Current understanding of joint motion continues to indicate a need to restore joint glides as well as rotations when attempting to improve joint mobility.
— Kinesiology, 3rd edition.


hip rot.jpg

The RAMP Method attempts to reconcile any disconnects between movement desire (I want to ski black diamond), and the movement resources (muscles) the brain has available to complete the task. When desire overcomes resources, we move at a deficit, and the cumulative injury process begins. This is why the injury event (I pulled my back showering) can never be labeled as the cause, because each step taken with misaligned joints moves us toward gradual power loss and eventual system breakdown.

The brain only understands and can utilize patterns. Reams of paper exist on the power of facial recognition in both monkeys and humans, which proves the brain prefers patters over isolation. We can no longer afford to stretch and strengthen without a more thorough understanding of the brain’s intent, which is to make us stable enough, both physically and mentally, to face the challenges of an unstable world. And it does this through powerful movement patterns. As we age, muscle and joint restrictions slow the brain’s ability to access patterns it once did, and destabilizing forces cause us to fall more.

The brain remains our greatest resource when trying to improve the body with exercise. But when the brain is limited by joint restrictions caused by muscle imbalance, it’s movement resources dwindle, and it expends more energy to get even menial tasks done. So it shouldn’t surprise us when we ask restricted brains to exercise, they do so reluctantly, or even kicking and screaming.

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. It allows the nerve cells in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. The ramifications of this when applied to movement seems clear; if the brain has limited resources, then it has to rewrite its own movement software, and favor a path of least resistance. This effects the brain’s ability to maintain this ‘plastic’ state throughout the lifespan, and may better explain the gradual decline in overall function as we age.

Stimulating the brain in training means keeping the brain in contact with farthest points of our body, the hands, feet fingers, and toes. Nerve compression caused by imbalanced muscle systems affect the brain’s ability to move the body. The following programming is designed to strengthen the neural connections between the brain, core, feet, and hands. The goal is to show how to use The RAMP Method to re-pattern the brain so it utilizes hip and shoulder rotation more efficiently.

Whether it’s reaching for a stapler to swinging a club or stick, spinal integrity must be maintained throughout all movement. When the brain has more resources available, it allows more power generation. So to improve in any sport or life function takes managing and creating as much flexion, extension, and rotation as possible; but also making sure those actions emanate from the joints best suited to create them.

Without full joint range of motion and alignment, the brain is forced to use limited neural pathways to move. Restoring full flexion, extension, and rotation to the body starts with carefully weeding out any and all compensations so the body moves more aligned. This is the only way to increase power output.

(Foot video)

The RAMP Method RSC (Release-Stretch-Contract) Protocol addresses specific muscle imbalances that occur between joints.

See below for more information on RSC Programming:


Bucket Theory:

Engaging in any organized sport usually requires strong rotation and/or fast and decisive changes of direction. The ability to pivot on the balls of the feet while rotating at the hip takes equal push and pull. Prior reading:

Any restriction in flexion, extension, or rotation, will downgrade the brain’s power producing ability in any sport. The RAMP Method accomplishes the all-important task of restoring these joint actions to full capacity.

But movement is always of combination of mobility and stability. Too much of one and not enough of the other, and gravity becomes your enemy. So how can we avoid the peril of gravity once we become imbalanced?

Bucket Theory postulates that the only way to avoid this is to utilize the abundance of mobility available in the hips and shoulders through a stable a torso. When the spine moves, the hips and shoulders give up mobility to help stabilize. This outside-in-approach weakens the core’s ability to tense in favor of giving the length required to move the spine.

To flip this situation, the core needs to become the hub of all movement, and ultimate mobility must reside in the hips, shoulders, and ankles. The core must be included in EVERY exercise to achieve the stable base required for all movement. Excess mobility in the absence of equalizing stability is a recipe for disaster in any situation, but becomes quality-of-life threatening when the brain is unable to provide stable bases.

While The RAMP Method assessment reveals potential restrictions that effect the brain’s ability to produce power, it also considers the broader changes that occur globally throughout the movement system. Compounded restrictions overtime leads to rapid declines in function, as the brain is forced to downgrade power production in favor of keeping the overall system safe. Our goal is to reconnect the brain with all parts of the body, that connectedness can only emerge from a brain that has access of all joint ranges of motion.

To maintain optimal levels of functioning throughout the lifespan, exercise has to contribute to life outside the gym. Our Signature Series of exercises, in the text and below, continue to show promise in creating the longevity everyone looks for when engaged in stimulating physical and mental activity. To keep the brain and body active means creating programming that engages and connects the two, not separate activities that we hope will come together once we strap on skis, wheels, and helmets.

The RAMP Method Rotational Series addresses lost hip and shoulder rotation with exercises designed to keep the spine stable and straight (or neutral) while ensuring rotation only emanates from the targeted areas. The core response is undeniable as these exercises help the core deal with, and manage, extremity rotation. Our programming bridges the gap between brain and body with movement patterns that coordinate movement systems, and create harmony among aligned joints.

Restore rotation to the shoulders and hips.

Align rib and hip.

Maintain torso integrity throughout all exercise.

Progress to multi-joint pivoting and rotational exercises.

Any imbalance between the internal and external rotators of the hips and shoulders will produce misaligned extremities, slouching, and will contribute to lower back, hip, knee, and ankle pain.

We start with the transverse arch of the foot because few places in the body offer such a rich proprioceptive environment; and improving foot function can pay big dividends when attempting to improve movement, or relieve pain, anywhere above the foot and ankle.

The Transverse Arch:

Millions of years of evolution created a perfectly arched foot capable of traversing any terrain. Any improvements made above the arches without simultaneously enhancing the way the arches react to the ground will be short-lived. Longterm, sustainable, change comes with improved neuromuscular connections between brain and foot.


Pivot Pattern

Transverse Lunge

Transverse Throw Pattern

Additional reading:

Hip Rotation:

Hip External Rotators: Gluteus maximus, Piriformis, Gemellus superior and inferior, Obturatorius externus, Quadratus femoris, Sartorius, Gluteus Medius (posterior).

Hip Internal Rotators: Tensor Fascia Latae, gluten medius and minimus (anterior), Adductor longus, brevis, and magnus, Pectineus, Piriformis (with hip flexed)

hip rotators.jpg


Shoulder External Rotators: Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Posterior Deltoid

Shoulder Internal Rotators: Subscapularis, Anterior Deltoid, Pectoralis Major, Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major



To keep the brain engaged in exercise we need to challenge it in ways the world would if we were outside running towards food, or away from being food. This is the truest way to enact the same impulses that force the brain and body to connect to produce power. The brain/body connection cannot be strengthened through isolating any part of the body to strengthen it, it must be attached to a plan to incorporate weak joint movements into all other m movements. The time for thinking about individual muscles has only proven to work aesthetically. There is no evidence of the brain’s interpretation of our attempts to train the body to move better. It seems more pertinent to train the way the brain ‘thinks’ and move in, and against, patterns.

If the brain and central nervous system do not have access to all movement patterns, power is downgraded. We use The RAMP Method to expand reach and strengthen withdrawal (see The RAMP Method text). This takes repatterining the brain to move by coordinating joint systems from left to right, diagonally, top to bottom, and same-side. This is why each client needs to restore the hip and shoulder rotational patterns shown above before attempting the exercises below.



Once the brain has new movement patterns, or movement options, power in increased, daily living is easier, workouts are easier. Connect the brain and body through smart exercises that utilize lower and upper body movement patterns: Upper body rotational holds W/Lower body flexion-extension.

Lunge in shoulder external rotation upper-middle-lower (holds)

Lunge in shoulder internal rotation upper-middle lower (holds)

Lunge into shoulder flexion (clav chest)

Step up in all of above.

These exercises should be incorporated as part of the warm-up, or muscle activation part of any workout. As theses patterns improve and get stronger, advance to more challenging exercises (shown below).

Lunge rear lateral

Split squat rear lateral

Split squat plate lift (adducted)

Landmine squat into rotation

Lunge Clavicular fly

Cable deadlift into rear lateral

Squat into shoulder IR

Anterior/Posterior Sling Re-patterning Exercises:

Emerging evidence suggests that the brain organizes movement into slings to create specific and powerful patterns. These slings seem ideally placed to protect the lumbar and SI portions of the spine:


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