controlled articular rotations

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 45: How To Use CARs As An Assessment - Part 1

Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) is one of the fundamental tools within the Functional Range Conditioning system.  Outside of maintaining articular health and range of motion, CARs can be an assessment tool for your body. 

It can help you identify areas that need improved mobility, rule out joint dysfunction, and help you create a specific mobility plan based off your needs keeping you from wasting hours on stretching areas of your body that won't offer you the most bang for your buck.  

In part one of this series, we will discuss the difference between opening angle pain, closing angle pain, and what is okay to feel throughout the process.  Each one of these things tells us something different about our bodies, and should be the first thing we pay attention to when going through our CARs routine. 

Part 1: How to do Hip and Shoulder CARs and determining if opening angle pain, closing angle pain.

Part 2: Rotational deficits active vs passive, and if needed how to attack the joint capsules.

Part 3: Based on active mobility with no closing angle discomfort, start working the directions that feel most limited.  Address Cramping.

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, and concerns let me know!

Move Well, Stay Strong.

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 11 - Move Your Joints Daily, Upper Body CARs Routine

The human body was designed to move, but the human lifestyle is designed around sitting.  

Think about it. In the morning we sit to eat breakfast. Then we sit down as we commute to work. Once you get to work you sit at your desk for most of the day. When heading home, you sit down during your commute. Finally, you finish your day off by sitting down and relaxing after a long, hard day.  

We usually will throw in 1 hour of exercise 3 to 5 days per week, and say that is enough to combat all the repetitive postural demands we put our body through on a daily basis. 

We then question why we have aches and pains, and start blaming our genetics or age for the reason your back is sore when you wake up every morning.

I believe that every day you should be moving your joints through it's entire range of motion. The way I do this is by doing a daily CARs (Controlled Articular Rotations) routine.  

There are a myriad of health benefits for doing so such as;

  • Maintaining joint health and range of motion.
  • Learning increased control of each joint.
  • A self assessment tool to help you understand your bodies ability to move.  

They are also time efficient too.  It takes roughly 8-10 minutes to do a full body CARs routine.

And if that is too much time to set aside everyday for movement, you can break it up into an upper body and lower body routine.  Now you have two 4-5 minute blocks of movement each day, allowing for better time management.  

Use this video (and next weeks video) to start a daily habit of moving each joint in your body.  You will be amazed at how much better your body feels and moves after simply moving your joints everyday.

I challenge you to do a minimum of 30 days straight.  Obviously I urge you to do this forever, but start with 30 days. Take notes of how your body feels over this time - and I bet that you will want to continue the routine once you realize the benefits!

If you want to learn more about CARs or mobility training, find an FRCms near you at www.functionalanatomyseminars.com

Questions, Comments or Concerns?  Drop them in the comments down below.

Move Well, Stay Strong.

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 3: Ankle CARs

Today's Tune-Up Tuesday covers ankle CARs.  Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) and are an integral part of my mobility training, as well as my clients'.  If you want to learn more about CARs you can read my previous blog post about them here

Here is a recap of the importance of CARs:

1. Maintains joint health. 

2. Maintains joint range of motion.

3. A tool to assess your range of motion and overall function of the joint.

Keep the following in mind while performing your ankle CARs:

1. Each circle you draw should be the biggest joint circle you can possibly make WITHOUT compensating. 

2. Move slowly, with control in order to stimulate the receptors within the joint.  This is what allows this exercise to offer the many benefits it does. 

3. Do them daily.  If an apple a day will keep the doctor away, CARs every day will help keep pain away.  

Give these a try, and let me know your feedback in the comment section below.

Move Well, Stay Strong.

 

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 1: Spine Mobility

Tune-Up Tuesday - Episode 1: Spine Mobility

Welcome to the first episode of #Tune-UpTuesday.  Today's topic introduces some of my favorite drills to improve spinal mobility.  

Cranky Elbows During Pull-ups?

Cranky Elbows During Pull-ups?

In this post, I go over the mobility pre-requisites for the pull-up.  By making sure everything moves well, we can help decrease the risk of injury, or help those shoulders and elbows from feeling so beat up.  

Controlled Articular Rotations

Controlled Articular Rotations

Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) have been all the rage lately.  This is because they offer many benefits to your body.  Want to move better?  Have decreased pain levels?  Prevent loss of mobility as you age?  Want to decrease your risk of injury? Then CARs are for you!

4 Exercises To Keep You Feeling Young

When it comes to exercise - there are a few bang-for-your-buck exercises that will bullet proof your body and keep it feeling young for the years to come.  Until modern medicine figures something better out, it's safe to say these are the closest things to the fountain of youth we currently have. 

Here is a list of my top 4 exercises. When added to your program, these can help you build resilient tissues that can withstand whatever you throw their way.

 1) Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) - Part of the FRC system, CARs are the best thing since slice bread.  

CARs  are active, end range circular motions for a joint.  The reason why they make your body feel great is three fold.  

Quadruped Hip CARs 

  •  Movement is the body's best anti-inflammatory.  By constantly moving joints through all available range of motion, we continue to nourish the joint daily.
  • It allows us to maintain and expand our range of motion at a joint. By constantly taking our joints through full range of motion, we are able to maintain it.  One reason we lose mobility is because we don't spend any time there.  By doing CARs, we ensure that our joints are creating maximal movement - through the biggest circles we can possibly make - allowing us to hold onto our range of motion and even possibly expanding it. 
  •  CARs are a self assessment tool.  I think this is an extremely valuable aspect of CARs as it allows you to assess every joint in the body.  CARs can give you insight into when your joints may start becoming problematic; giving you insight into areas you need to address before pain/dysfunction is present. 

2) Turkish Get-Up - This is one of my favorite exercises because it promotes high levels of stability, mobility and strength and it's packaged into one power packed movement. 

Here are a few of the benefits that TGU's have to offer according to Brandon Hetzler:

  1. Promotes upper body stability
  2. Promotes lower body stability
  3. Promotes reflexive stability of the trunk and extremities
  4. Promotes cross lateralization (getting right brain to work with left side)
  5. Ties the right arm to the left leg, and left arm to the right leg
  6. Gets the upper extremities working reciprocally (legs, too)
  7. Stimulates the vestibular system (one of three senses that contributes to balance)
  8. Stimulates the visual system (second of three senses that contributes to balance)
  9. Stimulates the proprioception system (third sense that contributes to balance)
  10. Promotes spatial awareness
  11. Develops a front/back weight shift
  12. Develops upper body strength, trunks strength, and hip strength

If you aren't sold yet on why the TGU will keep you feeling young into your 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's and beyond - take a look at this study by Claudio Gil Araujo from Brazil.  The study said being able to stand up from a seated position on the ground was remarkably predictive of physical strength, flexibility, coordination at a range of ages. 

3) Carries - You have to give an exercise some major thought when Dan John categorizes it as one of the fundamental human movements: push, pull, hinge, squat, loaded carries and the sixth movement. 

When loaded properly farmers carries are an excellent exercise for core strengthening.  It is an easy to learn exercise that challenges your endurance, strength, stability and grip strength.  The ability to carry heavy loads gets our core to create super-stiffness.  Dr. Stuart McGill describes this super-stiffness as - the sum of the forces of all the muscles contracting is greater then what any individual muscle can provide.  This teaches you to build true strength that will aide you for any endeavor you wish to attempt. 

4) KB Swing - This exercise develops power in the hinge position.  Why is power important?  As you age, power decreases - so swinging consistently can help you maintain a power packed punch as you age - not to mention, allow you to improve your overall performance, strength, and endurance. 

What's even better than that?  The kettlebell swing is extremely beneficial for your lower back.  Having a flying bell not directly attached to your body forces your glutes, lats and core to work hard in order to control the bell.  This overall synergy of muscles will help keep your spine strong for years to come, as well as help you rehab from lower back injuries. 

Add these four exercises into your programs on a monthly basis and reap the benefits of better strength and performance; all while keeping pain at bay - even as you age. 

Move Well, Stay Strong.