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  • Writer's pictureJosh Platt

The Four Laws of Body Alignment

All forms of physical training should have a solid foundation that all decisions are based upon. This foundation provides guidance and should be able to answer the question of “why?”. Why did you choose that exercise? Why are we following this progression over that one? Why is that athlete getting injured while another isn’t?

The Four Laws of Body Alignment are simple yet critical truths that, when applied appropriately, help to answer questions like this and countless others. These principles are good for the muscular health of all individuals, regardless of one's level of physical activity--whether you work at a desk, play a sport, run, or are a homemaker.

The Athletic Training Philosophy - Routines based on The Four Laws of Body Alignment.

Law #1: The human body is in a constant state of change based on the stimuli it receives. This law means that your muscular system is constantly adapting to every stimulus you give it (whether sitting, standing, or moving). As a result of each stimulus your body is either getting better or worse from an efficiency standpoint. It is important to understand each exercise at its most basic level is a stimulus. Once we start viewing it as a stimulus designed to create a change in the body, we can remove all biases about the exercise itself and truly select the most effective exercise for the individual.

Law #2: The greater the stimulus, the greater the anatomical change will be.

Simply put, if I do more of a particular activity (whether sitting, standing, or moving) I will cause more change to occur. Not all change is positive. We have to remember that all stimuli have both positive AND negative effects on the body. We need to maximize the positive and mitigate the negatives through providing balanced progressive exercise.

Law #3: The human body was designed to receive stimuli in a progressive manner.

Most good trainers and coaches understand progression. In this context we are talking about more than simply performing light exercise before increasing the intensity. The progression referred to here is the specific strength progression every child goes through during their physical development:

  • First they start on their back (the supine position) until they have provided enough stimulus to their arms, legs, core, etc. to be able to roll over onto their stomachs (prone position).

  • Eventually they will have built enough strength and coordination to press up onto all 4’s and begin to crawl (all 4’s position).

  • Lastly, they will be able to stand and begin to challenge themselves with the most loaded and complicated movements of walking, running, skipping, jumping etc. (Vertical Load).

These four phases of the strength progression naturally exist in babies. When our muscular systems become inhibited by prolonged sitting, imbalances, tightness, injury, and the like, we need to reboot our system using these natural phases of strength progression to restore the efficiency our bodies were intended to have.

Law #4: The body was designed to be the most efficient in the anatomically correct position. Most of us intuitively know that posture is important and it affects our quality of life, but, how do we change it? The simple answer is in the preceding laws. We apply the appropriate amount of muscular stimulus to the body following nature's strength progression to retrain the body how to hold its structural joints in the proper position. The anatomically correct position is when you have your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles all vertically stacked over one another and horizontally across from one another creating 90 degree right angles. In this position your body is built like a building with a strong foundation. You should be able to perform physically at your peak ability and simultaneously have a very low risk of injury due to the durability of your body.

Using The Four Laws of Body Alignment as the foundation for your everyday life can help you stay focused on your goals, develop new levels of strength and power, avoid injury, and eliminate pain from your body! See below for exercise routines based on these laws:

The Athletic Training Philosophy - Routines based on The Four Laws of Body Alignment.

The information provided is for self-exploration only and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Always consult with a licensed professional who specializes in the area you are seeking to understand and treat.

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