What is Controlled Range of Motion?
Range of motion refers to how far you can control movement within your joint's different actions. For example, how far can you lift your knee to your chest un assisted? How deep can you lunge without giving in to gravity? How controlled can you squat down to the ground and then rise back up?
Controlled range of motion is a way to think about not only your flexibility, but also your ability to direct the motion amidst resistance. The resistance could be equipment, but this also and primarily includes bodyweight and gravity.
Why is Controlled ROM Important?
Developing good body mechanics in our controlled ROM means that when more pressure or stimulus is applied in the future we have a better chance of staying safe in the motion! For example if you want to do loaded back squats in a weight rack, it's going to be important that you can perform the motion with your own body weight in good form.
The body adapts to repeated pressures, and it also is inherently efficient. This means the body is not going to change or conform without pressure to do so. The principle of adaptability relates this truth: move it or lose it. But the good news about adaptability is that change is possible. So my introducing controlled ROM we can introduce and reinforce movement pathways between brain and body. Overtime these pathways become second nature.
For muscles, bones, and joints movement is crucial. Muscles won't adapt unless introduced repeatedly to a stimulus. Bones won't increase in density unless they must. And when it comes to joints, they don't receive the same amount of blood flow that more vascular tissues like skeletal muscles do. This means movement is essential for clearing away debris and maintaining lubrication. Motion is lotion!
To sum it up, if you want to keep your joints happy and as pain-free as possible, they need to move! Movement through controlled range of motion reinforces healthy brain-body pathways, stimulates muscles and bone, and keeps joints healthy.
Yoga Practices for Healthy Hip ROM
One great way to think about improve the controlled ROM in a joint is to first consider all of the ways the joint moves. Hips are ball and socket joints. This means there are MANY movements of the hip. They include flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal rotation, external rotation, and circumduction.
From there we organizes movement practices that drill these actions.
For yoga teachers reading this, consider plugging all of the drills below for a well rounded hip-focused class!
I hope you enjoy this conversation!
P.S. if you want to connect and tune in with Kat follow her on Instagram for incredibly supportive, insightful, and compassionate content.
Start with the mudra
Place the index and middle fingers on the third eye
Close the right nostril with the thumb
Begin to cycle breath in this pattern:
Perhaps you already know yoga can improve your flexibility, increase your strength, and calm your mind. Are you curious about the other benefits extend beyond your mat?
If you've been practicing Yoga for a while you may already be experiencing the benefits of regular practice. You can touch your toes for the first time since you were 17 years old? Perhaps you're feeling more calm even in traffic.
When you tell your loved one, 'You've got to try Yoga!' they shrug if off as something too esoteric, or far-fetched for them. It's clear they think your methods are out-there. So you back away slowly before word-vomit about your energy centers, oneness, and finding peace during chaos starts to surface!
Wait, don't stop! Western science is starting to catch up with Yoga wisdom. And there are some rock solid ways yoga improves your health and wellbeing. So, pull up a mat and let's dive into some of the amazing benefits of this profound practice!
Yoga Benefits in My Life
Yoga has been source of respite and healing for me since I was 14. It's been my mainstay for exercise and meditation throughout many turbulent times including financial instability from a young age, job loss, tumultuous relationships, the isolation of the pandemic, infertility, and helping me discover the self-confidence to engage in other powerful practices like distance running, weight-lifting, daily meditation and more. All of this helps me show up better in my life, and since I am a work in progress I'm very grateful this is an ongoing, life-long practice.
To be clear Yoga + Meditation were the tools - the healing comes from within. I think this is an important distinction. Yoga is a verb, and it means 'to yoke'. This implies we actually have to :: do :: something, and that the catalyst is not Yoga doing us, but us doing Yoga.
So if you've been far away from your mat... or your practice is feeling oh-so-trendy, and not-so-sacred lately ... here is some inspiration to come back home to a Personal Practice.
10 Ways Your Yoga Practice Helps Your Health
1. Yoga influences your neuromuscular pathways
Range of motion is a more dynamic way of talking about flexility. While some practices like Yin Yoga are more passive (and intentionally so) much of our asana practices work with controlled range of motion. This wires and rewires pathways between your brain and your musculoskeletal tissues that, over time, help us reach and maintain more optimal range of motion. This helps us find more comfort and safety off the mat in other athletics, and in everyday life.
2. Stimulates and Maintains Muscles
Physical strength is more than just having bulging biceps. Healthy muscle tone is important for metabolism, immunity, healthy aging, and even our mood! When you lift weights your body is adapting to the load of the external object and gravity. When you practice yoga your body adapts of the load of the body along with gravity. In both instances when the challenge is progressively increased the body will continue to adapt to the heavier or more difficult loading.
3. Promotes Joint Health
When you couple strength with the range of motion that you also find with Yoga it's a fantastic win-win for happy joints. Unlike blood that is primarily moved by the pumping by the heart (though muscles certainly help too) joint lubrication happens with motion. Motion really is lotion, and when we move our bodies thoroughly our joints are, in a sense, rinsed.
4. Increases Blood Flow
When our body is in a rest state most of the blood flow and work is dedicated to vital processes. When we engage in full-body movement more blood flow is diverting to the skeletal muscles. Increasing the blood flow all the way out to our fingers and toes can help improve total circulation.
5. Regulates Stress Hormones
Stress really gets a bad rap. We're wired to respond to stimulus. But so often we are over-responding. The challenging-yet-doable nature of a dynamic yoga practice coupled with regulated breath can help us find the right amount of response. Overtime our nervous system regulates more and more appropriately to the task at hand which can reduce excess dumps of cortisol.
6. Betters Bone Density
Weight bearing exercise of any kind creates small trauma to our bone, and as a response the body rebuilds the bone stronger. Repeated, controlled breakdown and rebuild repairs the bones to be stronger and healthier. This is one of the best ways to prevent osteopenia and osteoporosis. It is best to start BEFORE you begin to experience bone thinning and loss. And for those who are already prone to bone loss consult your doc, and also modify your practices to apply the appropriate challenge for your bones.
7. Enhances Posture
We spent a zillion hours in tech-neck position. We are slumped, humped, and dumped into our chairs, our cars, our couches, and at our computers. Yoga is the opposite. So much of yoga works at our end-ranges, requires local and global stabilization of the spine, and emphasizes the muscles on the back line of the body, This is is absolutely superb for undoing the screwing of our posture.
8. Boosts Immunity!
When you move your body it helps you drain lymph. Unlike blood, lymph requires movement to move. So, the rising of lymph helps the body's waste systems work properly. This helps us fight diseases!
9. Improves Concentration
We live in a scroll-happy world. Our attention spans have never been worse. Yoga is rooted in the concepts of contemplation and being-ness. The entire point is to bring ourselves into a space of focus and control in the midst of challenge, irritation, and stimulus. After all Asana means 'seat' and the seat is in preparation for meditation. I don't know about you but standing on my head, or twisting up like a rope don't feel like seats. But overtime as the seat becomes more familiar and I get more comfortable with the chaos of being upside down or twists, my capacity to sit still and focus improves.
10. Supports Self-Esteem
Yoga philosophy embraces a mindset of Unity. Our essence is connected to Source. Beginning to associate more with our Soul and less with the temporary nature of our body can be a comfort, especially on days when we are not feeling our best. And on days when we are excited about our beautiful bod, the self-esteem boost can be even more genuine because our appreciation for our body comes from a place of commitment and respect for what our body offers us rather than just how our body looks.
Now, I want to hear from you!
Let me know!
What benefits have you experienced from your practice?
Body. Mind. Spirit.
Hi there! You found me. My name is Julia Marie Lopez. For 20 years I have studied meditation and mindful movement as my primary tools for healing. For the past 10 years I have worked as a wellness business owner, the Founder of Practice Everywhere, and now I am embarking on a new adventure to expand how we define our Personal and Public Practices.
Since I offer you my experience and perspective, share my writing about life, love and wellness, and offer a bit of unsolicited advice, I think you should also know that I do include affiliate links and promotions in some of blogs. If you make an action (such as sign ups, memberships, or purchases) I might earn a commission. I promise to use this income to support my love of coffee, dogs, yoga, and my family (in no particular order).💜