Saturday, February 25, 2023

Why do Mind-body Training?

Why do Mind-body Training?
Mind-body training (Pilates, Gyrotonic, Yoga, TRX, Martial Arts, Dance, free running/trail running, Butohnics) improves core strength, enhances trunk stability, shock absorption by specific exercises and through specific agility movement itself. 

The anatomical focus on the core trains deep transverse abdominal tone, pelvic floor, multifidi, psoas balance, quadratus balance, anterior to posterior, lateral and oblique support systems. Postural and agility drills, provide increased proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) through integrated core control. This PNF feature allows more immediate redirect of centrifugal forces closer to the bone giving the performer opportunity to develop a mind body connection to translate resistance of gravity, weight bearing, and/or other weights with correct dispersion through joints and limbs, the whole body, with its assimilation of control during acceleration and deceleration, additionally improving proprioception.

Learning how to apply mind-body technique with movement stems from training core control with awareness to your good alignment, minimizing abnormal biomechanical compressive forces during full range movement. The quality of movement becomes far more important (and more difficult at first) than the sheer repetition of it.

Weight bearing exercises, jumping, crawling, total body weight resistive movement, and to some extent even repetitive resistance motion, are optimized by application of mind-body technique, along with continued training of mind-body technique. In this way, Mind-body training slows degenerative forces which supports rehab process and maintains rehabilitated injury. So you can play longer, dance smarter. Mind-body training can be applied to any type of workout regime, activity or sport.

However, one has to keep moving to keep in good condition. In functional dynamic motor control, your brain efficiently organizes movement coordination to what it can do with the knowledge you've put in. It's not always the best organization without training. In terms of repetition of your sport, or choreography without cross-training or keeping your core in check, your mind-body connection needs to be refreshed proportional to your movement loads.  Without it, a survival mechanism kicks in, sometimes a protective guard is turned on. If you're highly skilled active mover, survival is okay only for short term but not longer. After that, awareness turns to low priority and your movement and body will pay. BTW, maintaining the mind-body connection is not just about strong abs.

Training is all about teaching your system to align with the best solutions for your individual biomechanics (joint angles and forces) in coordination for high quality performance. Train your muscles to do what you want, by focusing and eliminating extraneous non-essential tension. You train to redirect appropriate forces through alignment/position, core strength, and flow of respiration. Training reinforces your ability to listen to your own total body response in movement, total body awareness through space.

Moving with awareness and rhythm creates a healthy and responsive relationship with your brain, your body and your environment. You can learn your own limitations and capabilities thereby minimizing unnecessary injury. Basically you give yourself the time and space to be honest on any given day in your dance practice. 

Overtime training is no longer what it started out to be. New levels of awareness are enhanced by experience resulting in ease in performance with speed and power matching your ability and movement.

In Pilates, many exercises look so easy. Difficult movements and tasks appear easy to the bystander. Don't be intimidated when a 90lb. waif out lasts you in apparently "easy" exercises. Here's an insider's training tip: if you want to survive your attempts at mind-body training, DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH, literally.