If You Cant Go Forward, Back Up

February 7, 2017 – 9:46 am

If You Cant Go Forward, Back Up!



You have to back up and get a running start at any problem. That applies to musculoskeletal issues as well. Every push needs a pull. That seems easy to understand when it is said in that linear way, but many get lost as what to do about their functional balance when rotation enters the equation.

And besides the 3 degrees of linear movement (the 3 translations of heaving up and down, swaying side to side, and surging front and back), there are 3 degrees to human movement in rotation: twisting right and left (called yaw), bending right and left (called roll) and bending front and back (called pitch).

Every twist needs its counter-twist.

And yet, to make life harder, no movement happens in isolation. There is no full bodily movement that only involves a single degree of motion. A full body motion always has multiple degrees. Only individual joints have individual degrees of freedom.


For every single movement you do, whether an exercise in your workout or a repetitive motion at your job or a fixed position in your lifestyle, you create a specific adaptation. If you don’t compensate for that specific adaptation, you will always (repeat: always) create imbalance. For every push you need a pull, and for every twist, you need a counter-twist.


No movement you do is with perfect form (alright, maybe you’ve executed perfect form a couple times in your life, but they’re rare events). If perfect form is a 10 on a scale of 1-10, even with very good technique (let’s call that an 8), you’re still accumulating SOME imperfection: you’re still collecting those 2s. Just as you adapt to those 8s of near-perfect repetition, you’re also adapting to that small margin of imperfection.



What solves #1 also happens to solve #2: whatever you do that causes an adaptation, you must undo in the opposite direction. In the parlance of the Circular Strength Training System, the first biomechanical system of functional balance, you must use “Compensatory Movement.” For every push you need a pull and every twist, its counter-twist. Moreover, for every degree you’ve moved with poor technique, you need to move in the opposite direction to undo it.

Compensatory Movement involves the strategy of training the functional opposite of that to which you’ve adapted: good technique and intentional or bad technique and unintentional. You must consider all 6 degrees of freedom: 3 in translation and 3 in rotation, and both directions of each of those 6 degrees.

It sounds like advanced science (and it is), but it’s actually simple to apply, especially by a certified CST Coach. However, if you don’t have a CST Coach, decades of research have been invested into creating an incremental approach that allows you to regain your functional balance, called Progressive Yoga: www.progressiveyoga.fit

Progressive Yoga uses a signature method of removing each “part” of a movement and regaining each degree of freedom methodically. You may be on level one in one movement for only a couple days, but on a different movement, you may be on level one for a couple weeks to months, because you had been severely adapted, and THAT happened to be the exact movement which was unwinding it.

Each of the six degrees of freedom are addressed, and each degree of freedom of every joint. Fortunately, you don’t need to know what they are, you don’t need to understand the science, and you can do it completely on your own. If you want to increase comprehension, attention and memory, MOVE. And move in all degrees of freedom.

When you’re foggy, groggy, unclear and cranky, move in each degree of freedom. You will discover that those chemicals stabilize, your brain will optimize, and your muscles will activate. That is rocket science, but not mine. That’s the intelligent design of the most sophisticated organism every created: the human brain.

Very Respectively,

Scott B. Sonnon


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