💪🧍♀️ Muscle Connections 💪🧍♀️
Proper positioning of the arms, legs, and head helps us to physically find the link between muscle and connective tissue. Using focus and intent when we line these extremities up with the torso gives us a powerful tool for changing body posture and developing flexibility.
In order to devise appropriate exercises, it is necessary to use our knowledge of the nature of our body parts (how plastic, or changeable, the various components are) to create the effect we need.
Three important structural connections in the body that we have to consider are the “X” model, the inner unit, and the lateral system.
pulling it all together
– Coordination between opposing limbs and the trunk is demonstrated by the “X” model concept.
– Precision in stretching is created by achieving stabilization of the inner unit, which provides a firm foundation.
– Elongation of the lateral system promotes symmetry and balance.
🧎♀️ The “X” model
The “X” model shows the connection between what is going on externally and the inner unit (see below). It shows how the limbs are connected with each other and how these connections pass right through the inner unit. Think deep; think three-dimensional. The right arm, for example, is connected to the left leg and vice versa.
The positioning of the head, which can weigh up to 6.8kg (15lb), is also important. Tipping it in any direction activates an intricate system of overlapping muscles that both bind the head into the trunk and yet allow a marvelous telescoping range to the neck.
🧎♀️The inner unit
Various groups of muscles form the inner unit.
These are the muscles at the bottom of the torso (the pelvic floor), the deep abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominals at the sides of the abdomen, the deep low-back muscles, the multifidi (a group of muscles either side of the spine), and the muscles deep inside the rib cage (the diaphragm).
Working the muscles of the inner unit correctly – with good form – promotes low-back and pelvic health.
The exercise instructions also help you to use the inner unit as a stabilizing foundation, giving more precision when you stretch the external parts.
🧎♀️The lateral system
The lateral system connects the muscles and fascia that run down the sides of the body. Think of it as a long road running from the triceps in the upper arm, past the armpit, down the side of the ribs and waist, extending down the side of the leg past the thigh and shin, and ending at the side of the foot.
This lateral system is often overlooked, but opening it through stretching is key to balancing the body and improving posture.
- The “X” model shows the link between what goes on internally and externally.
Opposite sides of the body criss-cross, attaching the limbs and head to the torso.
- The inner unit is the foundation of our body. It houses our center of gravity. Anchoring this area provides a counterbalance to, and increased effectiveness for, each stretch.
- Attention to stretching the lateral system is a major key in balancing the body. Our right- or left-handed dominance presents a challenge when it comes to achieving optimal posture