FNS1: Principles of Human Motion

2 day workshop

Physical activities shape the body by stimulating tissues to adapt. Our focus in this interactive experience is understanding how the physical forces that we apply (both internal and external) cause changes to the body and the brain.  We will do this by tracing the paths and effects of force from outside the body, through the connective-contractile tissue continuum and peripheral nervous system, to the brain. We’ll explore mechanotransduction and the processes that lead to the structural adaptations that we recognize as the fruition of exercise and movement-based interventions. Our goal is to have a better understanding of how our tools work. With this insight, we will develop new tools and practice ways of using our current tools more strategically and effectively.

Here are a few of the topics that we cover. It may not seem like much, but it is dense and applicable.

  • Since increased strength and control are a common goal of training and therapeutic force applications, we will take a look at structures and systems that orchestrate and/or adapt to produce more strength (hypertrophy, spinal and cortical synaptic efficacy, metabolic enhancement, connective tissue adaptation, etc). Using well documented data as a reference, we will explore novel strategies to acutely and/or chronically augment the amount of force that a muscle group can generate.
  • Sometimes as we are working to improve the strength and control of a muscle group, it is unable to generate tension or adapt normatively. Is there an issue with the tissue?  If so, what are the possible issues with the tissues? To be clear, this is not in any way an attempt to diagnose pathology. Instead, we will look at a detailed model of the sequence of events that lead to normal muscle group function and what happens to the force output of that muscle group when elements of that model change.
  • Passive stretching has been roundly ridiculed and labeled as a useless, if not dangerous, force application. But is it, really? We will explore the structure of the Contractile Connective Tissue Continuum™ (CCTC) and observe that this tissue is not uniform in its composition throughout the body. As a result, the force applications applied to one joint may be inappropriate for another.
  • Understanding the structural and therefore functional differences between the CCTC that control different joints (hip vs ankle, for example) can also lead to a refinement of the design, volume, and intensity of an exercise. Therefore, exercise design, volume, and intensity can be specific to the body part, as well as to the individual.
  • Surface EMG is a valuable, accessible tool to give insight as to how the nervous system is recruiting tissues to solve control problems. We will explore a few versions of sEMG in class to shed light on muscular group participation. We will also use a dynamometer to measure acute changes in force output.
  • Muscle Group P.O.T.E.N.T.I.A.L. One of the fascinating and critical characteristics of muscle is that, when healthy, it can generate variable amounts of tension at variable lengths. That may sound like a very simple thing, but what that allows you to do and how this happens is quite complex. I’m calling this characteristic Muscle Group P.O.T.E.N.T.I.A.L. 
    • Precisely
    • Orchestrated
    • Tension
    • Engaged
    • Normatively
    • To
    • Induce
    • Aggregate  
    • Length  

My intention is that each element of this acronym provide a framework to understand and explore mechanisms, systems, and strategies that influence posture and movement.  Why should you care? Would’t it be interesting to see which aspects of a muscle group’s P.O.T.E.N.T.I.A.L are influenced by the modalities that you use? By exploring these elements, we can refine, design, and strategically choose stimuli to induce acute and/or chronic adaptations that lead to increases in strength and the ability to efficiently control joint positions. In other words, making sure that the muscle groups live up to their potential (in some cases, appearance and ability).

  • Why muscle group P.O.T.E.N.T.I.A.L and not muscle P.O.T.E.N.T.I.A.L? This is a loaded and important question that we will address thoroughly in class. In a nutshell, the architecture and processing strategies of the nervous system are biased towards groups of muscles as opposed to individual muscles. I do not want you to take my word for it! Come a join us for a nerdy good time. Why should you care? A more detailed understanding of how the nervous system is organized and how it “sees” things will help us accurately measure, interpret and influence the exercises and manual muscle tests that we design for our clients.
  • Understand and mitigate the variety of issues that may be preventing a muscle from fully lengthening or shortening under load. We will explore 8 ways that a decrease in muscle force output can be classified - all weakness is not the same. Why should you care? Well, as exercise professionals we often encounter unexpected limits in motion and strength. We need to discuss what might be preventing optimal contractile ranges and what to do and what not to do about it. The implications and applications are astounding. 
  • Understand, in detail, the structural and chemical changes, and strategies that muscles and the nervous system use to increase force output, and the benefits of training a muscle through its entire contractile range. Why should you care? You may have been told to train muscles through their full contractile range, but understanding what is happening in the muscle and nervous systems will allow us to design new exercises specific to the needs of our clients.
  • Using our various evaluation methods, how do we determine "what's the issue with the tissue?" (yeah, that's a tag line).
  • Why is it so important to move/exercise? Perhaps you've heard the biomechanical reasons. Come and hear the neuroendocrine, neuromuscular, and neuromechanical reasons that we must move and move well.



All of MyoTopia's courses are taught by Jacques H. Newell Taylor. He is an exercise scientist and neuroscientist with over 25 years of education and experience in the fields of applied neuroscience and exercise science. While Jacques developed MyoTopia's continuing education series and the CMP process, he is grateful for the collaboration with his colleagues and supportive community of exercise professionals that enabled him to do so.



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