VGA: Supplemental Exercises

pails – rails: what you need to know

“PAILs” or Progressive Angular Isometric Loading: combine stretching with isometric loading/training at progressive articular (joint) angles in order to simultaneously expand ROM as well as strengthen and produce tissue adaptation in the newly acquired ranges.

“RAILs” or Regressive Angular Isometric Loading: combine stretching with isometric loading/training at regressing articular angles in order to strengthen, and induce beneficial tissue adaptations in progressively shorter angles.

The bottom line: The mobility training we are doing with this protocol is essentially strength training.

Mobility training = strength training.

Gaining control at end ranges means improving our strength at those end ranges.

Better control and strength means we can better access these end ranges when it matters the most, during our sports.

Please take a moment to think about this sentence:


This concept is central to all of the work we will do with both CARs and PAILs – RAILs.

Without some kind of message to the cell (force), the cell doesn’t have the impetus to change – to adapt – to improve in some capacity.

In this next video, I use the hamstring muscle group (or thinking of it more holistically, the backside of the body) as an EXAMPLE, to teach the concept of PAILS and RAILS.

Your goal is to apply this concept with whatever area you have been instructed on. I will have provided you with any additional video links you will need to guide you for that particular area.

(Below this video, you will see a video on 90 / 90. This is a great area and movement to begin with!)

In this next video, we take the above concept and apply it to the 90 / 90 hip position.

Remember, KEEP IT SIMPLE, my friend.

You’re going to passively stretch for at least 2 minutes, and then do some isometric strength work in that position. Simple.

None of these skills are ever “one and done.” Your tissues need repetition in order to be able to change.

These routines must be done consistently – at least 4 to 7x per week, over a fairly long period of time, to have a positive (and more permanent) effect long-term.

When you need rest or when life intervenes, take it. Accept that some days you won’t be able to get it in.

The next day, return to the process.

Repetition, repetition, repetition.

Stay with it.