So we all need to exercise, right folks? This is a no-brainer. We need to keep exercising throughout our lives to maintain muscle tone, vascular health, and bone density. And recent studies show that it even plays a role in preventing brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. Although I do challenge most of the standard workout routines I see folks at the (insert corporate gym chain) doing I do advocate using gyms and even I have recently taken a liking to kettle bells in my home workouts.
Right now I want to clarify the intention and the nature of movement work that I do with clients. But first of all I should explain one of the main problems of traditional exercise as we know it. For every repetition of a gross motor movement, eg: crunch, leg press, biceps curl, pull-up, bench press, etc, we are essentially habituating one way to do a movement. This “one way” of doing the movement is usually based upon what is the most easy way for our own body and also on our preconceived ideas of “how it should look.” Do these two things I’ve mentioned aid us or constrain us in moving with ease and full range of expression?
In the world of Rolfing, we are looking to give the client more options, not less. When we take a remedial language class we usually rely on one way of saying the basic phrases. “Como se va? Excuse’ moi.Que tal? Donde esta la biblioteca?” etc. Pretty boring. And not only do we say the phrases the same every time, but we say them with the same pronunciation and cadence. Native French and Spanish speakers have myriad ways of saying each phrase. Every time a totally unique phrasing. Movement really is no different. When we do a movement such as going from sitting to standing, in the same way we are overwriting these patterns over and over. Data overwriting data. We become a slave to one way of sitting and getting up. When this one way stops working for us or causes a pain there are no options left.
So Movement Integration is aiming to expand upon the movement choices that you can have. It is exploratory in nature, not regimented. There is no wrong or right way to do the exercises. What is more important is providing a looking glass that identifies how you move and how we can improve the quality of a movement. And yes these ideas will help you make your workouts deliver more strength results.
Of the 2 pictures in the top right which body looks easier to move and reside in? When we have more movement options we can bring ourselves out of pain, move more effectively, and have a wider range of expression. This is really what we mean when we say that you become a more embodied self. You simply have more choices.