FOUNDATIONS OF MOVEMENT
With our Foundations of Movement classes we truly start at the beginning.
The first step is proper breathing. Although we generally breathe 22,000 times per day, most of us aren’t very good at it! We tend to breathe shallowly and into our upper chest (which isn’t particularly efficient) and which also overuses our neck and shoulder muscles (shoulder tension anyone?).
Even belly breathing isn’t quite what we are looking for. We want to learn to breathe down to our pelvic floor. Why? This gives us good IAP (Intra-Abdominal Pressure).
Why do we want good IAP? In a word, stability.
Your brain is interested in two things : safety and stability.
If your body isn’t achieving good stability the most efficient way (with good IAP), then it will get it inefficiently. With tight muscles and compressed joints. Ouch!
Expect to spend most of your first active session working on breathing. Getting this stability system back on line can be life-changing.
Next, we will progress you through the developmental patterns that you were born with. This draws from the work of Vaclav Vojta, Karel Lewit, Vladimir Janda, and the Prague School of Rehabilitation. The technique is called “Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization." And while the name is clunky, the technique is quite elegant.
No matter where in the world you are born, you are born pre-programmed with these developmental patterns. Babies do not need to be taught how to roll, or to crawl, or to walk.
However, you do have to teach adults!
As we get older, suffer from injuries large and small, sit at desks and in cars, and experience all the stressors of life, we lose our ability to move with the smooth coordination of a developing baby. We acquire compensations - either through direct trauma, or the microtrauma of poor posture and repetitive stresses.
Reconnecting with these patterns can help us return to that smooth coordination of movement.
The best part of working through these patterns is that it is fun! Surprisingly challenging - but fun.
You will want to do your homework. We promise.
Another important aspect of this technique is that we are working within your comfort zone. All too often when folks start a fitness program they are thrown into the deep end, they panic, and the nervous system goes into high alert. This is not a good environment for your brain to fine-tune movement patterns.
For the first few sessions our personal trainers will be working with you on the floor (don’t worry, we keep our area spotless). Groundwork is an excellent way for you to explore movements while feeling safe and stable. This is an efficient way to train, since your brain isn't distracted by staying upright. It can focus on just doing one or two things efficiently.
Despite the seeming simplicity of these progressions, they can be quite challenging! When you are not able to momentum your way through a movement, and not allowed to use old compensation patterns to achieve the movement, your brain becomes very focused - and muscles that haven't worked in a while are forced to spring to life. It's an eye-opening experience!
Many folks also notice how well the progressions then translate to their current activities - and how much they help with both posture and body awareness.
It may take 4-10 sessions to truly own each of these progressions. Some folks can move from a 3-month-old to a 12-month-old in a few sessions. For others of us it takes a bit longer. You work at YOUR own pace, because after all, this is about YOU.
Once you have worked your way through the progressions what is next?
Now we can start adding weight to your movement - whether body weight, traditional weights, bands, or kettlebells. This is where our Smart Strength class comes in. You can read more about that right here.
Where many traditional gyms go wrong is adding weight to poor movement patterns. This is a recipe for injury. Our personal trainers teach you to move well first - and then add in the challenge.
There are infinite options for this challenge. If your goal is to return to running, or a traditional gym, or a home gym, or a boot camp, or Olympic weightlifting, then we can help you progress to that goal. We also know many excellent trainers in those fields. If you want to keep working with us, we can do that too. We won’t let you get bored!