This morning there was a glorious breeze blowing in the local park. Dry season is the time for wind and beautiful flowering trees. I was approaching one of my favorite trees presently in its glory; a Flamboyan or delonix regia. The strong breezes had toppled the tree which lay in its splendor on its side. Observing the way it pulled out, I noticed that the tree had been protected by the building; as it expanded and flowered (lots of wind resistance) the roots were not prepared for such pressures.
I keep thinking how people are similar. Building a strong foundation of movement patterns is essential to staying healthy and injury free. Just because our legs move us forward when we walk or run doesn’t mean we are using the appropriate muscle chains. Thanks to our modern sedentary lifestyle, we gradually forget how to use our bodies. We don’t know how to bend at the hips and how to activate the proper muscles. How many people flop into their chairs using no muscle control at all?
From my experience, there is a tendency to use smaller, more superficial muscles and not the big stabilizing muscle groups for movement and that is a big cause of injuries and pain (back, hip, neck, and knee). Example, you use your quads for all movement and never activate your hamstrings or gluteus. Many of my clients’ don´t know how to activate their gluteus to get them involved in movement. It takes a concerted effort to get the biggest muscle in the human body to start to work. If the gluteus don´t switch on for walking or moving, there is a problem with the foundation.
The next time you go for a walk, think about your body and try to identify what muscles are moving you forward. See my other article on how to walk effectively. Enjoy these beautiful mornings and afternoons in conscious movement.