My background in human performance, has led me down a career where I can impact peoples development by teaching them how to use and improve the tool of the human body I love what I do because I believe, that everyone’s an athlete in the game of life.
Im writing this blog, so I can share my opinions and thoughts with anyone interested in listening/reading. I like to deep dive down "rabbit holes". This will be for all "rabbit holes" related to human function and performance. Please feel free to add to the pool of thought, this is an open discussion. Let’s learn from each other!
Lets break down a few of the basics before we take a deep dive down a movement rabbit hole. The word Kinesiology is derived from 2 greek words “kinesis” and “ology” meaning “movement” and “study”. Over the years humans have become more interested in understanding how the body moves and how muscles work to make it move.
It is believed that greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C) is the “father of kinesiology”.
Aristotle studied both man and animal form and function, he was able to consider all aspects of living beings lives to understand how and why, they have adapted movement quality the way that they have. Despite his ideas and understanding of anatomy, Aristotle allegedly performed little, if any, human dissections. The practice of dissecting human cadavers gained momentum by the studies of physician Herophilus (c.330–260 B.C.) and physiologist Erasistratus (c.315–240 B.C.).
Now, insert Leonardo da Vinci.
This dude had a lot of titles. Da Vinci as an artist, had a massive impact on the field of human anatomy, movement and performance. His artwork gave us a very realistic view of the body. Da Vinci gave us sculptures and drawings that depicted his anatomical findings through his studies and dissections.
His artwork helped us understand structural kinesiology, the study of muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints and how they are involved in human movement.
Think about the muscles as a series of rubber bands attached to a skeleton. There is more than 600 muscles in the human body. Some big “Primary movers” and a shit-ton (yes, i'm using a “shit-ton” as a real metric) of small muscles that help us function as humans. Many of the small muscles are involved in joint stability, spinal integrity, and dexterity of the hands and feet. Theres a number of terms we use to determine anatomical directions (similar to north, east, west, south- NEWS), but I won’t bore you with all that jargon.
All of this brings me to the term “planes of motion” this is how we characterize the various different movements of the body.
Think about this, you’re standing tall on two feet, hands by your side, palms open facing forward. This position we call anatomical position. (fig. 1.1)
Now imagine a piece of glass intersecting your body head to toe in two halves. (fig. 1.4)
The imaginary piece of glass represents the plane. There are 3 primary planes of motion: Sagittal, transverse, and frontal planes.
Now, for fun I want to go back to elementary school for a second.
2 ways to fold a piece of paper in half
hotdog/taco style. This is our sagittal plane
hamburger style. This is our traverse plane
Humans can technically divide a 3rd way due to our dimensions similar to a block, front and back. This is the frontal plane.
This is where movement gets complex for most people. Keep in mind, it is very unlikely that our movements are in one particular plane. We tend to move fluidly between a combination of planes, when we move.
I feel that understanding how the body works. Will help every person improve their quality of life. I believe, there is a spectrum of human performance level. On one end, you have an extremely sedentary person on the other end you have your elite Olympic athlete.
One person may be training to improve quality of life and avoid damaging their body.
The other maybe training to improve their performance for a specific competitive event or to decrease the risk of injury..
All of these people are athletes in the game of life.
Given these extremes energy requirements mirror this spectrum, the more sedentary the person, the less energy is used and required. The more active a person is, the more energy is used and required. Many of you may have heard of “calories”? Well... calories are how we measure energy, in and out, of our bodies.
In my opinion, everyone should understand the relationship between movement efficiency, in all planes of motion, and the energy required to move at the desired intensity and frequency.
I believe, the future for this industry lies in the ability to provide access to information that can help every human live at an optimal level. Companies like Fitbit, Whoop, Garmin, and even Apple, have created wearable technology that tracks the users performance data like RHR, HR, caloric expenditure and daily strain. Sleep habits and HRV are also key metrics useful in optimizing performance.
Our understanding of the human body has helped humans advance. Our past was filled with great levels of development, the findings of the future have a chance of being even greater to human development.
“Our future, will be greater than our past”
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Floyd, R.T. Foundations of Structural Kinesiology. Manual of Structural Kinesiology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012