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How and When You Can Prepare Your Joints


Coach Chesty speaks about the philosophy of CARs.

 

Hope and the odds make poor bedfellows.

The odds are often stacked against us. We have hours of inactivity influencing our joints and tissues. We hope we are active enough in our pursuit of joint health to offset the sedentary influencers. It’s a beautiful struggle and one we all share.

One of the staples of mobility training has been CARs (controlled articular rotations). They’re a key aspect of FRS (functional range systems) and a must when working with me. We train the outer limits of motion, stimulate every aspect of joint function, provide nutrients to the joints and surrounding tissues, and act as an assessment. They can be performed in a variety of intensities and provide an environment for learning about where our bodies are in space. Where did my hip go? Oh, there it is.

Importantly, CARs are active. The hot bath I’m sitting in may deliver some heating feel good, but it’s inherently passive. I’ll be the first one to rave about the benefits of laying in a heated liquid, but this isn’t about my bath. It’s about giving our bodies a reason to maintain or better yet, level up.

 

Here are 3 ways to work them into training and the day today:

Morning/daily routine for joint nutrition. Select a low-level intensity, about 10-30% of a maximal effort. The tempo should be about 3-5 seconds to perform the full range of motion. You should be able to complete 8 reps before failure.

Warm-ups and cool-downs for variability. Select a low to moderate level of intensity, about 20-50% of a maximal effort. The tempo should be about 10-12 seconds to perform the full range of motion. You should be able to complete 5-7 reps before failure.

Strength training for joint resilience. Select a moderate to a high level of intensity, about 70-100% of a maximal effort. The tempo should be 20+ seconds to perform the full range of motion. You should be able to complete 1-4 reps before failure.

 

The more habitual this practice becomes, the less we need to structure it. My hope is we begin to notice how little we need to prepare a body that is always prepared.

Hope isn’t just where they filmed Rambo, it’s in the CARs.