Press-Republican

Columns

December 24, 2013

Moving correctly important part of exercise

Movement is ingrained from the first year of life and yet many of us have problems getting around without pain — why do our bodies fail us?

Efficient movement without injury should be one of the primary goals of any exercise program. Over the past 100 years this is has been more and more of a challenge due to the influence of new technology making our lifestyles more sedentary.

Along the lifecycle, our movements may become inhibited, eventually causing injury. Poor posture, constant sitting and repetitive faulty mechanics are partly responsible for this change. The sooner we fix these issues, though, the easier it is to bounce back on the road to proper movement.

When do we begin learning how to move correctly? The answer: from the moment we are born.

Infants learn to move correctly by trial and error. A newborn first uses eye movement and neck movement. They will then progress to rolling, sitting, sitting with support from one arm, crawling and eventually supported kneeling and standing. Each phase earned establishes the needed coordination and strength in our core and extremities to progress to the next level.

It is important that these developmental phases are not disturbed. Baby walkers, bouncers and other assistance devices may cause problems in developmental movement learning because they allow the body to progress too quickly. This does not mean you can’t use them, but it is important for their development that you don’t use them all the time.

Gray Cook, a well-known movement specialist said: “A baby must earn the right to walk.” If they don’t, they won’t have the proper coordination and strength to accomplish the next phase of movement correctly, and as a result, they may compensate with other muscles and joints.

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a tool that many fitness experts use to screen for faulty movement issues. With this tool, they can identify faulty movements and make corrections. 

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