals depending on your intent.

1)   Morning CARs Routine

a.     Utilizes 10-30% isometric contractions (making your joint circle feel like it is undergoing resistance to movement).

b.     Used in the morning to initiate movement, assess your body, and help aid in the maintenance of joint health and range of motion.

2)   Warm-Up CARs

a.     Utilizes 30-60% isometric contractions (intensity).

b.     Used to activate mechanoreceptors within the joint and help warm-up your body before physical activity.

3)   Strength Training CARs

a.     Utilizes 75-100% isometric contractions.

b.     Goal is to strengthen your joints end ranges in order to build better joint resiliency.

So based on your individual goals for the mobility session, you can use this guideline to target any one of the three goals above.

Controlled Articular Rotations can also be done in many ways.  The videos linked are the most basic forms of this type of movement, but your imagination can encourage you to explore movement in a variety of ways.

Other Types Of CARs

1.     Global Rotations

These are loaded CARs.  By holding a weight or adding an external resistance, we can continue to explore and strengthen our joints.

In this case, the weight should not be heavy.  The goal is to explore movement; not try to resist the heaviest weight possible.  We are still trying to work near our end range and avoid compensation.

2.     New CARs (Axial Rotations)

These are simply joint rotations in which the actual limb does not move.  You can do these in any position you are trying to build better control in, and can help improve positions you need to improve performance.

An example would be do shoulder axial rotations in the overhead position if you were an overhead athlete.  This would allow you to express your mobility, strengthen, or warm-up the joints in pivotal positions needed for success.


All types of Controlled Articular Rotations help us improve joint health, decrease injury risk, and help us assess our bodies.  If I could give you a tool that allowed scanning your body and helping you identify areas that may one day become painful, would you want it?

If you answered yes, you should start doing CARs on a daily basis.

Questions, comments, concerns, let me know below!  If you liked what you read, sign up for my newsletter below.

Move Well, Stay Strong.