By Coach KB
(If you are new to the POINT Gym and Kitchen blog and want to learn what the Movement Minute Challenge is all about, check out the introductory post here.)
It’s been a minute! (or actually a month). But the Movement Minute is back in full force with Tom Myers, founder of Anatomy Trains and Kinesis Myofascial Integration. The realm of his work is both broad and deep which challenges me to keep this Movement Minute short and sweet. Here is the gist of his work:
Most of the anatomy we have learned focuses on separate muscles and their origins/insertion points (where they start and end). Did you know that muscles are actually connected to other neighboring muscles? This means that the fascia is also continuous. So the idea of separate muscles is really just an antiquated way for us to compartmentalize everything so we can neatly name its specific function and move on to the next fill-in-the-blank question on our A&P test. And it gives us a whole new meaning to the Skeleton Dance song (“the foot bone’s connected to the leg bone; the leg bone’s connected to the knee bone…”)!
In fact, there are hundreds of individual neuromotor units within a muscle, each wrapped by fascia - these are called fascicles. As with all of the approximately 70 trillion cells in our body, these cells are live and active. And they are all at work at every second, rolling, tumbling, and flowing… at work together in dynamic force. So yes, our elbow is a lever for our biceps but it is so much more than that. Did you know that, when you catch a baseball, the synovial fluid in your hand becomes solid but the split second after it becomes fluid again so you can manipulate the ball… THAT IS CRAZY!
The fascia and fascicles that tug on individual cells can actually change how the cells express themselves - how their genes work… what gets turned on and off at any given moment - so every time we move or get moved (massage, chiropractic, etc.) we literally could be changing the way our bodies work.
This brings me to the Movement Minute Challenge. This week my challenge for you is to spend one minute per day (probably total of a minute over the course of the day) thinking about (imagining!) how various parts of your body are at play in your daily movements... especially think about how parts of your body that are not typically considered “active” in a movement help you complete that task: As you walk, what is your neck doing? As you squat in the workout, what are your arms doing? As you do a supine twist in our warmup, what is your jaw doing? As you are eating dinner, what are your feet doing? If you imagine your insides as individual cells rolling and tumbling into each other instead of big muscles and bones and organs, it might actually shift the way you move your body.
*This Movement Minute was inspired by Episode 11 of the Liberated Body podcast.