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Monthly Mobility Exercise: June

Last month (May), I introduced the Monthly Mobility Exercise (Segmental Cat Cow) as a way to further promote the importance of including mobility training in your physical activities.  As we age, we are reminded of the importance of joint health thanks to the various injuries and pains we encounter that involve our joints.  In general, physical treatment (like chiropractic care) and physical exercise are the only methods we really have to to ward off joint problems (pain, injury, degeneration).  Traditionally, physical exercise takes the form of resistance training (free weights, body weight, resistance bands and machines) and endurance training (running, walking, cycling, swimming, etc.).  Flexibility training (stretching) has mostly been recommended as an important add-on to your routine – although various studies over the years have pushed “stretching” into the grey-zone of “not really sure it matters” (I don’t believe this anymore, so don’t forget to do your stretches after you work out).  Mobility training is the relatively-speaking ‘new kid on the block’ in the physical training world.  Of course, if you’ve known me for a while, you know I have promoted mobility training for nearly a decade since studying Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)

Mobility training, in a nut shell, are movement patterns designed to preserve and improve joint motion and health.  And, since most aches and pains we develop through life are joint-dysfunction related problems (think: back and neck pain, hip and knee arthritis, rotator cuff shoulder injuries, etc.), it makes too much sense to prioritize mobility training.  After all, we’re talking about health.

Last month’s ‘Segmental Cat Cow‘ mobility pattern was chosen because it focuses on the incredibly important lumbar and thoracic spinal joints.


This month’s mobility exercise highlights the third section of the spine – the Cervical Spine (neck).  The segmental cat cow focused on the flexion and extension movement of the lumbar and thoracic spine.  The neck CAR (reminder: CAR = ‘Controlled Articular Rotation’) blends flexion and extension of the neck with the rotational pattern the neck needs to preserve looking over your shoulder (neck rotation, ala checking your blind spot when driving).  Like we did last month, I’ll be checking your neck CAR pattern at your next visits to ensure you’re performing this exercise correctly.  A few tips:

  • Keep it relatively pain-free (3 or less on your own pain-scale)
  • Aim to perform at least 3 rotations per direction, per day.  Can do more as you build your tissue capacity with practice.
  • Go slow
  • Be mindful of the movement.  This is what trains the neuro-muscular connection.


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