I like to talk about movement just as much as I like to talk about posture. So what do I mean with “quality movement”? Isn’t all movement of equal quality? Let me explain.
Firstly, the body is a motion machine. Excuse the word machine as it’s one heck of a machine and creation. But motion is one of the nutrients it requires just like food, water and oxygen.
Secondly, not all movement is created equal. Just like not all food and drink is created equal. Sure, on a Friday night you might enjoy a frozen pizza and a beer. But if you balance that out with a healthy diet, all is well. Your body will function much better if it is given the right nutrients, including quality movement.
Lack of quality movement
Most of us spend way too much time in a sitting or slouched position. And when we do get off our behinds after a long working day, we sit in a folded position again, in our car seat or in public transportation. Or we drive to spinning class where we sit again for an hour in a forward position. That hardly meets our body’s need for quality movement.
You know the saying “use it or lose it” and that is exactly what the body does. It is very efficient and doesn’t want to spend excess energy. So if it notices you hardly use a particular muscle group (such as the muscles in your back that pull your shoulder blades together – the rhomboids, look them up!), the muscles get lazy, weak and long. Simultaneously, the opposing muscle group, for example the muscles in front of the shoulders and in the chest, get strong and tight. So that’s an imbalance between front and back.
By constantly sitting with shoulders that are rounded forward, your body starts to adapt to this pattern. It thinks (yes: the body is intelligent) that this is the position you find important, and it recruits muscles to become even better at sitting in this position. Congratulations, you are becoming a champion sloucher.
What is perfect posture
If you have ever visited my clinic, you might have seen a diagram of what we consider to be the perfect posture, the perfect alignment. There is symmetry left to right, and front to back. If you’re in pain you need to get back to this alignment and approximate it as much as possible. This means balancing out your muscles left to right and front to back. In a personal visit I will put together a routine for you that does exactly that.
What movements should you do?
So how about that quality of movement? I was just getting to that. I consider movement to be of quality when it takes your body, and more specifically your joints, through their natural range of motion or restores them to it. Chances are, if you are sitting too much with shoulders hunched forward, you will not be able to lift your arm(s) very high. This means the range of motion in your shoulder is compromised. Not to worry, you aren’t broken and you don’t need a new shoulder. Not if I have anything to say about it. What I will do is meet you at your level of movement, and improve upon it. So that in the weekend you’ll be able to paint the fence or reach for that high cupboard without pain or strain. So that you’ll no longer have trouble with that serve in tennis or that golf strike. In short, whatever you love to do. So that you call the shots, as opposed to your body limiting you in what it can do.
Getting your body balanced again
By restoring your posture to its blueprint as much as possible, your range of motion will increase and the right muscles will start doing the right things again. The end result, and the only thing that counts, is that you get pain free and can go back to doing what you love. There is nothing that I love more than to help you do that. Give me a call!