This exercise is part of a type of exercise called controlled articular rotations (CARs). 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 my athletes/patients like to do them.
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.
Standing hip Circles (CARS)
Standing hip CARs can be performed on their own or, ideally, at the end of a stretching session.
This exercise can be performed with a pole, stick, or just balancing on one leg. Using a pole helps you if you have balance issues. If you can stand on one leg but with movement you struggle a bit, the stick will add a little bit of support to help you perform the exercise. As you get better, you can work at balancing on one leg while performing the exercise.
- Lift the knee up as high as you can without rounding the lower back.
- Keep the knee up and move the knee to the outside.
- Keep the knee there and rotate the hip inwards. The foot comes up to be inline with the knee. Try not to hike the pelvis up during this point in the exercise
- keep the leg up and bring it back behind you. Try not to over arch the back at this point in the exercise.
- Return to the start.
- This can also be performed in the reverse order
To really challenge yourself perform one repetition for 30 to 60 seconds
If you are having pain or you are not moving well and want to move better make an appointment