The Gravity Affect – Efficient Movement

We all know that as beings who dwell on planet earth, we are bound by the pull of gravity, but have you considered how we might use it to our best advantage in our movement, quite possibly not?!

To be aware of our centre of gravity (COG) in posture is the start point, which means we load efficiently through our bones with less muscular effort, thus reducing energy output.

The next pointer is to be more aware of the tipping point where we move away from our centre of gravity. For example, going into a forward bend, be switched on to the muscles which are working to be well supported by the legs and the torso through. the whole movement without strain or unnecessary tension. It is the nervous system which maps our movements. Sensory nerves send information to the brain about our environment (internal and external) the motor nerves muscles tell the muscles to fire which creates movement. Movement can be refined to optimise efficiency, smoothness and ease. Our sensory and motor nerves, 'map' the movement, which over time and with repetition becomes more refined in spacial and movement terms.

Coming up from the ground or stepping back from a lunge for example becomes interesting. Obviously, we can come up from a static position which involves a certain effort, most wisely engaged from the big muscles of legs and glutes. When we use the body skilfully, we avoid overuse of the shoulders or overly pulling up from the head, neck or spine. The spine wants to unfurl from the fulcrum of movement going up through the leg bones to the hips and back into the pelvis. We can weave another layer of skill into the mix through use of momentum, when we rock or tip forwards or backwards, there will then be an impetus or an assist in going the other way. We can use to our advantage to lessen effort in working with and against gravity.

My next workshop will have a look at this theme.

Go well, breathe well. Will Lane