First Move principles teach us how to use our bodies safely and effectively to avoid physical strain and injury. These principles apply in all aspects of our lives be it work, home, sport and recreation. The MOVE of the month is about moving with balance – something we naturally developed as a child.
Contrary to commonly held views, the information and instructions we have been given over the years has not improved our physical well-being and encourages unsafe movement habits. None stands out more than the common instruction of ‘keep your back straight – bend your knees’
Moving with your knees first goes against how the human body is naturally designed to move – it forces you out of balance and puts you at risk of back and/or knee injuries.
Look at how young children move – they move at their hips joints first ensuring they move with balance. You might think this is just because ‘they are younger and more flexible and that ‘as we age this is no longer possible’
This is not true – and illustrated by other cultures around the world.
‘Non-westernized’ cultures such as seen in Asian and African countries maintain the same balanced hip joint movement they developed as a child throughout their lives. A 50-year-old will squat and bend the same as a 5-year-old.
Growing up In the Western world, we stop using our bodies in the natural ways developed as a child. This is due to a combination of factors from the use of chairs, cars, technology, incorrect instruction and industrialization. The outcome of this is we have left behind the habits naturally learnt in our toddler years – and put ourselves at risk of strain, injury and loss of mobility.
It’s not rocket science – when we bend or reach -for something to go forward something needs to go backwards – this is the key to moving with balance.
So, to take care of your knees, your hips and your back – and make sure they last a lifetime remember to move with balance – move your hip joints first with butt back and weight in heels.