healthy bodies

MOVEMENT...WHAT IT REALLY MEANS!

American Turner Gymnasium 1860

American Turner Gymnasium 1860

An online lecture I saw recently given by Dr Ed Thomas, an expert in the foundation of Physical Education, drove me to analyse what fitness is today in comparison to what it was historically.  Historically, there are three fundamentals of movement and fitness, these are Progression, Variety & Precision.  

Now from what I can tell and have observed over the years is that the majority of fitness enthusiasts seem to do well to take care of the Variety aspect of fitness, it's not hard to keep workouts varied.  Progression seems to be mostly adhered to, it's quite simple, you learn a movement to a satisfactory level until it becomes quite comfortable and then you progress that movement, either by adding weight, increasing reps or challenging the movement to a higher level of difficulty (i.e. advancing from a squat to a single leg squat progression).  Now, I have to take a pause here, although progression seems to be quite evident in most fitness programmes, there is a little issue that is quite niggling…this would be the over-eagerness to progress.  This is a huge issue that is present within our field, you may have someone who is recently able to squat their own bodyweight comfortably but then wants to throw 40kgs onto their back and continue to squat, or a personal trainer who wants to make a client sweat more by handing them heavier weights resulting in a less precise movement pattern.  You can't expect the body to move as efficiently with extra load in a movement pattern that is newly learned with only bodyweight or that is challenging enough with the current weight used.  This brings me to the third and final (and I personally believe the most important) fundamental...Precision.

We need to find a way back to basics and get the population moving well and precisely again, we are so far away from our own mind-body connection that most people just go through the motions of exercise without ever making a conscious connection to how they are moving, why they are moving or how they are breathing.  There was no sloppiness in movement back in the 1800's & most of the 1900's, precision was the key focus and the fitness just followed.

functional movement personal trainer gold coast.jpg

In Gray Cook's book, "Movement", he talks about the origins of Martial Arts and sums up what fitness should and used to be.  Somehow recent generations have managed to distort this approach and turn it on it's back.  Current jobs and lifestyles have a huge role to play and make it hard for the body to hold onto fundamental physical fitness, but not impossible by far!  "Purposeful movement perfection was the focus, and physical conditioning happened as a natural side effect".

primal movement personal trainer.jpg

Modern day gyms are stacked full of equipment promoting dysfunctional movement.  The use of fixed machines encourage your body not to utilise it's core stabilising musculature and instead, rely on your large, global muscles for movement.  In our daily lives we need to be able to squat, lunge, push, pull, reach, run, bend and rotate, all done whilst fighting gravity (not sitting locked into a machine).  This is when our bodies are moving as intended.  These are the movements we need to perfect and do with precision in order to be healthy, fit individuals avoiding injury.

Look at gyms from ancient times and see if you can spot a hamstring curl, a pec deck or a leg extension machine anywhere?  They only use anti-gravity equipment in the form of ropes, rings, parallel bars, ladders etc and hand weights in the shape of dumbbells, kettle bells, medicine balls and clubs.

Train functional movement patterns and make sure you do it with Precision, Variety & Progression in order to achieve true fitness.  Don't rush into a new movement before you have perfected its predecessor and don't load up a movement pattern before being comfortable and strong enough in doing it body weighted first.

DON'T STOP MOOVING...

Our bodies were designed for movement. The more we don't move, the more we suffer and become sick.

Find ways in your day to encourage movement, whether it be on a small scale or a larger scale.

If you work from home, try and find different positions to work in, don't just sit all day and don't just stand all day.

- Spend a few minutes down on the floor in different positions with a laptop or book raised on a stool.

- Find a way to raise your work up on something that can encourage you to stand for a while whilst you work.

- Spend some of the day sitting on a fitball and moving your pelvis gently forwards and back/side to side/around in circles.

- Spend some time down on one knee in a hip flexor stretch; switch legs after 10minutes then spend some time down on both knees with hips open.

hip flexor stretch work in half kneeling
 

- If you have to make some phone calls during the day why not go for a walk whilst you are making them.

Challenge your body and your brain throughout the day to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Go for long walks in nature when you have time after work or on the weekends. Breathe in fresh air and appreciate the beauty of the planet we live on. Leave your mobile phone at home and be in the present moment. 

Let's encourage healthy habits for ourselves and our children. Seek movement on a daily basis...

DeskMoovs - Complete Series
2.99

An easy to follow video routine of movements you can do right at your work desk, put together by a Physiotherapist. This 57 minute video will be all you need to help you gain more flexibility throughout your work day. Helping you avoid those aches and pains from sitting all day.

This video covers:

  • Lower Back & Hips
  • Upper Back & Shoulders
  • Neck & Headaches
  • Forearm / Wrist / Hands
  • De-Stress

It is packed with easy to follow instructions and education as well. A sure way to improve your productivity and get you feeling better!

This is a combination of all the DeskMoov videos we have on offer.