What is Kinesiology?

August 21, 2016

Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement. Encompassing the areas of human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics along with exercise physiology and exercise psychology, the relationship between the quality of movement and overall human health is studied. Kinesiology is often applied in such fields as physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, ergonomics, physical education and coaching. Whether therapeutic, preventative or high-performance in nature the application of Kinesiology can take several different approaches based on an individual's needs.

Why should I work with a Kinesiologist?

The study of Kinesiology is a scientifically valid discipline that provides a Registered Kinesiologist the ability to take exercise prescription to the next level. A Kinesiologist will assess movement, or problems in movement with regard to physiology, anatomy and biomechanics. Whether you are looking at a therapeutic approach recovering from an injury, looking to address muscles imbalances that cause your everyday aches and pains, or looking to find that extra edge in your performance, a Kinesiologist can provide safe and effective exercise prescription to help you meet your goals.

Understanding ''The Core''

Core strength, core stability, core balance, anyway you slice it it's all about the core. So what is your core? The core does not consist of only our abdomen (a common misconception among many). We have to look at the big picture three dimensionally. The real star player of this show is the TVA (transversus abdominis muscle). Forming the deepest layer of our abdominal wall the TVA creates an internal girdle (or belt) which essentially is the heart of our core. Using our breath we can tighten the girdle or ''cinch up the belt'' to stabilize our spin and hips. To help support this connection and increase our stability there are many other key players including muscles of the pelvic floor, lower spine and ribcage. Now getting all these muscles to work as a team ... that's the trick, and that's what core training is all about!

Why is it that a muscular looking man can bench his body weight, and a national level athlete can excel at their sport, but bend over to tie their shoe or pick up a bag of groceries in a hurry and uh oh, there goes the back! Why does an individual with a labor intensive job after several years still have chronic low back pain ... ... shouldn't the body be used to these demands by now? What about pastimes? Do you frequent the fairways, but never see a positive change in your handicap, or every time early spring comes around it takes several months to regain your mobility as your body remembers how to swing a club? All these questions share one common answer; your muscles are working as separate entities trying to do a job that they could execute much more efficiently as a team! Core training focuses on teaching these muscles how to co-activate together through developing a strong mind muscle connection that enhances one's own body awareness. As we train we don't want to just teach these muscles how to work together, but also train them to work instinctively in any situation that they are needed.

When engaged, the core acts as an anchor for our spine and pelvis to help us transmit force more powerfully and effectively, while providing stability for better control and balance. We were designed this way for a reason. Our muscles support a very intricate structure of bones, joints, organs and various other soft tissue components. With the ability to maintain good posture and move through neutral spinal and pelvic positioning while participating in daily tasks or athletic events, our core allows us to safely and effectively transmit greater forces through our limbs with a reduced risk of injury.

So as you begin your journey into acquiring core strength and stability think of it as starting to build a very valuable structure that will be with you for years to come. Like a house needs a strong foundation, the human body needs a strong and stable core to move effectively and efficiently. So there's no mystery, we just need to delve a little deeper below the surface!

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