As we continue our exploration of the principles that every Polestar Pilates Teacher Training covers, we have come to my favorite principle: Alignment and Weight Bearing of the Upper and Lower extremity. This principle is my favorite for a very geeky reason. And that reason is the word arthrokinematics.
The most basic kinesiology classes covers biomechanics, which in its simplest sense is naming the ways in which the body moves through space. In the sagittal plane our bodies flex and extend at the joints. In the coronal plane, our body laterally flexes, abducts, and adducts, and in the transverse plane the body rotates. All of these words, describe the ways in which the body moves through space. They describe the movement that we can see. However, in the Polestar Pilates Teacher Training, Alignment and Weight Bearing of the Upper and Lower Extremities, also talks about movement we can’t see. We also cover the movement inside of the joints. I like to think about arthrokinematics as the conversations that our joint surfaces have with each other.
When joints are congruent (the surfaces of the bones within the joint are talking to who they are supposed to talk to) then the choreography within the joint in any movement has a spin, a glide and a roll. The magical thing about this is the nervous system doesn’t tell the bones to spin, glide and roll. It is simply the structure of the surface of the bones. Thus, when we create the most ideal alignment, everything works the way it is supposed to without too much thought. How do you like them apples? What if our mind was free of cues like this: Use your hamstrings, squeeze your glutes, and pull your belly in. Polestar Pilates Teachers know how to cue the movement so that it is integrated on a subconscious level. We learn to use the brilliantly designed and evolved architecture of our bodies to improve our performance!
So when we think of alignment of the feet, ankles, knees, and hips it becomes a much more nuanced thought. We may tell our clients to point their knees over their second and third toes, but we also want the femur to spin outward when the knee is flexing while the tibia spins inward, we are thinking about the talus and its glide back, and in the Polestar Pilates Teacher Training program we are trying to facilitate the movement in which all of these things happen at once or in sequence making the most efficient and high performance movement possible. Phew say the word arthrokinematics and 500 words just fly off of my fingers. The geeky and mysterious, magic of movement is the best thing you learn in the Polestar Pilates Comprehensive series.