Our musculoskeletal and nervous systems are integrated as we squat, lunge, press, pull, rotate, walk, run, and climb through our days. These are considered ‘primal movement patterns’ since they date back to our hunting and gathering ancestors. We need to get our chair-ridden selves up and moving as our genetics intended.
Whole-body movement training (WBMT) is a workout approach that focuses on joint actions and planes of motion. It diverts from trying to sculpt one body part at a time and instead uses many muscle groups synergistically, since this is how muscles perform in the real world anyway. WBMT is extremely functional, time efficient and key to ‘training for the sport of life.’
Whole-body movement training balances strength and flexibility at every joint for overall healthy alignment. This prevents joint degeneration, which is critical for our Western society fraught with chronic pain of the knees, hip, low back, shoulders, and neck. Also, WBMT is an excellent cross-training strategy to pair with walking, running, cycling, and other activities that involve small, highly repetitive joint actions. From weekend warrior to elite athlete, WBMT has an important place in everyone’s physical activity regimen.
Examine and consider this full-body movement – Side Drop Lunge Plus Balance using a moveBALL™ – for its functionality and other WBMT attributes. It activates almost every major muscle group and gets your heart pumping at the same time:
- Lateral action into the side lunge is a necessary change from life’s usual forward-facing orientation.
- Leg muscles that structurally support the knee joint are strengthened as they decelerate and then power the body up during the down and up phases respectively.
- Both hips are actively lengthened, promoting spacious, lubricated joints and helping prevent osteoarthritis.
- Every muscle deep into the core is involved in rotating the torso when lowering the moveBALL™ down to the lunging foot instep, and then extending the torso back to standing.
- Shoulder, arm, and rotator cuff muscles work together to lift the moveBALL™ overhead.
- Ankle, hip, and core stabilizers work overtime as the body and moveBALL™ are lifted up to a one-leg standing balance.
- The rhythmic action elicits a cardiovascular response, burns a ton of calories, and is actually fun to do.