Routine tasks that you move your body through without much thought like bending down to pick something up can be wiring in bad mechanics.
Notice how the vertebrae bulge out when she firsts bends down, then when we correct the pelvis position her muscles contract around the vertebrae and protect them.
This shows how your body can just go through the motions however it thinks is correct, but your form might not be what you think it is. Fast forward and repetitive movements like this or exercises done wrong repeatedly will eventually lead to injury and cause “idiopathic” aches and pains.
This is why our training sessions do more than physical work because the brain is intricately involved in controlling your physical movement. We teach you to be mindful of how you’re moving in order to correct and reprogram sustainable function.
Functional flexibility: being able to achieve a range of motion that your muscles drive you into, and can get you out of, (not as pictured). Passive stretching to reach an extreme range of motion causes problems on your joints, tendons, and ligaments because you’re using external means (absent of muscle contractions) to do so. Since you didn’t utilize any muscle to reach that ROM, your body has to lever off of a joint to get you out of it. Like gravity just dumping your body (and your joints) wherever it wants to and then you have to figure out how to get out of that position because your body (muscles) didn’t actually do anything to get you there.
The fact of the matter is that your muscles are designed to lengthen (stretch) and then shorten (contract) and continue through this reciprocal function to produce movement. When you hold a stretch position you disrupt your muscles elasticity and they lose their ability to recoil (shorten/contract). So when we train clients to exercise correctly and recognize what a muscle contraction feels like, they use the contraction to move their body into a range for a few seconds and then they use the same muscles, differently, to move out of that range, and repeat for reps. With this intention, they’re building strength in one chain of muscle, while the opposing chain is stretching.
This allows the body to reach a safe range of motion without strain because when the muscle contraction disappears, you know you’ve reached a range of motion your body isn’t ready for. Never mind the stretch, remember if one muscle is contracting another is stretching. So focus on the contraction and the stretch will come along for the ride.
Stretching aims to get rid of tension. But your body needs tension to support itself.
Not all tension is bad, your body needs to learn how to properly distribute tension to the correct muscles.
When tension is redistributed to the proper areas of the body, muscles don’t feel the need to stretch because the body is in a state of balance.
This concept is a basis for correcting muscle imbalances.
Your ability to move well in all planes of motion depends on how effectively your nervous system communicates to your muscular system, and vice versa, and how efficiently both systems respond to each other.
If communication is disrupted the muscular system starts creating its own movement pathways and efficiency declines because the nervous system is no longer sending the correct command signals for optimal movement.
Eventually the compensatory movement patterns lead to muscle dysfunction, in one muscle or multiple, which then sets off a chain reaction of muscle imbalances throughout the rest of the body.
Global muscle connections throughout the neuron-muscular web lose their ability to work properly and at the proper times- agonist muscles and their antagonists, groups of muscle synergies, and stabilizer muscles, that make up entire chains of muscle, begin to misfire and disrupt the body’s ability to move in an ideal state of function.
The less functional your body becomes, the more problems start to arise. Physical function will effect physiological function. Physiological function will effect Psychological function. The physical inability of the body to lengthen certain muscles of the stomach will interfere with the physiological inability to digest food properly, from over-shortened muscle tissue decreasing the amount of space between the intestines and the rest of the organs. Potentially leading to constipation, and an altered mental state, when you’re in pain because you can’t poop.
Biomechanical efficiency is optimized when the brain and body are able to communicate clearly. The right signal from the mind to the neuron-muscular network will promote the correct response, and the most optimal form of movement for the body. The better the body becomes at movement, from exercise to everyday motion, the less aches and pains are experienced.
Reprogramming the Nuero-Muscular network to associate better biomechanics as the “new norm” is a process that slowly unfolds as more muscle dysfunction is exposed, and over time, corrected.