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P.A.I.Ls and R.A.I.Ls

Back in August 2023, one of my first blogs I wrote about was C.A.R.S. or Controlled Articular Rotations.  C.A.Rs help your body function at its peak so you can perform comfortably and efficiently by taking a joint through its full range of motion (R.O.M.) to build in control, strength, and mobility. About a month ago, I mentioned in one of my classes about P.A.I.Ls and R.A.I.Ls and how they would benefit in (aerial) fitness along with stretching and conditioning. 


While there are many great articles on this subject, I personally liked the information from Canadian physiotherapist and Kinstretch instructor, Alex Murphy who is the owner of Operation Human First as well as owner/operator of Longevity Physical Therapy in Canada. Via the website, "One of the goals of OHF is to address a large gap in the industry created by the lack of tools, information, and direction offered to the general population to improve mobility, joint health, movement capacity, overall knowledge of the body and how people can make their body work for THEM." Like Alex, I enjoy sharing information that I have learned to fill in those gaps in fitness.


"What does P.A.I.Ls and R.A.I.Ls stand for?" you ask. "PAILs stands for Progressive Angular Isometric Loading while RAILs stands for Regressive Angular Isometric Loading. PAILs and RAILs are often used together alongside stretching to increase range of motion and improve mobility." For PAILs, you are contracting the tissue that is currently on stretch and being lengthened while for RAILs, you are contracting the tissue that is shortened. Alex continues, "When PAILS and RAILs are applied properly they can be a useful tool to help acquire new active ranges of motion while teaching your nervous system how to control and produce force in or use that new range of motion. Put simply, you will cause both your nervous system and your tissues (including muscles) to respond in a way that typically increases your range of motion while simultaneously teaching your nervous system how to actually use that range of motion."


Oftentimes I will see PAILS and RAILs utilized for (but not limited to) Shoulders (Internal Rotation, Flexion), Wrists (Extensions), Hips (External & Internal Rotation), and Hamstrings and even ankles. In her blog titled, "What are PAILS and RAILS?" Alex has some exercise examples that you can check out via short Youtube video clips of how PAILS & RAILS work. 



For additional research, here are a couple of Instagram pages with great mobility exercises that you can check out that incorporate PAILs and RAILs:Amir Zandinejad | Mobility Coach (@beardthebestyoucanbe) • Instagram photos and videosBritta Paulin | Cross training for Pole, Circus and Dance (@its.britta) • Instagram photos and videos


Written by: Alicia Schroder

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