Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why You Can't Relax

"Muscle Tone" is another fitness industry
term I can't stand. Go ahead and Wiki it. All
kinds of trainers use that term to connote
increased muscle size and simultaneous decreased
body fat percentage. That's back to AESTHETICS,

which are practically worthless.

Muscle Tone comes from the kinesiological
term, "tonus." Tonus is the relative state of
relaxation, or partial contraction of a muscle
at rest. Muscles with more tonus are more
relaxed, and typically better at "working"
when they're needed.

Relaxation will help you run faster, jump
higher, and keep you from getting injured.
It will greatly enhance your balance, speed
and accuracy.


Most common forms of exercise are
"tension-based." You TENSE and contract
the muscles to make movements. These are
not helping you relax.

Neither is sitting or standing. You see, you
have bad habits (don't worry, everyone does).
When you stand, you favor standing on one
leg, probably with your knee locked. When
you sit, you primarily sit on one butt cheek.
You don't even realize you're doing this;
but the older you get, the more developed
these habits become.

Why are they bad habits ? Because they are
creating unbalanced tension in your body,
which leads to both stiffness and inappropriate
compensation. The irregular tension zips back
and forth across the plane-centers of your body.

So while you attempt to keep your body upright,
some muscles must chronically contract while the
same muscle on the other side will have to stretch.
Over time, this leads to degeneration of the joints,
such as the knees and hips; it also degrades posture
which makes it more and more difficult to remain
upright.

So how do you relax ?
Tomorrow, I'll tell you.

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