Movement diversity

Here is a principle in forming one's movement practice:

Your training should contain at least 100 different movements.

People nowadays are suffering from movement poverty.

They do not move in diverse ways, but rather in a minimal manner. Monotonous, always repeating patterns of movement, carry with them a higher risk of overuse injuries and pain development. Movement diversity and the use of our joints' full range of motion is, in most cases, a path to pain- and injury prevention.

If you only do a few movements in high numbers, you are more prone to injury. This is especially true when the movements are performed in poor quality. Thus a healthy and proper technique is essential when performing many repetitions of an action. However, the proper technique doesn't guarantee that no overuse injuries can arise. Even when using good technique, the load created by too repetitively performing a movement can prove too high.

It is safer to perform a higher number of movements, and therefore perform each of these for fewer repetitions than to perform the same few movements day in and day out. When I move in diverse ways, the movements which may potentially overload me carry less weight. Other movements balance them out.

Too high of a movement dose with a limited movement diversity brings us out of balance. A good example is asymmetries. Let's use musicians as an example for clarity: many musicians perform very monotonous movements in large quantities, day in and day out. Violinists, guitarists, flute players, etc. These instruments are played on one side. Often, pains come as a consequence of the bodily asymmetries that arise from these practices. The musician who doesn't want to be haunted by pain has two choices: play the piano instead of the violin, or perform exercises rebalance yourself. The easiest way to prevent one-sidedness is to perform the corresponding movement on the other side as well. He who doesn't have time for that has to find methods to make the balancing out more efficient through other exercises and movements. One-sided loading is a theme for many people: for the runner who only performs the one action of running; for the programmer who remains in one position and only moves his fingers; and for the assembly line worker who always has to repeat the same few motions.

Even people who seemingly have a high diversity of movement in their everyday lives run the risk. Dancers, for example, are often haunted by pains. Partially from too high dosages and intensity of movements, but also because there is still a certain contingency of movements lacking (I have healed the back pains of many dancers using barbell training).

Principle to form your movement practice:

Your training should contain at least 100 different movements

Sub principle:

Diversity means "variations", it means "wide-ranging", not simply "high amounts". Use the following overview. You will get a rough understanding of what is there in your training and what is lacking.

The training should contain the following:

Further, it should contain:

Note: The beginner should slowly build his training according to this principle. One can immerse oneself in the river step by step. This is safer than simply jumping straight in.

It is completely fine to start with only a few movements.

Movement diversity serves the injury prophylaxis and the sense of aliveness.

The sense of aliveness is also served in another way, not just by the reduction of pain. He who moves in diverse ways develops an understanding of movement and safety in dealing with the own body in space. This will directly affect the perception of life and the world positively. Diverse moving helps us develop a sense of being in the world.

Joseph Bartz
Translation from German Original: Oskar Henke

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Joseph Bartz