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


Comparing hamstring activity with three different kettlebell swings

I found this paper, Hamstring Myoelectrical Activity During Three Different Kettlebell Swing Exercises.  

The paper compared how 3 different swings, the hinge swing, the squat swing, and the double knee extension swing (used in those who train for kettlebell sport) affected the hamstring muscles. The 3 hamstring muscles were divided into 2 parts a medial part (semitendinosus and semimembranosus) and the lateral part (biceps femoris).

What they found was that for all three swings the medial hamstring worked more than the lateral hamstring.  They also found that the hinge swing produced the most hamstring muscle activity throughout the entire movement compared to the other swings.

What this means is that when a person is rehabilitating a hamstring strain we may want to progress from a swing that produces less strain to one that produces more.


Exercise: Supine Twist Beginner

Supine Twist Beginner

Start by laying on the back with your knees bent.  Drop your knees down to one side. There should be limited pain while performing this exercise.  You don’t knee to push through pain. If pain is increasing during this exercise then stop.  Drop the knees from side to side or just to one side prescribed to you by your chiropractor/athletic therapist.  If you can get your knees to the ground take a moment and breath into the belly.  Feel the muscles expand and relax with each breath. You should feel a pull in to the buttocks and lower back.