Move Better Monday: Standing Hip CARs

Do your hips work as efficiently as they should? I'd be willing to bet that they don't. I apologize if that makes me sound like a jerk, but that's just the nature of the environment we live in nowadays.

Our office chairs and cars have made our hips as stiff as crowbars. I can speak for that firsthand; the days I spend sitting at a desk writing programs or driving long distances are typically the days I feel the worst. So how do we combat this epidemic appropriately?

Enter Hip Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs)

I have a love/hate relationship with CARs, regardless of the joint we're working on. I hate them simply because they're not fun to perform. Initially, you'll feel cramping, and tightness in the joint that you've probably never experienced before. It's also extremely challenging on the rest of your body to maintain your position throughout the entire rotation. While that all sounds quite shitty, here's three key reasons as to why I implement CARs into my training as well as my clients.

  1. Assessment: CARs allow me to recognize mobility restrictions as I move through a joint's entire range of motion. For example, if I struggle to lift my leg up towards my chest in the video above, there's a good chance my ability to flex my hip is limited. It's important to have a coach with a keen eye to make sure you're not compensating and creating false ranges of motion with your CARs practice.
  2. Controlling Joint Movement at End Ranges: Injuries occur when the forces placed on our bodies are greater than the forces that can be absorbed. Our ability to absorb force is far less greater at end ranges of motion, which is where injuries occur more often than not. If we can create tension and slowly move through these end ranges of motion, the more resilient your joints will become. This is important for quick sharp movements on a playing field, preventing falls if you were to slip, and any other motions where you don't have a ton of time to react.
  3. Joint Lubrication: By moving throughout a joint's entire range of motion, you're consistently lubricating the joint capsule that surrounds two articulating bones. This synovial fluid found within the joint capsule allows us to move cleanly without restriction. The move stagnant we become with our movement, the less we lubricate the entire joint. Not exactly ideal if we want to live a happy and healthy life where we don't struggle with chronic pain.

Since implementing CARs into my daily movement routine, not only do I move more efficiently, but I've also become more aware of my deficiencies. I think of CARs as a seek-and-destroy tactic. Seek out what's problematic, and destroy it with persistent movement to create adaptation. Next week I'll be breaking down other variations of hips CARs that you could perform in the comfort of your own home.