Quadruped Hip Circles (CARS)

This is another one my exercises that I give to my athletes/patients in the controlled articular rotations (CARs) category. The training method and acronym is popularized by Dr Andreo Spina. It was taught to me at a Functional Range Conditioning course in Winnipeg.  I call them “circles” to my patients because it’s easier for them to understand.  What I like about CARs is that they are easy, yet challenging, and expose to my athletes areas of mobility that they may be lacking in.

The intent of this exercise is to challenge the hip at its end ranges. The end range of motion is commonly the weakest area. This helps us to strengthen this region and also helps to keep our hips joint healthy through all ranges of motion.

Unlike stretching, which passively improves the  range of motion, this movement makes the muscles work at the end range of motion.

Hip Circles in Quadruped (CARS)

Hip Circles can be performed on their own or, ideally, at the end of a stretching session.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Start in a quadruped position, on all fours, lift the knee up to your chest limiting the amount of rounding of the lower back.
  2. Keep the knee up and move the knee to the outside as far as possible, keeping the pelvis horizontal.
  3. Keep the knee there and rotate the hip inwards attempting to lift the foot higher than the knee. Try not to hike the pelvis up during this point in the exercise
  4. keep the leg up and bring it back behind you. Try not to over arch the back at this point in the exercise.
  5. Return to the start.
  6. This can also be performed in the reverse order

To really challenge yourself perform one repetition for 30 to 60 seconds

Dr Notley

If you are having pain or you are not moving well and want to move better make an appointment


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