Anyway, that is off topic. Well a bit off topic.
The other day I posted about a study that linked mortality to how capable an individual was of sitting down and standing up. A commenter there pointed me to Phillip Beach's Muscles and Meridians, in which he discusses several floor- or ground-based "archetypal postures," and recommends "erectorcises" to practice getting up from them.
Intrigued I bought the book (that is the beauty and temptation of an Amazon account and a Kindle). It is a really interesting book. I've not really got into the meridians or the contractile field stuff, but the centre section on archetypal postures is fascinating.
The book proposes that we can reduce the incidence of musculoskeletal distress cheaply and effectively by taking three steps:
- We need to spend more time on the floor - in the natural postures of sitting, squatting, kneeling
- We need to be good at standing erect from the floor - this is a basic skill requiring a host of muscles to coordinate in work together
- Our feet need functional rehabilitation - shoes are sensory deprivation chambers!
If you want to preserve your mobility, and that of your clients, start with simple exercises that involve the floor to standing transition.
The Contractile Field model helps us to understand movement. The opposite of movement is rest; one without the other is nonsensical. At rest we assume natural Archetypal Postures. The archetype is the original pattern or model from which copies are made; the best example or prototype of that class of objects. Archetype used in the context of human movement refers to postures that emerge from, and are embedded within, the interaction of many joints and many muscles. Losing access to our Archetypal Postures is a biomechanical peril.
We sit on the floor in many postures that are our birthright, postures that our modern society neglects to value, instead preferring chairs and sofas. Rising from these Archetypal Postures to our full upright bipedal posture uses deeply embedded patterns of movement.
LEARN THE METHODS OF ERECTORCISE
To stand up from the floor is a movement sequence we mastered as children. Regrettably, in our busy lives this mastery has lessened over time until the normal act of rising from the floor becomes awkward and uncomfortable. Our musculoskeletal system needs the exercise of erecting to stay in good moving health. I call these the Erectorcises and the ability to relearn and reintroduce these exercises into everyday life provides some protection from degeneration and dis-ease.
Archetypal Postures and the Erectorcises are key insights derived from my work in Contractile Fields. If you want to achieve your sporting ambitions or to age gracefully you need to include this concept in your life. Learning why and how to value floor based rest and erecting from the floor with grace and facility will be of lifelong value to you.
Note: Erectorcises are applicable to all but the most infirm but are not appropriate for those with joint replacements.