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Principles of Physical Movement

Moving naturally goes deeper than what kind of movements you get up to every day, and the variety of patterns that make up your daily movement nutrient profile. I like Katy Bowman's analogy about getting the right movement macronutrients and micronutrients, which means supplementing crawling, balancing, hanging jumping, and cutting back on chair sitting and spending too much time in stationary positions. But these principles go deeper than that.

These are a few simple points that are universally applicable to any kind of movement, not just exercise, but relevant right down to how you put on your seatbelt, reach for your coffee, change directions when you're walking, and even how you wipe your bottom. Those mundane acts are moments that can either reinforce distortions or help balance them. I'm not suggesting special techniques, but rather guiding principles that can reveal habitual movement inefficiencies that manifest in everything we do. Every time they manifest, that action requires compensatory muscular tension to hold the body up, rather than being balanced by the natural alignment of the joints.

It all boils down to whether you are working with gravity or fighting against it. This comes down to how you shift your weight and counter-balance to keep your center of gravity in line with your base of support. It is also about thinking about movement as a whole-body affair, and to stop moving in "parts".

What is the Movement System

The muscular system can be split into two categories, the smooth muscles which we cannot consciously control, and striated muscles that we consciously contract to create movement. The latter system is part of what we call the movement system, which involves these movement muscles, tendons, and also bone, ligament, and fascia. All of these elements together make up the movement system. Not only do they have the function of facilitating movement, but also holding everything else in place.

Principles of the Movement System