Stronger Tendons, Stronger Body

Yes, it’s true – stronger tendons make a stronger body. Tendons, and their helpful cousins retinaculae, are specialized fascia that reinforce the body’s biotensegrity structure in areas where a lot of movement occurs. They can make or break the quality of our movement choices.

According to traditional anatomy and fitness culture, strength is increasing the size of a few big muscles that we can see in the mirror.  But bigger is not better.

Doing isolated exercises, like bicep curls, causes the belly or center of the muscle to get bigger. But the tendons at the ends of the muscles are not involved. 

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The Magic of Movement

Ready to dive deeper?

magic of movement courseAn 8-hour training program with Charlene Sullivan

Discover how fascial moves can make an instant and lasting change for any movement problem. Like Tanya, a participant in our January course:

“4 hours of training and practice … instantly and easily improved my strength, at least half of my chronic pain and restrictions seem to have magically disappeared …”

Includes Course Notes & Exercise Booklet

 

Our Tension-Based Body Structure

Old gross anatomy and classical mechanics can’t explain the dynamics of biological structures. The new anatomy of movement “biotensegrity” is a tension-based structure that explains the role of fascia and captures the diversity and strength of the body’s movement.

Simply put: our body structure is designed of “sticks” (bones that do not touch) and strings (fascia that connect to everything). Bones don’t move, fascia moves bones. There is a pre-stress to the entire system which locks in the forces and distributes them through the whole body.

How do we shift over to the new biotensegrity model?

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Explosive Strength for Athletes

When coaches refer an athlete to me, their first request is often to work on “explosive strength”. In basketball, quick pivots and high jumps. In baseball, fast throws. In soccer, direction changes and long kicks. On the track, fast starts. Really in all cases, quick, powerful moves in fast-paced sports.

I’ve learned that when we train one system at a time, we decrease our movement skills. No muscle or system works in isolation. So we must be careful to train for the full body movements we want, not for strength in specific muscles.

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Making Good Movement Choices – 3 Principles

We are always moving.

In organized sports and exercise, we are developing our bodies and specific skills on purpose, often near the upper limits of our fitness levels.

In our everyday activities, we are walking, climbing, bending, twisting and lifting as we work in our homes and jobs, and interact with family, friends and pets. Even when we are standing still, our bodies are moving – balancing around our centre to keep us upright.

Following just three basic principles helps us to move easily and avoid injuries.

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Tune Up the Fascia

Fascia performs many vital functions – connecting our biotensegrity structure, transferring force to enable movement, joining our systems, supporting our major organs and carrying nutrition and waste to and from our cells.

Recognizing the importance of fascia and including it in your exercise plans pays big dividends. Exercise your fascia and improve your movement. Use that improvement and keep exercising your fascia. Now the benefits are compounding. It’s a great investment in your long term mobility and health.

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Fascia – the Secret to Strength & Vitality

Our fascia is everywhere in our bodies and yet unknown by most people – unlike muscles, bones and joints. This multi-tasking tissue is essential for movement and essential for health. It’s full of specialized components that enable, integrate, communicate and protect. Really it’s the ultimate orchestrator of life in our bodies.

And yet, fascial anatomy has not made its way into the practice of most health and exercise professionals – likely because we’ve institutionalized 50 year old protocols. It’s been a mystery too long.

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