Although synonymous many times with flexibility, mobility is the active ability to control and be strong in a stretched position at the outer ends of a range of motion (ROM). Flexibility is the passive ability to reach a range of motion, but it’s essentially useless when performing activities under load, such as dealing with another human being attempting to choke or dismember your body!
Functional Range Conditioning
In Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) lingo, what I’m demonstrating in the accompanying video are controlled articular rotations (CARs) of the hip joint. This involves moving the joint through the full ROM that is available. By moving any joint through its full ROM, it allows for increased tissue health and viability.
In simple terms, moving a joint through full ROM allows for it to function better. It helps to secrete synovial fluid, which can be likened to what oil does for an automobile’s engine. It increases circulation and nervous system (mind/body connection) conduction to this area of the body. This helps to create more of a mind/body connection and control of our system, especially when we tie in breath awareness while doing this work. By performing more CARs throughout your day, this will allow you to achieve greater ROM and mobility, both markers of tissue health.
Therefore, performing CARs of your hips throughout the course of the day can help offset and ultimately vanquish the pain and tightness of the low back and hips that is synonymous with prolonged sitting in our culture. Also, bottom game may tend to tighten your hips, so this is always a great remedy!
Balance on one leg or stand next to a wall for support.
- Lift knee
- Rotate knee away from other leg. Once it can go no further, internally rotate it in the socket and then bring the knee down towards the other leg.
- Repeat opposite direction
- Do 5 circles forwards and backwards
Final Hip CARs Tips
Some basic tips on how to utilize this exercise and all of those to follow for your benefit:
If possible, avoid the chair at all costs! But if this is unavoidable, every 30 minutes or so that you’re stuck in a sitting position (be it your desk chair or a long commute), perform several repetitions as shown. Remember to tighten the core and to be slow and controlled in the movement while generating tension within the area being worked. This should result in more fluid movement of your hips, which will directly tie into your low back health.
I cover more performance training tidbits at mobillitytraining.com that will help you prepare, recover, and perform better on the mats!