Part I – the physical – grooving new pathways to make your body work better.
Neural-pathways are how our brains send messages.
I liken it to lightening – taking the path of least resistance.
Our bodies physically do that – it learns a movement pattern and runs with it.
For example, when a woman comes to Her Fitness and we screen her movement patterns we most commonly see that her deep core muscles are not firing in proper sequence to stabilize the low back and hips (when I write “most commonly I mean 99.9% of clients!)
For whatever reason (injury, past pregnancy, surgeries, lifestyle postures) this has happened and her body has relearned that, instead of using the transverse abdominis and obliques, it has to use the larger, superficial muscles, like quads and psoas (which people identify as the hip flexors) to stabilize her low back and hips.
Her nervous system has learned a new pathway
While this is improper, it’s still what the body needs/ed to do to get a job done – a job like walking, running, stair climbing or bending to pick up a baby or basket of laundry.
In the fitness setting I see it when a women does a squat and her upper body comes forward, her hips don’t allow her to go very low and when she ascends there is a little hiccup in the order of moving body parts.
Every day this woman squats with an inefficient movement pattern her body reinforces the neural-pathway.
She’s grooving that pattern. It becomes like Lightening, even though it’s not optimal.
She’ll have to groove new neural-pathways to make her body work better.
In the squatting example, to do this, I teach her new exercises and put her in new and different postures that re-educate her body and brain.
Here’s an example of an exercise that re-trains the body and brain to perform a proper and efficient squat pattern (Core Engaged Rock Back)
So, this is an example of how you change neural-pathways to improve your physical self.
Next time, I’ll talk about how changing the neural-pathways can impact your mindset – the foundation of all improvement.