I can’t stress enough the powerful influence daily rotations have on your joint health and performance potential. The key to ensuring your joints and surrounding tissues get the nutrients they need to maintain or improve their use is movement. The body will lay tissue down along the lines of stress. The body is in a constant state of remodelling, creating a new you. Every hour, every minute, every second that passes, dictates what will become of you. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish with a simple, daily routine.
Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) are fundamental to assessment, healthy articular maintenance, and even a serious training stimuli. These will provide you with a simple form of assessing your joints on a daily basis. You don’t need to understand the nuances of a detailed assessment, but you can feel, you can listen. You are essentially taking inventory and noting the quality of the equipment your body uses to do all that fitness stuff. You can then take that feedback and present it to your coach, your practitioner, or your dog; someone who listens.
On Saturdays, during the mobility class, I typically expand on the why and what to look for in your CARs. Hunter Cook (A valued Instructor to Functional Anatomy Seminars) makes a great point of noting the importance of creating a learning environment to what that joint is, what it does, what it’s capable of, and what it’s not capable of. There is much more we can learn, and many more progressive levels, but let’s start with a simple challenge.
Every day I’d like you to set aside some time to perform CARs for every joint on your body. It’s not important how long, or how many reps. If you have 5 minutes, then let’s capitalize on that; should you have more, then do more. I typically wake up, brush my teeth, make some coffee, and run through every joint while I watch Good Morning Football. And yes, like most humans, I’ll muck up and sleep in, or scramble around. So I do it later in the day. You’re a grown up, so get after it, as you are ensuring you’ll be around for you and the people close to you.
- Take a deep breath and contract your core muscle like you’re pushing a big poop out.
- As contraction heightens, allow it to spread to neighbouring tissues and eventually to all contractile body tissue, that wide eye white knuckle tension. This is the Law Irradiation and what separates CARs from random joint circles.
- Actively run that joint through its full range of motion.
- Start with small circles and follow with a constant attempt at expanding the circle, gradually working into your outer edges of motion.
- Take about 5 mississippi’s to move in one direction and then reverse it.
- Don’t let anything else move but the joint you’re focusing on.
- Do it every day.
- Take note of any sharp pain, like a pinch, when moving in any direction. This is often “closing angle” pain and is not okay; this is an indicator that something is wrong. So if you feel sharp pain, stop. By-pass to a pain-free range of motion and go get yourself checked out.
Here is an old rundown I dug up from the vault:
Start remodelling new stuff. These fundamentally changed my stuff. Big up to Dr. Andreo Spina and Functional Anatomy Seminars,
Emile Maxwell Connaughton