Posture Principles – Pattern of Motion

Patterns – The body’s chain of motion follows the path of least resistance. – The 3rd Posture Principle

(3rd of 5 Posture Principles by Dr. Steven Weiniger)

In the absence of conscious effort, patterns of motion guide the body to move as it has before.

Think about it: When you start up a flight of stairs, do you usually lead with your right or left foot? (being left or right handed has little to do with which leg you start off on)

In almost everything we do and every motion our bodies make, we move in patterns.  Like the crease in a piece of paper,  the alignment of all the parts, arms and legs, elbows and knees, head and torso, follows the path of least resistance.  How we balance those parts is our posture.  In other words, your Posture is the Pattern of how you balance your body.

All three subsystems of the motion system– Connecting, Contracting and Controlling–develop physical and functional patterns.

Connecting ligaments, tendons and fascia stretch in ways they are used and contract or even “stick” in ways they aren’t used.

Bones support the body’s structure, and bones connect to other bones at the Joints, connected by Ligaments, and surrounded by muscles and Fascia.  The alignment of the bones and the containment of ligaments and fascia controls the possibilities of motion. Your foot bone connected to your ankle bone, Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone, and so on up the kinetic chain.  Which no matter what MUST balance.

Contracting muscles

Muscles shorten (or Contract) to move bones at joints. Muscles can only pull, like a rope, to create motion in a direction.

A muscle creating motion in a direction is called the AGONIST. Every muscle has an opposite partner that pulls the joint in the opposite direction and returns the joint to its starting position. This opposing muscle is the ANTAGONIST.

For example, to bend your elbow, your biceps contract.To straighten it, your triceps contract.

To lengthen, or push, a muscle must be pulled longer by its partner’s contraction. Each muscle in a pair of muscles pulls a joint in the opposite direction.

When one muscle in a pair is used more and one is used less, then the underused muscle weakens and the over used muscles become overly strong and tight.

Controlling nerves

Nerves control the muscles with messages from the brain. Pathways in the brain, spinal cord and nerves become better at transmitting information the more they are used.  This is called FACILITATION. However, the brain thinks in terms of whole motions, not specific muscles.  So, we get better at moving in the patterns of motion in which we teach our body to move.

Read the 4th of 5 Posture Principles