I always preach to you guys the importance of practicing Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) daily. Not only are they a great way to prime you for your training sessions, but they'll also promote long-term joint health and longevity.
Moving your joints actively through their entire range of motion with control provides articular mechanoreceptors with input. Mechanoreceptors, which are sensory receptors, receive input through movement. By consistently "nourishing" your mechanoreceptors with CARs, you'll be able to maintain healthy and pain-free ranges of motion.
It's important to keep in mind that the joint CAR being performed should be moved through the greatest painless range of motion possible. By moving through the joint's entire range of motion, the mechanoreceptors are stressed with the input needed to create positive adaptations. I like to think of this as performing our CARs with intent.
Clients typically don't understand how to build the proper tension to isolate a single joint during their rotations. To fix this, I like to change the surrounding environment in order to enhance our CARs training.
The first thing I'll do with people is alter the external environment. By creating a "target" for yourself, you can set a goal and gradually work on improving it. Here's an example of a way to improve your standing hip CARs:
As you improve, you can start to elevate the surface of the foam roller. The higher your target is, the more tension you'll have to build throughout your entire body in order to get over it. However, it's also really easy to compensate for a lack of mobility in the hips.
Another way to attack compensation through hip CARs is by utilizing a baseball, dowel rod, or other object on your back. This proprioception will give you a much better understanding on learning how to dissociate your hips from your upper body.
The game is simple: if the ball falls off, you're not using your hips. You'll be humbled rather quickly when you realize how often the ball wants to fall off. By concentrating on it, however, you'll start to learn how to truly use your hips, rather than your spine. Good things happen when your hips and spine work independent of one another.
Want to learn more? I'm teaching Kinstretch at Cressey Sports Performance this upcoming Saturday morning at 8 AM. If you're in the local Massachusetts area, I highly suggest you come by and learn the tools to help you move better. Drop a line below to learn more and reserve a spot!