Move Better Monday: Seated Shoulder CARs

Shoulder Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) work wonders for the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint because they train full flexion, extension, internal, and external rotation under voluntary muscular contraction. Constant exposure to CARs allows the shoulder to adapt overtime and develop a more resilient joint.

However, there is one main issue when it comes to executing your shoulder CARs properly.

I often find that clients are unaware of their body's position while performing these rotations, which leads to compensations that minimize the effectiveness of CARs. In the video below, I explain the common compensations I see with CARs and a seated variation to help eliminate any movement that isn't created by the shoulder.

Interested in learning more about CARs and how they can help improve the way you move and feel? Click on this link or subscribe below to receive a complimentary Virtual Kinstretch Class through Par Four Performance.

Move Better Monday: Quadruped Hip CARs with Foam Roller

Over the past weekend, I came across this awesome Hip Controlled Articular Rotation (CARs) video from two of my good friends, Ian Markow and James Chung.

By implementing the roller, you're providing external feedback to ensure that none of your hip motion is replaced with spinal movement. The goal is to keep the spine still the entire time while working through the hip's entire range of motion. Give this variation a shot to determine whether or not you've been compensation through your hip mobility drills!

Move Better Monday: Hip Internal Rotation Passive Range Holds

Flexibility and mobility are often thought to be synonymous terms to explain how you move your body from point A to point B. This is a false misconception and something we need to understand to really grasp how to improve both our mobility and flexibility training.

The word flexibility is defined as, "the capability of being easily bent without breaking". In fitness, this is known as passive range of motion, where you are moved into a range of motion with help from an external force (manually, band, holding onto a squat rack, etc.).

Mobility, on the other hand, is the ability to move throughout a range of motion actively through your own voluntary muscular contractions. When we stretch, we often claim to be training mobility. In reality, passive stretching leads more towards improvements in overall flexibility.

This is where Passive Range Holds play a key role in minimizing the threshold between our mobility and flexibility limits.

By irradiating (building total body tension), and isometrically contracting once in our passive range of motion, we're teaching our nervous system how to stabilize and actively control a foreign range that we can't actively control. While this might result in cramping initially, this is one of the best ways to better improve your mobility to try to match your current flexibility!



Move Better Monday: Cat Camel Variations

"You need to strengthen your core and hip musculature."

We hear this all the time when it comes to the advice given to folks that suffer from back pain. In a bunch of cases, pain could be due to poor exercise technique. Better engagement of the muscles that attach at the hips and core could prevent lower back pain during loaded movements.

But what's causing our debilitating pain when we rotate, bend sideways, or move in such a way where we don't train that line of motion?

Speaking from first-hand experience and the consensus amongst clients I've worked with, it always comes down to whether or not you have control of movement at the entire spine. With most exercises for injury "prevention" of the lower back, we talk about stabilizing the spine with proper bracing. While building strength in these positions is 100% a good recommendation for anybody, these static positions we train might not necessarily ensure that we relieve pain completely.

This is exactly why I love Cat Camel.

The neuromuscular control cat camel helps you develop is unlike any other drill I've ever performed for the spine. The key to making this drill as effective as possible is concentrating on moving one vertebrae of the spine at a time. It takes time to really hone in on this and control it to the best of your ability, but the variations in the video above should be a great starting point for you.

Move Better Monday: Quadruped Hip Extension with Contralateral Hip Flexion

As I've touched on in the past, hip extension is a crucial movement for most athletic movements. If you don't have enough control or range of motion at the hips, you're more than likely going to suffer an injury at some point down the road.

To prevent this, learning how to properly extend the hip without any lower back movement should be your top priority. If you're stuggling with the initial hip extension video I posted in the link above, the drill below will ensure that you're lower back doesn't move as you try to extend the hip.

If you've found that these drills I publish every Monday are helping you, it might be a good idea for you to check out the Par Four Performance Virtual Kinstretch Group. Every Sunday, we upload a new Kinstretch class that you have access to 24/7 as well as new weekly drills that we suggest you perform every single day. For a complimentary session, subscribe to the newsletter below to receive yours today!