Moving Better, Instead of Moving More

Flexibility speaks to your muscles relaxing to their full, resting length. Mobility needs flexibility but with the added component of movement, balancing ease with effort, surrender with strength, grace with grit. — Scott Sonnon

What if you are missing some mobility?

For instance, a tennis player lacking foot and ankle mobility will not be able to utilize her hips fully during a volley causing her to overwork her shoulder or arm.

The stress of overworking her arm may result in arm pain, or she just may not be able to keep up with the competition. Either way the stress caused by immobile feet and ankles will affect her movement and her participation in her sport. She will be unable to continue a “healthy” activity because of an incomplete movement alphabet.

This link to Coach Mike Boyle’s very insightful 3 minute video graphically explains the necessity of joint mobility — especially if you have aches and pains. This is a must see video.

ABCs of Movement

Z-Health teaches what Dr. Eric Cobb, the creator of the system, calls the “alphabet of movement” through a series of precise joint mobility exercises. The premise being: due to injury, lack of use, or uncoordinated movement, people lose the function of some of their moving parts, this is known as Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA).

SMA causes compensations in movement patterns because some parts have to work double time to make up for non-functioning pieces. In other words, lost letters from the movement alphabet. It becomes difficult to spell words such as squat, roll, lunge, swing, run, play, etc, when we do not have command over all of the letters of our movement alphabet; and if we are missing some letters, those healthy movements may actually be unhealthy.

Most of us exercise to combat stress and to fend off the unwanted effects of aging. However, exercising (or any other type of movement) with missing letters loads compensations and can increase stress and the things that we associate with getting old. That’s the pain, stiffness, and weakness which can be avoided by bringing back missing movements. That’s right, you’re low back pain might be because of poor ankle or hip mobility. Poor neck mobility could give someone shoulder pain. A Z-Health Assessment allows you to discover and experience for yourself how better movement can reduce pain or improve athletic performance.

We know about the importance of exercise. What we often forget is that if we move better, our exercise will be better for us and get us the results we want. Becoming better at moving requires that we master the basics; mastering the basics is the foundation of a Z-Health practice, and also means that we’ll never have to quit playing.

Why are the feet are so important?
Here’s a quote by

Given this context that (a) the more freely our joints move, the better the information, and (b) the more joints that are sending back these signals, the richer the picture of how we’re moving, let’s consider the foot. All those joints!. Twenty-five percent of the body’s joints are in the feet: per foot, there are 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons. We are designed to send 25% of our physical orientation from our feet!

And yet in a conventional shoe — especially a “supportive” trainer, the arch is blocked from flexing, the ankle is restricted, we heel strike with abandon, and the squishiness of the soles deadens any true sense of the state of the surface to which we might otherwise be adapting by our highly flexibily designed foot. Modern shoes are like sensory deprivation tanks for the feet…

Enter Z-Health: it helps reeducate the foot (and other parts of our body) to move like we were designed to move.

Read more here

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