Monday, January 14, 2008

Range of Motion

When people talk about not being able to do this or that anymore, what they’re usually referring to is the reduction in their range of movement and activities -- rather than that they can’t run 10K instead of 5K. It is an easy matter for someone who can run 5K to run 10K -- and in fact, those who only run 100M, are usually the more impressive physical specimens because they are capable of producing much greater bursts of power over a brief duration.

Those bursts of power, are determined by the range of movement -- from fullest relaxation to fullest contraction. The greatest example of such muscle functioning, is the unfailing work of the heart which must work in this manner of full relaxation alternated by full contraction as the dedicated function of the heart -- that does nothing else.

All the other muscles of the body, can be trained to do anything else it is determined is meaningful and purposeful to do -- but that does not preclude also optimizing the circulatory effect. In fact, that deliberate intention, is the greatest directly beneficial effect, that the muscles of the body can be trained to do -- but in most conditioning activities, is ignored and misunderstood -- in the thinking that the heart is the only organ of the body relevant for this purpose.

However, in the very common experience of hypertension in modern lives, what is characteristic is that the muscles are used in a manner to actually counter the effectiveness of the heart and circulatory system by maintaining a constant tense or contracted state -- into which the heart is pumping into, rather than a relaxed or dilated one. Thus, many are initially advised just to be more aware of their constant tension that elevates their blood pressure -- because that is the consequence of blood vessels that are constricted and never alternated by moments of relaxation.

Thus for health reasons as well as maximal athletic performance, the basic skill beyond learning any other specific skills, should be in familiarizing oneself with its fully contracted state and fully relaxed state -- and its effects in the principles of all body functioning -- way before creating elaborate theories and belief systems of what to do and which authorities to follow.

The unfortunate evolution of conditioning activities and discipline over the last 50 years, has been distorted primarily by concerns about which apparatus and personal self-aggrandizement/promotion is most profitable rather than what is most beneficial for every individual to know to enrich and enhance their own lives -- without the profit for any self-designated “professional” group who claim that they are the exclusive gatekeepers to whom homage and tribute must be paid, before anybody is allowed to attain their own best lives and fulfillment -- as every person has a right to do.

Largely the reason people don’t exhibit the wide range of human performance and capability including optimal health, is that they’ve never been taught the full range of those possibilities -- beginning and remaining focused on their own unique capabilities for that expression, which would surprise and certainly be the most relevant to every individual -- rather than the adulation and imitation of anybody else.

That is the proper study of every individual -- knowing what their own limitations (range of motion) are, and not just the generalizations of what it must be -- by those who claim they know what these must be for everybody else.


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