In my earlier articles, I’ve written about how GRAVITY affects humans. I’ve also written about other concepts like perception, beliefs and consciousness combining to affect everyone’s TRUTH. Another article involved how awareness is the first step in changing behaviors. Now it’s time to tie it all together to help you fix your bodies.
Below, I will walk you through a complete synopsis of your movement system. So how do you get control of this highly complex system? It’s not as hard as you may think. In upcoming lessons, I will show you step by step, how to engage the muscles that control these areas and use ‘muscle memory’ to keep them engaged. This is an intro, so we won’t get into that right now.
Start at the Core
First what the heck is the core? Well, here is my definition (some of you may disagree, that’s okay). It consists of a few specific muscles; the transverse abdominis and the lower rectus abdominus are the important ones (to me). This is where all quality movement begins and ends. With a good core you will be able to prevent the back from injuries, rescue it from injury states, and improve your health.
Axial (think Axis) Stability means the stability of the entire spine. The spine essentially represents the axis by which movement is transmitted through your body. If you want to throw something, the force starts at your feet and travels through this path:
ground > toes/feet > lower extremity > hips > pelvis > core > SPINE > ribs > shoulder blade > upper extremity > hand/fingers > ball is released from hand.
To catch said ball, the ball (which now represents the force) returns in a reverse pattern into the ground.
ball touches hand > fingers/hand > upper extremity > shoulder blade > ribs > SPINE > core > pelvis > hips > lower extremity > feet/toes > ground absorbs force.
Notice that the spine was the center in both actions, and it is required to move just right in order to make this movement smooth. There are 32 spinal segments in the body, and a disruption, weakness or impairment in any of these structures leads to severe disruption in movement and activity. Control of this is accomplished through your paraspinal muscles working in synergy with all the connecting muscles of the core, scapular, pelvic and hip stabilizers. Below, we will break your body down into two distinct moving extremities, the upper and lower extremities.
Movement of the upper extremity moves from the axial skeleton to the scapula (aka shoulder blade). The scapular lies over the ribcage and is part of the shoulder girdle (shoulder blade, collar bone and humerus, or arm bone).
The movement of the shoulder blade (aka Scapula) is largely determined by your ability to engage the muscles that connect the shoulder blade to the spine. That includes the upper traps, levator scapulae, rhomboids, middle and lower traps. Other muscles like the scalenes (in the neck), serratus (chest wall), pectorals (front of upper chest) all have factors that influence these muscles. This complex interaction of muscles create or disrupt motion of the upper extremities. Each muscle is considered it’s own Tensor, but they all act together in “good” or “bad” synergies. The way these tensors interact and create different vectors determines how the scapula sets the stage for the upper extremity to move. This concept is called Tensor Flow.
- Fun Fact: Engineers working on Google Brain created a product called TensorFlow, which is Machine Learning platform which considers data sets to be like tensors, which would then create different directions of results, much in the same way described earlier. Ironically, if Google ever decided they really wanted to use their Machine Learning program of the same name to this, we could be on the verge of a breakthrough in modern medicine.
The other part of your body that is connected to the spine is the pelvis and hips. This is the area, when working as it should, will transmit forces between the lower extremities and spine. Areas here are crucial to help in sitting, standing, walking, running and just about any other anti-gravity movement (movement against gravity) you could imagine. Important muscles here include the gluteals, piriformis, tensor fascia lata, hamstrings, quads and hip flexors. Ligaments like the ITB also play a huge role.
Once again, with the coordinated interaction of these muscles, you are able to achieve finely tuned movement of the lower extremities.
Hands and Feet
If you imagine that your hands and feet are nothing more than your body’s finest tactile (touch) sensors that are also equipped with muscle control so it allows them to be moved to accomplish many tasks, then you will understand how valuable these structures are. Once we evolved with opposable thumbs, our brains had to develop to accommodate for the exponential increase of use case scenarios for the hands. Likewise, when we became upright home-sapiens, our feet evolved to give us a much more detailed sense of what was going on in the ground, and what body positions we were in. For example, when we walk on a beach, the sand under our feet will immediately give our brain a signal that the ground is unstable, which causes our toes and foot muscles to contract more than usual to keep our bodies stable.
- Fun Fact: Did you know that our hands and feet take up more use of our brain’s cerebral cortex than the rest of the body? Here is diagram of the representation of our body image according to our brains.
This module is meant to give you a very basic description of the parts of your body that are involved in creating movement and activities. By understanding even the basics, however, you now have the template for creating great movement and helping to avoid injuries. In fact, you can use it to fix your body when there is an injury. Ultimately, these concepts can help change your life by helping you move with ease.
- In upcoming Modules, I will go more in depth with these concepts to teach you how to really harness the power of these concepts and help you achieve any level of health, wellness or fitness you desire. Stay tuned.