Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Standing Swim, or Human Windmill (Oscillating Fan)

The objective of the five-minute workout is to find (create) five movements of a minute duration that will move all (most) of the joints (axes of rotation) of the human body -- at least once daily -- but since it is a dramatic improvement over not being done ever at all by most people, represents a tremendous gain in improvement. The key is to discover and articulate the fullest range of that movement -- rather than do a lot within a constricted (limited ) range even though one might increase the workload (resistance) to that movement.

In any movement, the greatest range of motion is the fullest expression of that possibility or potential. When we can achieve that, we know everything else must fall within that range, and is implied. That is not true of the reverse -- that becoming very good or strong in a limited range, implies one has full access to the whole range. The former is derived from a previous cultural desire for increased specialization and compartmentalization in everything people do -- that eventually evolved into the realization that the many isolated parts did not create a coherent whole, and it is this integration of understanding and experience, that gives life meaning and purpose.

Otherwise, everything is arbitrarily, “ Do this, then, do that,” blindly and unquestioningly following the directives of the (self-)designated experts because they impress or intimidate others into believing that is the proper social order. In that kind of conditioning environment (education), very few break through to the real objective of society -- which is freedom of knowing the full range of human possibilities. And so we are conditioned to express a very limited range -- and told that is all that is possible.

So in the standing swim, or human windmill, we explore the sensation and implications of full range movement more fully. Imagine if you will, a person doing the familiar swimming motion (freestyle, crawl) while just standing still, out of water. It seems fairly foolish to do so actually -- like the proverbial fish out of water. So let’s make it a little more meaningful and purposeful.

With each backward stroke of each arm, one allows the head to rotate fully in that direction and focus on an object directly behind the body stance, the lower part which remains fixed. Once the apex of movement is achieved in that direction, one rotates the head back in the other direction -- fully a 360 degree range of movement, made possible because the torso is also rotating at the midsection to allow that range of head movement and vision. If we can see that same object moving our head all the way to the right and then all the way to the left -- the range of our awareness is maximum -- we are capable of taking in all the information all around us, and not just focused on only what is right in front of us, a few inches from our noses. The action of that awareness is quite different from one whose focus is very narrow and limited -- and maybe existing only within their mind’s eye.

To complete the requirements for the proper range of movement, rather than keeping the hand open and flat as swimmers must do to obtain maximum surface area, one closes the hand into a fist and then moves (rotates) at the wrist in the palmward direction, and then maintains that position throughout the movement, noting particularly how the triceps tightens (contracts) when the arm is moved fully backwards when doing so. Meanwhile, in the windmill motion of the arms at the shoulder, there is no doubt that we are achieving the full range at the shoulder girdle. The imagery is that of an oscillating fan.


At June 20, 2006 10:24 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The proper pace is about 50 counts per minute. Head turned (rotated)backwards all the way to the right is "one" -- all the way to the left is "two," etc. Like an oscillating fan, there should be a noticeable and apparent stop as one is reversing the direction of movement.

The ability to stop is just as important as the ability to move. Each gives a greater meaning and usefulness to the other. One is exercising a mastery over that range of movement -- taking full advantage of the wisdom of millions of years of human adaption and evolution that made us what we are -- the most expressive and versatile life form on earth.

At June 20, 2006 10:34 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Many will scoff that this can't be all that is required to maintain maximum general purpose mobility and fitness (readiness) -- since they have been convinced that it takes years of five-hour workouts, careful attention to diet, obsession with every facet of their activities, etc., to obtain real health.

But such an obsession with these matters is not health -- but the very antithesis of it. A truly healthy person doesn't need to obsess about it. It is the unhealthy who are much more precoccupied with it -- usually with what they are not doing -- and what they cannot do, because of their present condition.

It limits the entire possibility of their lives -- which they of course, deny. Denial is the overriding theme of their existence.


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