We are asymmetrical beings. You only have to look inside our body to understand we are not symmetrical. We only have one heart, a stomach and a liver. Even the left lung is more narrower and higher, whilst the right lung is more wider and lower. Most humans are more organized on the left side of the body, but we tend to be more stronger on the right. We are not symmetrical beings. Yet you go to the gym, and it is full of symmetry. I see machines balanced and in proportion, putting humans and our bodies out of proportion and into posterior tilts.
We all have a unique spatial design. But when you lose this spatial design, either by an injury, or fatigue or even just by sitting in a desk for 10 hours a day will create a compensatory or an unnecessary alignment in the body. The body will adapt to this limitation. The pronation of your left foot may be causing the whole body to rotate to the right, displacing the right hip posteriorly and creating a left tilt of the shoulders. Flexion of the upper body causes your chest to become sunken and your posterior more posterior!
The tonicity of the muscles whether they go hypo or hyper will keep you in that holding pattern for years to come. Maybe forever. For example, if you have been on crutches for 6 weeks, even when you lose those crutches the muscles have almost toned themselves into that pattern – making it very difficult for the body to let go of that pattern. You may now have a stronger flexion pattern, or more of a posterior tilt or maybe your whole body just leans to the left. Maybe your hip has internally rotated even further in.
Your body won’t make mistakes. It really is just obeying what it is supposed to be doing with the imperfection that you have provided it. Things are going to be displaced in the body whether you have hypo or hyper tone in certain structures or muscles through out the body.
When you move, or more importantly when you exercise it is important to start from a more neutral position so you can tone the muscles more evenly. You do not want to start an exercise program, where it will reinforce these patterns or start an exercise program where even just maybe you are 2-6k off your central axis of rotation. By having an anterior to posterior displacement, the results as you can imagine would be quite different.
Even though we are asymmetrical, we still need to push for symmetrical type movements and to start those from more of a neutral alignment. That’s why all major exercise programs provide a guideline or a framework for you to work within for your own kinetic awareness.
If we can put you in a position that is most available to you at that time or your most optimal position before you start any movement – than the sequence of events that happens from this position will be quite different to if you were to start in a pattern that is quite foreign for that movement.
Try This Exercise For A Little Posture Improvement
1. Sit on a seat – with your back against it. Look left and now look right. Note where your vision ended.
2. Now sit on the chair with just your tuberosities (sit-bones) on the end of the chair. Now look left. Now look right. Note where your vision ended. Note how much more range of motion you have. Just by gaining more length in the spine as it is not restricted by the back of the chair.
Now try this! But we are going to use this magical force that not many people use when exercising. We have all heard of gravity. But there is an equal and opposite force that no-one (yes, no-one) ever takes advantage of. It is called Ground Reaction Force (GRF).
3. Take the same sitting position. When you turn to the left this time, use your right foot and push away the Earth as you look to the left. You should almost gain 360 degree vision. Do the same thing when looking to the right. Use your left foot to push the Earth away, as you gain more range of movement.
Amazingly simple. Yet we never use it. When we are in the car, and turning around to see what the kids are up to, we never use GRF to gain more range of movement – we seem to put ourselves in the most awkward position, just to see what is happening behind us. Taking these same types of principles and theory we apply these to our exercise programs. This is why so many of our ladies, get stronger, fitter and leaner much more quickly and it is a more efficient way of exercising.
Just one last quick note for you to think about. When you exercise, you probably have a habit. Think about what hand closes around the bar first or what foot goes first into a machine. Think about this…When you do things simultaneously or habitual you are already imposing control or strength to that side of the body. We tend to lead with our most strongest side. If you always get into the rower and put your right foot in first, you are setting up in a way that has a tendency to make the left side weaker. The left side of the body just flops where it needs to be, because the right side of the body is controlling the left. So the right side has total control now and it continues to dominate. As an athlete or even just a regular gym goer – this has consequences. Injuries are always on the left. Fatigue and pain is always on the left. The left doesn’t stand a chance.