To move, bodies require two sets of muscles. Muscles that hold you up, and muscles that move you. Moving-us muscles are on the body’s outside, are thin, cross two joints and work up to maximum [as a burn]. Holding-us-up muscles are inside, deep, thick, cross one joint and work gently all the time [as a sensation], hence the holding up bit.
If holding-us-up muscles do not work well.. our brains do not tell us, they just select our moving-us muscles that we always use, to hold-us-up as well. With no structural foundations, our body slumps [collapses] out of perfect positions, but we never know until we feel pain or get injured and it’s too late.
Comparing our posture to the neutral perfect-postural standards and plumblines.. is the only way we can know if our holding-us-up muscles work. If we naturally stand in perfect positions, we’re good. If we're misaligned [e.g., one shoulder lower than the other, head forward and tilted back], we’re not.
Yet perfect positions is the state of optimal health and performance. Meaning, structural health or training your body to return to perfect positions is an exercise and training of incredible value.
STRUCTURAL HEALTH: DEEP - INSIDE - GENTLE - UPLIFTING - MOVE AMAZING
It's not that I have more energy,
it's that I have tons more energy.
Sarah Harris, Nurse, Gt. Ormond St. Hospital
for Sick Children, London, U.K.
WHY A STRUCTURAL HEALTH PLATFORM
Perfect body positions [perfect posture/structure] is the state of optimal health and performance: the body requires the least amount of energy to move fastest, in any and every direction, with no wear.
To lift our body back-up into the perfect positions so important for optimal health and performance, means:
- finding and moving into the perfect structural positions we’ve
- softening and releasing the overworking moving-us muscles;
- finding and using the holding-us-up muscles;
- lengthening shortening [from collapse and over-working] muscles;
- moving through the whole body in a rich variety of ways, from
simple to complex, to reinforce and pattern back-in perfect
positions and muscle teams.
Exercise and training can be: gentle, thoughtful, no sweat, the opposite of no-pain-no-gain, with powerful effects on health and performance
As an in-the-body process.. structural health is something that feels nice and pleasant, is quick and easy to do, that you do yourself, and can be done anywhere-anytime. All of which is exciting, because it solves so many exercise and training problems
TRANSFORMING EXERCISE AND TRAINING
EASY TO DO, NO SWEAT, ANY-WHERE, ANY-TIME
ADDING STRUCTURE TO WHAT YOU DO
LEARNING WHY STRUCTURE IS SO IMPORTANT
ENGAGE WITH OTHER EXPERTS AND DO EVEN MORE
Enjoy the advantages of a body with.. joints free and balanced, muscles working in harmony, an integrated unit, operating with minimal strain under all conditions?
John Stirk, Structural Fitness
WHY DIDN'T I
KNOW THIS BEFORE
Structural health has been held back. Structure has become important only every recently. Use it or lose it. In not-using it [moving], science tells us we first lose our structural foundation muscles.
As hunter-gatherers.. humans sat for up to ten hours a day, but moved the rest of the time. Running slowly, in 4-5 hour slots tracking and hunting animals, and digging, picking, scavenging to gather food.
Don’t move, don’t eat, don’t survive. Farmers, labourers and even factory workers, all moved too. Moving too work, or at work.
It’s only the last 40-year transition to work-as-desk-sitting, and the last 10 in particular, as we hunch over phone, tablet or computer, that our environment has become structure-destroying. And we start "living- against-our-design" at the age of 6 when we start school.
When sports/exercise science developed in the 1980’s, structural health was not important. As well, scientists look through microscopes, and it's too hard to see structure-destroying environments
While standing desks, walking breaks are all positive, too much damage has been done. Actively/consciously recruiting the atrophied holding-us-up muscles is the only consistent way to compensate.
STRUCTURE COMPLIMENTS, NOT REPLACES, STRENGTH
Strength is the go-to exercise and training logic because it's important. Still do your strength routines. But add structure to them, and when you do, use only structural values, not strength ones, in any way.
No one feels their structural collapse, structure tends to be through a strength logic, and "core", planks, swiss balls and so on, is not structure, it's strength. And so, it's equally critically important to separate strength from structure.
Strength on a faulty [collapsing] structure, is a problem. Builders do not put more bricks [muscle building] on the outside of collapsing building, engineers do not compromise foundational structural positions, and bakers do not ice sunken cakes. Ever.
They all strengthen foundations into precise lifted positions, so the outside structures has as little, if any, work to do as possible. Structural foundations resist gravity, the outside does the rest, but only when the structural foundations work.
If you do not move into the correct structural position; switch off the overworking moving-us muscles; activate the deeper holding-us-up muscles; and maintained these positions, releases and deep activations throughout movement you are reinforcing, imprinting, and concreting imperfect positions, and [unknowingly] making movement harder.
But remember, strength and applying more force is critical. But when you do strength, do maximum-force strength. And when you do structure, do gentle-deep-soft-lengthened-lifted re-structuring. And as you do, you will notice your strength improves. It has to.
My body's experienced a paradigm shift.
I'm no longer sore but energized,
awake, alert and can move so much easier.
Christine Grolman, Accountant
IMPERFECT STRUCTURE = HARDER MOVEMENT
“I feel so strongly about my new body and how to get it, I'll write the benefits down with my blood if you want!”
Lazar Dzamic, Ex-GOOGLE Head of Brand Planning (Europe)
“It started slowly, but boy did it build up! It's like I had tunnel vision before and now have a new concept of reality."
Colin White, Engineer CHEVRON
I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
“It was really weird, I felt like I'd worked but it was not on the outside like you'd expect. It was all on the inside.”
Jacqui Dale, Marathon Runner
Check your structure
If muscles weaken (through non-use), they're by-passed, and we don't know or feel any collapse.
We may feel okay (like the Empire States Building) but we're closer to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, making life much harder than need be.
So take the tests to see where you are:
Stand as tall as possible with your ears over the centre of your shoulders, hips and heel bones. Is this comfortable or uncomfortable? How long can you stand this way? What happens when you relax, do you lose 1-2 inches in height? If you can relax and not drop in height, congratulations, if not and you want to live effectively you need to make changes.
Stand side on so that you can see your reflection. Imagine a plumb-line dropping vertically to the ground from the centre of your ear. Check that this line also drops through the centre of your shoulder, divides you spinal curves... through the centre of your hip, behind (just) your knee and in front (just) of your ankle. Also, check that the 'plane' across your pubic, hip bones and belly button is perpendicular to the floor.
When driving sit as tall as possible and adjust your mirror accordingly.See how long you can drive for and how easy it is to drive before having to re-adjust the mirror back to its original position.