Form and Function
Anatomy is the study of the structure of living organisms. Of course anatomy is a vast subject and there is no way we can do it justice in one lesson. But, if we can agree that the main purpose of anatomy is to understand structure, then we can reduce this subject to two primary body systems. The skeletal system and the muscular system.
Why should we care about anatomy? The structure of any thing determines the proper use of that thing. Form leads to function. Would you try to use a wrench to drive a screw into the wall? Of course not, because the form of the wrench determines it’s proper function. So, if we understand the structure of the human form then quite naturally we will be better equipped to realize the proper function of our bodies in a healthy and empowering way. With the understanding of structure we might recognize that the way we sit slouched in our chair all day could contribute to the lower back pain we feel every evening.
The skeletal system:
There are 206 bones in the human body which support our weight, maintain our structure and allow us to interact with our environment. Bones are living tissues in which a network of collagen fibres is filled with the mineral calcium phosphate. Although much of a bone is porous and soft, it is five times as strong as a steel bar of the same weight.
Bone makes up about 30-40% of body weight, and half of this is water. Bones also protect the inner organs like the heart, lungs and brain. Bones maintain the structure of the body, muscles, on the other hand, are responsible for moving it.
The Muscular System:
Energy for this comes from ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy source of the cell. Our cells cannot directly use the energy contained in the food we eat, instead, they use a chemical compound called ATP. While ATP can be stored within the cells, the amount stored and immediately available for muscle contraction is extremely limited, sufficient for only a few seconds of muscular work. Therefore, ATP must be continually resynthesized.
There are three primary ways this can happen. The phosphagen system is used to convert spent ATP, or ADP back into the active energy source of ATP for short bursts of energy like a jump or a sprint. The anaerobic production of ATP comes from carbohydrate sources and is known as anaerobic glycosis and does not require the presence of oxygen, as stated by the name. Anaerobic glycosis allows for a large burst of energy over longer periods of time than the phosphagen system will allow, up to about three minutes. Finally, the aerobic production of ATP is used for activities requiring sustained energy production. Aerobic literally means “with oxygen” and this metabolic pathway requires a continuous supply of oxygen delivered through the circulatory system. This highly efficient metabolic process is limited mainly by the capacity of the cardiorespiratory system to deliver oxygen to the active cells. A strong cardiorespiratory system will in turn deliver more aerobic glycosis which directly increases the endurance of the muscles.
The aerobic metabolism of fat yields a very large amount of ATP, because fat has a high caloric density. This is why body fat is such an excellent source of stored energy. But, because anaerobic glucose metabolism requires less oxygen than fatty acid metabolism, the body will use more glucose for energy production and less fat as exercise intensity increases going beyond our aerobic capacity. Did you get that? What this means is that a comfortable and sustainable aerobic training state will burn more fat than an intense full throttle workout. Intense workouts are great for training specific skills and building speed and power, but for fat loss a sustainable energetic expenditure is the most efficient route to success.
Joints are places where one bone connects to another bone and are the hinges created from muscular contraction. There are 13 major joints we are most concerned with in this practice. Wrists, elbows, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and ankles. The neck is actually a continuation of the spine. These are the major load bearing joints and the ones most in need of regular maintenance.
Stand up and one by one, starting with the wrists, move each joint in it’s most complete range of motion. Notice how many directions each joint will allow. Every joint will either have an up and down motion, a side to side motion, a rotating motion, or an orbital motion and many will have some combination of these. These are the movements we want to simulate in every BodyJuggling session.
In the comment section below and tell me which joint was the biggest surprise to you in terms of it’s functional movement? And also tell me which joints were the most hard to actually get moving? Learning to check in with the body and really feel what it is needing is the first step in self care. Now you know where to focus some love and attention. Well, get to it!
Log into WordPress and write a post to the main page entitled, “My Biggest Challenges”. In this post tell me in respect to the promises you have made to yourself and the results that you desire, what are your biggest challenges? What patterns have kept you from achieving your desires in the past?
Then jump into your fourth workout session by clicking play down below.
- Read lesson
- Leave comment
- Post to main page
- Do BJ session