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The Human Skeleton

There is a lot of crappy television out there that I do not even have cable. I have the internet, Pandora, Netflix, and that is basically it. I don’t have time to waste on commercials trying to sell me more crap and the time I want to spend in front of the screen needs to really catch my eye because chances are I am multitasking anyways. I have to  find a show truly amazing overall to devote my entire attention to it. But when I get exposed to really wonderful show I stick with it. That Dramatic-Arts-Major side of my brain shows up and says “hey there is an intelligent, witty and fun artistic show- watch it!”.

That said, I have recently been exposed to the T.V. series Bones and have been on Netflix watching episode after episode. I am like that. I find a show that I love and watch it continuously. But Bones is different, because it not only gets the personalities correct with each character (and I love seeing the ‘Matrix guy’ from Grandma’s Boy making appearances), but it also has informative, scientific worth. I learn a lot about, well it is called “Bones”.

Xray of head and neck

X-ray of the human head

This is nice because college really sucked when it came to learning about bones. We did not devote nearly enough time to researching bones. My college was on the quarter system so there were only 10 weeks to learn everything you can about bones. And 10 weeks is not nearly enough time to learn EVERYTHING about bones. Especially when you want to go on educating people about their bodies and bones play a huge role in that.

When I look at someone, anyone, just standing on the street, I think about their bones. I think about posture, the orientation and the discomfort most people must feel in their own bodies. I think this way more as an injured personal trainer and lifestyle coach than I ever did before I was injured. I know there are many of us out there who live in pain, but most ignore it. At my old gym the motto was always “no pain, no gain”. Well that worked out well for me. My bones got pulled too close together, muscles too tight, discs too close. Degeneration started and progressed at a rapid rate. This method of “no pain, no gain” clearly did not work for me. I can not only imagine what all the male trainers who worked out beside me must feel in their own bodies, I know it.

When you strength train, and you lift weights and pull resistance over and over again while ingesting vast amounts of protein in various forms, you build muscle, lots of muscle. But our bones are only designed to hold so much weight. It becomes too much effort for our muscles to hold all that weight which attach onto our bones through tendons. Our ligaments (they attach bone to bone) also pull too tight. Bones are forced closer together. Discs do not rebuild themselves. And the cartilage that lies between our bones to protect us when we move, degenerates. As our muscles pull tighter, we lose range of motion to protect the injured areas and we ignore the injury for far too long.

Some of us have larger bones and can handle more weight. Some of us can’t. Our bones dictate how we can move and how much weight we can put on our bodies. If our bones do not line up correctly, we do not move correctly. I see this everyday. I see how the cashier is stressing her calves, knees, hips and shoulders from standing in heels all day. I can pick out people who sit on the couch most of the time, sit at a computer or desk, people that stand and people that move. Most people let their primary muscles relax and secondary muscles do the work of the primary muscles. This is why pain happens.

xray of foot

X-ray of a foot

For example, If your erector spinae (the muscles that runs vertically down your spine) is doing the work of your rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis and obliques, your back is going to hurt. The rectus abdominis is suppose to be a larger muscle. It is designed to be the support of your belly, not your erector spinae. Another examples, people who sit at desks. Head tilts forward and forces the pectoralis major and minor (chest muscles) to do the work of the rhomboids and trapezius. Proper posture discuses more about the importance of alignment.

When I watch Dr. Brennan on Bones discuss the obvious solution of some scenario because of the small shape on the distal end of a particular bone it excites me. I feel I can relate to her. I just think more in terms of the sociological relationship to existing bodies rather than to dead ones. I feel like I should go up to that Jo Shmo on the street and tell him “if you only engage your abdominal muscles and lied in static back every day you would be in less pain and your bones would thank you”, or tell that guy at the gym who is clearly lifting too much weight to read this article about back injuries being the most common and how most people do not work out correctly.

3d rendering of skeleton armsBut alas, all I do is write a blog about it and hope people will read and spread the word about their bones, their muscles, and their physical health. Maybe a few will think that they need more help with that and ask for it from me. Because you have to love bones and understand them to be a proper trainer and lifestyle coach and be able to avoid injury whilst training your clients.

Author: builtbysyd

Yogi, lifestyle coach and personal trainer. Get healthy. Get fit. Get BUILT!


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