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Part 3 of our “How’s Your Trunk?” series takes us to see an orchestra! Isn’t it amazing how the conductor gets all the different instruments playing their melody at the right time, in the right way, at the right volume, ALL at the same time. When we move, a similar thing has to happen in our body in order to create beautiful, easy, effortless, light movement. Here’s why…
The conductor plays a pivotal role in CONTROLLING everything. The body needs the same sort of control mechanism in order to get different regions and joints moving just right to do our task, whether it is walking, running, gardening, sailing, picking up your children or grandchildren. When we move, we need to balance, spread and shock absorb forces and keep the body controlled the whole time so we don’t fall over. The conductor of your body is your BRAIN.
In order to maintain your equilibrium and balance whilst moving you need to co-ordinate and CONTROL all the bits of your body at the same time in just the right way.
When squatting to pick up a pot in the garden or your child, you need ALL OF YOU to do it. Not just your legs or your arms. All of you is having to move in various different ways. You don’t leave your head behind (mentally maybe!).. You also shouldn’t just switch all our muscles on strongly at the same time and hold them on in a braced way. Doing this doesn’t allow you to dissociate your body parts well in order to move. You need an orchestra. A well timed and controlled orchestra!
If you find squatting difficult it is likely you may not find sitting easy, relaxed and comfortable because in order to sit you need to squat. Add load when you do this and muscles will have to adapt accordingly to allow the same things to happen. You don’t need to be stiff or rigid to do this, you need to be controlled through out your body not just the bit between our lower ribs and pelvis…the mythical “core”! EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.
This “CONTROL” model of looking at the body highlights the components of co-ordination, timing, the ability to use right muscle at the right time, with the right amount of force for a specific task, to maintain either a static position or a dynamic flow of movement.
So, in summary, you need to have the ability to brace your spine and body and make it rigid and stiff BUT you also need to be able to modulate how your muscles are working to CONTROL different regions of the body relative to one another. Bracing is not the answer for good, beautiful movement.
This week, your “ONE THING” to think about is how your body is controlled. Does it move effortlessly, lightly and with ease from place to place or do you feel rigid, stiff and heavy or like different regions of your body feel “disconnected” from others?
Any of these non-optimal things can lead to discomfort or pain over time. They also don’t make us want to move because it doesn’t feel good. Moving less and non-optimally is not a good option for the long term. So, do something about it guys. Call a Physio. We can help. Movement is our thing!