Anthropology is the study of humans: our origins, physical and cultural developments, biological characteristics, social customs, similarities or differences from other species.
I first got interested in this topic to understand our physical adaptation through cultural development better.
Our distant ancestors lived very simply. They were hunter-gatherers who also fought, ran, and survived. They also played, discovered, invented and developed, passing their knowledge on to future generations.
Unfortunately, with the fast pace of development over the last two hundred years, we didn't have enough evolutionary time to physically adapt to our modern lives. We now spend most our time sitting in front of computers, around a dinner table with family and friends, driving cars, watching TV, or standing all day at work. We drive to get our food, walk only to get to the bus stop or the loo at work, and even take escalators or lifts to take us up and down. We have therefore lost our physical abilities, building blockages by tethering our nerves, spasming our muscles and stiffening our joints.
Biomechanics is the study of human movement and how it interacts with our environment (work, sport, chores). It can be categorised in one of two ways:
Extrinsic Biomechanics: analyses movement, making sure it's performed most efficiently. For example, a PT/Coach directs your posture during a chest press, "Keep your lower back flat, wrist locked…" or a deadlift "Hold the bar below the knee, stick your bum out, keep the bar close to the body, disengage/lock your lower back…".
Intrinsic Biomechanics: This is the analysis of what is happening inside the body which creates the extrinsic movements. Studies show the body is able to move or perform certain tasks mechanically. For example, if the person tries but cannot disengage their lower back and cannot engage gluteus during squat, sitting or standing.
What is a Biomechanics Coach™?
A coach is trained in Intrinsic Biomechanics and will be able to perform a full-body Biomechanical screen, establishing if there are any areas of mechanical weakness in an individual.
A fully trained coach can screen your shoulders, spine, pelvis, knees, ankles, nerves and muscles to see if they are functioning correctly. If they are not working at optimum capacity, then a Biomechanics Coach will be able to determine whether this is due to genetic issues or something that is occurring because of poor technique, postural problems, or inadequate rehabilitation (either functional or structural).
Once this has been established, a coach will be able to personalise a training programme along with prescribed exercises and be able discuss how these can be adapted to fit both with training and daily life.
Why consult a Biomechanics Coach™?
Recurrent injury – if you have an ongoing injury, a Biomechanics Coach™ will be able to assess whether there are any biomechanical problems that may be causing it to keep occurring.
Pain during exercise – if you experience pain when running, sitting at a desk or working-out at the gym, a Biomechanics Coach can establish whether that pain has a Biomechanical cause and prescribe remedial exercises. However, a Biomechanics Coach would not diagnose or treat injuries unless they have a therapeutic or medical qualification.
Optimal performance – if you are unable to perform a particular sporting or physical activity and have no obvious solution, a Biomechanics Coach can advise if the cause is Biomechanical in nature.
Rehab – if you have had an operation, been injured physically or during a sporting event a Biomechanics Coach can advise on how to improve biomechanical faults that have an underlying pathological cause.