5 Aspects of Movement

When we think about healthy movement often images of long runs, gym workouts or maybe a yoga class come to mind. But these are more combination of complex qualities of movement that we develop throughout our lives (or not depending on what choices you make).

 

These are the 5 components of movement:

  1. Endurance
  2. Strength
  3. Flexibility
  4. Coordination
  5. Balance

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Endurance has a few different meanings. We can talk about muscle endurance or cardiovascular endurance. Our diaphragm (the primary breathing muscle) is an endurance muscle. It works non stop to keep efficient respiratory mechanics going….all day, all night. Cardiovascular endurance is probably more familiar to you – it is what we train with “cardio” workouts such as running, swimming, cycling etc. ***

Strength is exactly what it sounds like. Getting stronger helps you be able to do all sorts of activities. It is defined as the maximum amount of force that a muscle can exert against resistance.

Flexibility is the ability to move through a healthy range of motion. While there is controversy over “stretching” it is clear that having the ability to move your joints freely is extremely important at every age. Note, that every individual has a genetically influenced range of motion based on their connective tissue laxity or stiffness, their bony structure and then of course, their activity choices.

Coordination is the ability to organize movement smoothly, efficiently. Coordination is a balance of our musculoskeletal system and our nervous system. It contains hand-eye coordination for throwing and racquet sports and eye-foot coordination for soccer. When it comes to dance, coordination is imperative in performing complex movements in concert with the music.

Balance is the ability to to remain upright. It is ability to adapt to the ground or whatever you might be standing on where your center of weight shifts off of the most steady axis, and your body is able to make corrects to bring you back to that steady axis. This shifting on and off of center is balance.

We need all of these components to be a good mover, and while some activities rely more on some aspects than others, all 5 of these are great opportunities to cross train or maintain a well rounded moveable body.

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