What Do You Mean I Don’t Know How To Use My Body?!!
As defined by Merriam-Webster, kinesthetics is “a sense mediated by receptors located in muscles, tendons and joints and stimulated by bodily movements and tensions” and “sensory experience derived from this sense” (Merriam-Webster.com, 2017). Basically what this means is, kinesthetics is your awareness of your body. In our School of Fitness, during your first few sessions, you’ll commonly hear that we have to teach you how to use your body again.
You’ll think to yourself, “I know how to use my body! It’s my body!” However, that is probably not the case, and it’s why you suffer from chronic shoulder, hip, knee, back, etc. PAIN.
Do your parents still have your baby booties! Do you remember your first pair of cool “kicks” in school? This is the first good example how you’ve been set up for failure in using your body correctly. When you watch a child run for the first time, it’s flawless. They seem to run so effortlessly and movement specialists will always reference the perfection of children running. This is because their bodies only know one way to run. Correctly, with a mid-foot strike and a stable core. You put a child in their first pair of shoes however, and they seem to stumble around for a while.
Why is that? Because we’ve put them in a rubber trap that forces them to run with a heel strike, and that is where everything else may start to roll downhill.
Human nature is to be inherently lazy. I am not directly calling you lazy. I am saying that do to a modern urban lifestyle, we’ve sort of “devolved” and forgotten how to be functional. In westernized countries, you commonly hear of chronic pain plaguing their populations. There are TV ads and a million different service and pharmaceutical options to eradicate it for you, but how did we get here in the first place? You don’t hear of developing countries statistically suffering from lower back and knee pain in their early 20’s? That is because they don’t sit at a desk and learn to compromise themselves for hours on end every single day. They have to go get a heavy water pail, fill it at the well, and carry it miles back to the house for drinking.
We go to school or work, sit in cramped desks and relax our bodies as to not tire ourselves out for the duration of time we have to spend in that desk. Even if you’ve heard or read about keeping your posture neutral and your shoulders back, you always seem to find yourself back to being hunched over and grabbing at your aching back at the end of the day. That is because your body doesn’t remember how to brace itself! If you never train your body how to hold positions correctly, it’s not going to happen by just thinking about it.
When you sit in that desk chair, what are you doing? You’re squatting. When you pick up that heavy box to put it up in the garage and you know it’s going to hurt your back, what are you doing? A deadlift and press. That’s why utilizing a coach, to teach you again how to properly use your body, to brace your core and feel what muscles are being used! Too commonly when people come in they have lost the ability to simply “bring their shoulders back” or “squeeze your glutes” as they stand.
With hands on coaching, you can learn to regain that awareness, and by training those positions, you’ll find that your pain seems to go away and you haven’t thought about it for a while. If you can brace your core and hold an upright position in the bottom of your squat, and stand up without leaning forward at the gym with your coach, you’ll certainly be able to do it without thinking at your desk at work for 7 hours.
My job as a coach at StoneAgeFuel is to bring you back to the days when movement seemed effortless and came naturally. Before “cool” shoes and cramped desks took away your awareness of yourself. Before when you could just run and not feel out of place. We’ll teach you how to sit and stand the way you were meant to again. We’ll make it so you don’t have to dread picking up that box and putting it up. You’ll find yourself able to engage your lats without having to have them poked by your coach to remind you what they are and how to use them.
Sitting down, standing up, picking things up from the ground, running, jumping, climbing, walking, etc. are all movements we were made to be able to do naturally, without the fear of pain. Re-learning awareness of your body, how to use it, and training to use it correctly are the secrets to eradicating your pain and getting back to a great life.
It really also includes nutrition and sleep, but those have or will be covered in other blogs. Ha. In short, find someone truly educated to help you and let them bring you back to the functional pain free self you used to be, when you knew how to use your body the way it was meant to.