Habitual Movement – Is there room for change?

with 2 Comments

Recently – I was in a dance rehearsal being challenged by this relatively simple movement phrase. It went something like this: roll on my butt, shift my weight to the right while maintaining eye contact with my partner (she was behind me), roll to my knees, landing in my final position on all fours. Needless to say I was getting frustrated. The most difficult thing for me in this phrase was allowing my head to move in a way that my eyes continued to make contact with my partner.

After the initial frustration settled in. I started thinking about habitual movement patterns, and how our bodies gets “stuck” moving a certain way, day in and day out.

There are 3 planes of movement we should be moving in, sagittal, coronal and transverse. To gain a greater range of motion, decrease the possibilities of injuring yourself and to just have fun, incorporate these 3 planes of movement.

The Sagital Plane divides our body from left to right. Think moving forward and backward. When you’re biking, rowing, walking and lifting, this is the plane you are using the most of.

The Coronal Plane (frontal plane) divides your body into front and back. The movements in this plane are ABduction and ADDuction. Think: bringing your arm out in front of you (abduction) and bringing your arm back to your midline (adduction).

The Transverse Plane (horizontal plane) divides your body from top to bottom. Since the transverse plane is less direct in meaning and less frequently used on a regular basis we should try to move in this plane more often. Think twisting and incorporating more circular movements with your shoulders and hips.

Whether it’s in rehearsal, driving your car, hiking, and/or doing your dishes, it is important, challenging and fun to find unfamiliar ways to move. Because most of the time we just aren’t thinking about it.

Here are some tips on how to jumpstart a new movement vocabulary in your daily life.
1. Focus on your breathing – held breath can cause tension in certain areas of your body,
restricting your ability to move more freely.
2. Lie on the floor, begin on your back, stomach or side and begin to move. Find new ways to
move, without putting too much thought into it. If this is a foreign idea, put a piece of
music on to help.
3. Move slow. I always say if you think you’re moving too slow you probably aren’t moving slow
enough. Slowing down your movement allows your body and mind to form a new movement pattern.
4. Take a class, group or individual. I always recommend beginning with and one on one class,
you will get the attention you need to execute the movement accurately and safely.
5. Go outside. Move your whole body instead of focusing on 1 or 2 muscles.
6. Listen to your body – don’t’ push yourself. If you feel pain, STOP.
7. Overall. Enjoy, don’t over think and have fun.

2 Responses

  1. Minki Kim

    Nice Jay! Can’t stress enough to move slowly and mindfully. Inward focus will pay off dividends!

    Great post friend!

    • jaybartley

      Thank you Minki.

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