As Kinstretch continues to find its way into more and more homes, you may find yourself wondering; “What should I be doing to improve my mobility?”
There is a plethora of exercises and information being pumped through the internet these days. This steady stream of information, even if coming from the best sources, can create confusion as to what we should actually be doing.
It’s not that the information is bad, it is simply information overload. This can distract us from the basics and make it hard for us to focus on the things that will give us the MOST benefit.
The first thing that all of us need to keep in mind is that Kinstretch is an INDIVIDUAL practice. What you see other people doing may or may not be the right fit for you.
Practice is defined as the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about its application or use. This is similar to martial arts, yoga, or meditation – in which have both a physical and mental component to them.
So, if Kinstretch is an individual practice, here’s how you can develop yours.
Do Your CARs Daily
I can’t state this enough, but everyone needs to be doing CARs, OFTEN! They are arguably the most important aspect within the system.
Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs) serve us a few purposes:
- Maintenance – CARs help maintain our current mobility levels through the “if you don’t use it, you will lose it” philosophy. It also provides maintenance of joint health by getting nutrition to the joint.
- Helps Us Learn Control – Controlled articular rotations aim to improve joint independence. The entire point is to move one joint (say the shoulder) near its end range without compensating (moving other joints like the spine, elbow, or neck). This promotes joint independence BEFORE joint interdependence.
- It’s an Assessment Process – This is the most important part to creating YOUR own practice.
As you go through your CARs, you should be able to identify 2 or 3 areas of your body that feel MOST limited. This will help you create a personalized focused approach to your Kinstretch practice.
How Often Should You Take a Kinstretch Class?
My recommendation to people is, do it as often as you like. If you enjoy the classes, there is no limit to how often you should be doing them. But in general, the frequency one should take Kinstretch classes will be dependent on the person.
I typically suggest taking a class at least 1-2 times per month. Taking time between classes allows you to add the movements explored into your personal practice. The constant commitment to explore these movements will allow your body to begin to adapt to the stimulus’ placed on it.
The “movements” mentioned above should relate to your CARs assessment.
At the start of class you should already know which areas need a little extra TLC. As you move you will find movements that will either target your limitations, or that challenge you.
You can take these movements and add them to your daily practice. You will continue to focus on these exercises until you attend the next class. At this point you can shift your focus based off your CARs assessment, as well as any new challenging movements worked through.
Now, if your as mobility equates to that of a meathead, you can’t squat to parallel, or wash your back, your frequency may need to be increased. Those who lack the mobility necessary for the specific activities they want to do may need as much as 1-2 classes per week.
How Do I Incorporate This Into Everyday Life
As mentioned before, you should be creating a daily routine that is focused on your body’s biggest limitations. This shouldn’t take you more then 10-15 minutes to do, and will help you turn your weaknesses into strengths.
You can insert your Kinstretch mobility drills as part of your warm-up. This helps you create awareness, tension, and better movement of each joint that can be progressed into a dynamic warm-up, including power work, to get your body prepared for the workout ahead.
I also like to add FRC/Kinstretch based movements as active recovery exercises during my workouts to either prep my joints for the demands, or to work on end range strength of joints that are not being directly affected by the workout.
There is no right or wrong way to add them into your lifestyle, and the most important thing is to find consistency. If you miss a day, a week, or even a month – it is not the end of the world! Don’t beat yourself up, and get back on track. Everyday is a new day to be successful, and this will help create habits designed to help keep your body feeling “tippy-top.”
Use the principles above to start laying out your own Kinstretch practice. Your body will thank you!
Joseph Gambino, PT, DPT, CSCS
Virtual Kinstretch Classes www.parfourperformance.com/kinstretch-about
Instagram Account: JoeGambinoDPT
PT Clinic: Perfect Stride Physical Therapy