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joint mobility

A Daily Joint Mobility Routine: Controlled Articular Rotations (CARS)

Human beings are multi-dimensional beings. We are designed to move dynamically in various ranges of motion. 

As a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms) I help people restore lost ranges of motion, maintain joint health, and improve mobility so you can DO ANYTHING.

Mobility is the foundation for strength, speed, and power. It's essential in everything from power lifting, playing a competitive sport, to getting out of bed or walking the dog. 
 

MOVEMENT = HEALTH
 

Our health depends on movement. Movement is nature's anti-inflammatory pill. It pumps oxygen and nutrient rich blood to our cells. But, cartilage on the other hand has no blood supply. It receives oxygen and nutrition from the surrounding joint fluid by diffusion. 

During movement pressure expresses fluid and waste products out of cartilage cells, when it is relieved, fluid diffuses back along with oxygen and nutrients. 

Joint mobility literally bathes your joints in synovial fluid and washes away calcium deposits and toxins; helping you move with more ease. 

In life, we usually go about the same repetitive motions rarely taking each joint through it's full range of motion. As Dr. Spina, creator of Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) protocol says, "you will always regret not training the range of motion you got injured in." 

The bottom line is, if you don't use it you lose it.

We must move and train every angle and have control over our movements so the nervous system understands how to access and make use of the range of motion. This builds mobile joints and resilient connective tissue to bulletproof your body. 
 

HOW AND WHEN TO PERFORM THE MOBILITY ROUTINE
 

Performing the daily joint mobility routine consisting of controlled articular rotations (CARs) EVERYDAY as a morning ritual and as a warmup before exercise or play.

INSTRUCTIONS: 
1. Inhale, trap air in lower abdominal region while breathing shallow

2. Stabilize all articulations and perform an isometric contraction throughout your body in order to ensure strict rotation in the desired joint.

Tension Guidelines for Isometric Contraction of Body Besides the Joint in Focus: 
10-30% (morning routine)
20-50% (warmup before exercise)
70%-max (training) 

3. Begin articular rotation slowly ensuring that it is occurring in the outer limit of movement

4. Attempt to "expand the circle" with each repetition

5. If you feel a painful "pinch" on the closed angle of a joint skip over that area as it may indicate that there's a problem with the joint. 

6. Most people will feel "sticky spots," clicks, and cracks, and stutters in the movement or may couple or compensate by moving other parts of the body rather than isolating the joint. This is an indication that the joint and surrounding connective tissue requires more motion and neurological drive and input to restore lost ranges of motion and maintain the health of the joint. 


Keep moving and living life DYNAMICALLY! 

Building a Strong Body from the Ground Up

When I was a kid, I remember a time driving with my Dad about a mile down a dusty old road. We stood on a semi-level square of patchy grass surrounded by 18 acres of trees and rolling hills. 

That year I watched my Dad build our family home from the ground up; everything from surveying the land, digging the foundation, laying down the roof and wood floors to painting the crown molding. 

This experience shaped my idea of what it takes to build a strong and resilient body as it’s very similar to building a home. 

The first lesson is patience as it takes time to build a welcoming and comfortable home so give yourself at least 6 months to truly make a significant upgrade. 

The second lesson is you’re always going to be be doing maintenance. 

Our bodies are constantly in a state of remodeling as we generate new cells and tissues. How you code those cells is up to you. 

Cells speak the language of force so you have to talk to them in a way they can understand. The means to do that is through movement. Your cells adapt to the information you give them. This is the principle of progressive adaptation. “Incremental loads imparted on tissue results in adaptation of said tissue such that the load absorption capacity improves.” 

When the load absorption capacity within your tissues is greater than an external force say a fall while snowboarding or stubbing your toe on the corner table then you say “ouch, that was a close one,” rather than, “shoot!, now I’m out of commission for a few weeks!” 

Mobility training, unlike pure flexibility, is not passive, it’s active.

It’s being able to bend, but strong enough to not break. Mobility training sends information from your body to your brain and vice versa to get your nervous system onboard so you make lasting changes in your ranges of motion and movement abilities. 

Here are 5 Ways Being More Mobile Can Radically Improve Your Life: 

  1. You don’t feel stiff and achy all the time; old sports injuries and repetitive use injuries begin to fade away. Mobility training is like nature’s anti-inflammatory pill. 
  2. Mobility improves your ability to DO ANYTHING- playing with your kids, walking up the stairs, surfing/snowboarding/training, reaching into the cabinets and cleaning underneath the sofa. 
  3. Bulletproof your body from injury. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but stronger connective tissue and greater ranges of motion don’t get battered nearly as badly as weak fibrotic (scar) tissue and arthritic joints. 
  4. You remodel and re-pattern your body as you lay down new tissues that are responsive and active. 
  5. Improved body control and kinesthetic awareness. You get to know yourself and how you operate. 

How to Get Started: 

A fantastic starting point is to perform a joint mobility routine every morning. It’s wise to start with the joints, because we rarely take each join though it’s full range of motion on a regular basis, plus, our cartilage has no direct blood supply. Cartilage relies on movement to receive oxygen and nutrition via the process of fluid diffusion from the surrounding joint.