What is "Authentic Human Movement," and why is it important for your training? - Semi Private Training in Midtown NY

Small Group Fitness in New York - Catalyst SPORT

At Catalyst we believe in training the body in the way that it was meant to move. But what does that mean? How were we meant to move, and why is that important for your training?

Isolation Not Integration, or Patterns Not Muscles

What muscle does a wide receiver use to outrun the defender, and leap into the air to catch a touchdown pass? What muscle do you use to pick up some heavy luggage and put it into the overhead compartment? The answer is: A LOT OF THEM! In real life and in sports, Movement does not occur only at one joint. It is a coordinated, multi-joint, multi-plane effort that requires mobility, stability, and strength. Yet too often, when we go the gym, we train single body parts (“Monday is chest day”) or use machines that have little, if any, relation to real-life movement. We sit on the train, sit at work, and then go to the gym to sit on machines.

No, authentic human movement is moving the way our bodies were meant to move. We can improve our fitness results by training in the patterns that our bodies and brains intrinsically understand. Think running, lunging, stepping, reaching, and squatting. Authentic Human Movement is the coordinated action of huge portions of our musculature to sprint, carry, jump, or play.

Moving Better Means Moving More—The Key to Effective Fat Loss and Improved Fitness

In one of our favorite studies, overweight clients with sup-optimal movement patterns were placed either into a) a class designed to improve their movement patterns or b) a “high intensity” boot camp style conditioning class. The results may surprise you – the group that spent time improving their movement patterns actually LOST MORE WEIGHT than the group that focused exclusively on burning as many calories as possible.

Moving better means moving more. Ultimately, the key to long-term success is consistency; when you can move gracefully, authentically, and free of pain, you’ll want move more. Additionally, building a foundation of good movement patterns will set you up for success for the rest of your life. “The wider the base, the taller the pyramid”—spending a few months improving the way you move will help you live an active lifestyle for decades to come.

* (Their movement patterns were assessed using the “Functional Movement Screen”—a 7-step evaluation that provides a detailed movement profile of that individual. Interested in finding out YOUR FMS score? Just click on "Request More Info" and we'll contact you to set up an appointment).

Reduced chance of injury

Our bodies are beautifully designed machines, honed for efficiency over millions of years of evolution. When we move in ways we weren’t designed to move, imbalances result. These imbalances can often lead to injury. For example, bodybuilding routines that place a disproportionate emphasis on the chest (the “pecs”) and overdevelop that musculature such that it pulls the shoulder forward. This can cause all sorts of problems, such as rotator cuff injury, labral tears, etc.

When we train in the context of Authentic Human Movement, we produce balanced musculature. We develop stability where it belongs (such as the lower back, which does respond well to excessive movement), and mobility where it belongs (such as the hips, which are designed to move through a full range of motion). Exercise should never produce aches and pains –instead it should make you feel strong and vibrant.

Improved posture and alignment

One of the other “hidden” benefits of training true Movement is the improvement of your posture. For example, when we develop the ability to reach and lift overhead, we improve the extension of the upper back, fighting the head-forward, hunchbacked posture that is all too common in our sedentary computer society. Or, when we develop core strength to keep a “neutral spine” (a term you’ll hear a lot around Catalyst), we bring the pelvis back into alignment, eliminating the sway-backed butt-out posture that can result from excessive sitting.

The benefits of training your body the way it was meant to move are enormous. You’ll feel better, look better, and be ready to live an active lifestyle.

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