TuneUpTuesday

Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 46: Assessing Your CARs Part 2

Last week we discussed the difference between opening and closing angle pain, and what implications they can have on your joint health.  If you haven't checked that post out you can do so here.

Today's lesson is learning what you should be paying attention to during your controlled articular rotations.  Once we determine that our circles are not painful, we can assess what we feel throughout.

We can focus our attention on one of two things as we perform CARs.  The first is how much range of motion do you have, and the second is can you control that range of motion?

NOTE: When performing CARs, the most important thing is the quality of the circle, not the size.  So make sure you are not compensating throughout the motion

1. Range of Motion - As you go through any controlled articular rotation, you want to be aware of how much motion you get in all directions.  How much flexion, extension and rotation can you achieve?

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You also want to compare this side to side.  If you do a CAR on the left shoulder, you want to compare it to the right shoulder.  Often times they may feel different, and can give you information about how to target your mobility training, 

2. How's Your Control?

Here we are looking at the quality of the joint circles.  You are looking for things such as; compensation, cadence, cramping, missing range of motion etc...  

  • Compensation - This is an important one.  The goal of CARs is to work at our end range of motion.  Trying to make the circles bigger through compensation robs you of the benefit of CARs.  If you notice you compensate, on the next circle, build more tension, slow down and if you have to shorten the range.
  • Cadence - If you are going through your joint circles and you start off nice and slow to find that at a certain part of the motion you speed up and rush through the spot, that tells me that you lack control there.  Your goal will be to SLOW DOWN and try and learn how to control that range of motion. 
  • Cramping - Cramping at your end ranges of motion is what we call neurological confusion.  When your body can't control the area, it starts to cramp due to active insufficiency.  The only way to improve this is to keep pushing through it.  Exposure to the range will strengthen the tissue and allow for cramp free movement.  Avoidance of the cramps will not improve your joint health or end range control. 
Yes, this may happen to you!  Fear not, it gets better with practice!!!

Yes, this may happen to you!  Fear not, it gets better with practice!!!

Keep these things in mind when assessing yourself during CARs.  And don't just compare right versus left, but also compare each joint against each other.  The joints that feel the worst and are the hardest to do should be your focus during mobility sessions. 

Did you learn something today?  Do you have questions, comments, or concerns?  Let me know below and sign up for my newsletter.

Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 41: Prone Shoulder CARs

Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) have been one of the best things since slice bread.  The crazy part is there is nothing magical about them.  CARs simply are movements that we do that force us to challenge our end ranges of motion allowing us to improve our joint health, improve our bodily control, and help us assess our bodies. 

Also, CARs can be done in numerous ways.  If you can move your joint from said position, you can challenge your range of motion in a number of ways. 

One of my favorite ways to challenge shoulder range of motion is by doing my shoulder CARs from the prone (lying on your stomach) position.  

Check out the video below to learn how.

Move Well, Stay Strong.

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Tune-up Tuesday Episode 36: Fixing the Kettlebell Swing Part 1

The kettlebell swing can be one of the most effective exercises for building lower body power and endurance.  It is also a great tool to help improve metabolic conditioning and weight loss. 

The effectiveness of this exercise is reliant on proper technique.  The importance of a good hinge position and usage of the legs to drive power can help you improve performance while improving lower back dysfunction.

Check out the video below on how to properly perform kettlebell swings.

Stay tuned for next weeks post where I cover drills to help improve common kettlebell swing errors. 

If you found this post helpful, sign up for my newsletter below!

Move Well, Stay Strong.

Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 34: Neck Stiffness

I believe that the perception we have of our spines is wrong.  We view our spine as this frail structure that is destined to be brittle and broken by the time we hit 50.  

I couldn't disagree with that viewpoint more.  Our spines, just like any other joint in our body, is much stronger then we give it credit for.  The issue, especially with the neck, is that it lacks movement variety.  We spend way too much time in front of a computer and staring straight ahead, causing our joints and muscles to become stiff.  

If it has for you, as it has many of us, try the drills in the video below.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, let me know below.  If you found this helpful, and want to be notified with similar content, sign up to my newsletter.

Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 29 - Common Ab Rollout Faults

The great thing about the internet is that information gets spread to a large amount of people. When I first started out in the fitness industry, it was not common knowledge that crunches and sit-ups are not the best exercises for your core... or your lower back.  When I would mention this to someone they would stare at me like I was crazy and ask me “What else can you do for the core?"

Today, most people understand that the best core exercises are the ones that challenge the core's position.  Meaning that the core's job it to keep your spine from bending, extending or rotating when external forces are exerted onto the body.

Exercises like planks, side planks, rollouts, body saws, pallof presses, and 1,000 other exercises focus on this. 

The Ab Rollout, in particular, is an advanced core exercise that is often done with poor technique. Many people have a hard time controlling their spines, especially when it comes to limiting extension of the lower back.  This is the number one issue I see with the Ab Rollout.  

Check out the video below to learn proper technique to the rollout and one of my favorite drills to teach you trunk positioning to make your rollouts more effective. 

If you have any question, comments, concerns - let me know. If you found this helpful, please share!

Move Well, Stay Strong.

Tune-Up Tuesday Episode 28 - 3 Exercises For Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.  It is usually associated with pain during your first steps in the morning or after periods of inactivity, which gets better once you start moving around. 

The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot.  We can think of the plantar fascia as a cable.  As we push through our toes while walking/running this cable becomes taut, helping to support our arches and give us a stable base in which we can push off of - this is know as the windlass mechanism.

Lack of ankle dorsiflexion range of motion, big toe range of motion and tightness through the muscles of the calf are extremely common in this population.  Over time, this can cause pain due to the excessive forces placed on the tissue with walking and running. 

Check out the video below with my 3 favorite drills to help decrease plantar fascia pain.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns let me know in the comments section.  If you found this post helpful, please share!

Move Well.  Stay Strong.

Tune-up Tuesday Episode 25 - Mobility Tips When Flying

This past weekend I was in New Orleans celebrating my girlfriend's birthday.  But before I was able to experience the smells and raunchiness of Bourbon Street, I had to sit on a plane for 3-4 hours. 

I don't know about you, but when I get off a plane my body feels terrible.  Especially given my history of low back pain, flights constantly make me feel stiff.  

We all know that sitting for long periods of time isn't great for your body.  Creep sets in, muscles get tight, and potentially we can have pain post flight.  It may take a little due diligence, but we can offset the long hours of sitting in a cramped area.  

Follow along with the video below when you get to your hotel.  These exercises will help activate the postural muscles that will help reverse the sitting posture.  

If you have any questions, comments or concerns let me know!

Move Well, Stay Strong.

Tune-up Tuesday Episode 23 - 6 Tips to Improve Your Deadlift: Part 1

Deadlifting is one of the most beneficial exercises that one can do.  It is a total body exercise that builds strength throughout the entire posterior chain.  

Even with all it's benefits, the deadlift still gets a bad name for injuring people.  But it's rarely the deadlift's fault, and usually user error.

Watch the video below for the first half of my 6 tips to help improve your deadlift. 

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, let me know below.

Move Well, Stay Strong.

Tune Up Tuesday Episode 20: Ankle PAILs and RAILs

A while back I posted a video on how to assess ankle mobility along with a few of my favorite drills to improve it.  You can read that here.

The ankles are often a sneaky joint that, when limited, can cause pain and dysfunction in other areas of the body; specifically the knees, hips and lower back.  

For some reason we tend to forget about this joint, probably because we constantly throw them in sneakers and think of them as appendages that simply get us from point A to point B.

Did you know that the foot itself adapts to the surfaces you stand? Or that it helps bring stability to the ankle so it can do it's job?

Did you know as you squat, run, jump, and move around, lack of ankle mobility can effect knee mechanics and cause compensations you aren't aware about?

The ankle joint is a keystone area of the body that every person should focus on. Here is one of my favorite drills from the Functional Range Conditioning system used to expand your ankle's range of motion. 

Questions, Comments, Concerns?  Leave a comment below!

Move Well, Stay Strong