The joints in our body allow us to move, receive and distribute force. Each joint in our body plays a different role in movement. The joint by joint approach addresses the mobile and stable joints in our body, which alternate from region to region.
If you reference the image to the left, the blue regions are stable, while the red regions are mobile. Let’s use the Low Back as an example. Its primary role is to be stable and work with the core to transfer force between upper and lower extremities. If the low back is not stable enough to meet the demands, our body will automatically look to adjacent regions to tighten up to give a sense of security. We will now experience tension through our hips and mid back because of poor stability and the lumbar spine will now become hyper-mobile. Essentially the roles have been reversed. This can happen the other way as well, if we have tension through our hips or mid back (Prolonged Sitting), our body will look to create more movement through the low back.
Key Take-A-Way: Your body will always take the path of least resistance. It will identify the task at hand and go from point A to point B without consideration of the appropriate way to get there. To reference the example of the low back. If you were to bend over and lift something, you are at an increased risk of low back injuries because you are no longer distributing load effectively through the hips, and now likely overloading the capacities of the lumbar spine. This is why it’s important to train with intention and develop proper patterns through these regions so that you can move and distribute load from your environment effectively.
Your body works as a team and each region has a specific role. To use football as an example, it would be like allowing the kicker (low back) to do the work of the lineman (hips/glutes). The results typically aren’t too good for the QuarterBACK (YOU!) #Matt’s first Dad Joke.