Pod #93: Ankle Rocker, Sacroiliac Joint symmetry , Landing mechanics

Ankle Rocker, Sacroiliac Joint symmetry , Landing mechanics, Gait Tech, Gray Cook theories, movement and music and so much more !

A. Link to our server:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/thegaitguys/pod_93Final.mp3

Direct Download:  http://thegaitguys.libsyn.com/pod-93-ankle-rocker-sacroiliac-joint-symmetry-landing-mechanics

Sponsor: www.newbalancechicago.com

-Other Gait Guys stuff
B. iTunes link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-gait-guys-podcast/id559864138
C. Gait Guys online /download store (National Shoe Fit Certification & more !)
http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=80204
D. other web based Gait Guys lectures:
Monthly lectures at : www.onlinece.com type in Dr. Waerlop or Dr. Allen, ”Biomechanics”

-Our Book: Pedographs and Gait Analysis and Clinical Case Studies
Electronic copies available here:

-Amazon/Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Pedographs-Gait-Analysis-Clinical-Studies-ebook/dp/B00AC18M3E

-Barnes and Noble / Nook Reader:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pedographs-and-gait-analysis-ivo-waerlop-and-shawn-allen/1112754833?ean=9781466953895

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pedographs-and-gait-analysis/id554516085?mt=11

-Hardcopy available from our publisher:
http://bookstore.trafford.com/Products/SKU-000155825/Pedographs-and-Gait-Analysis.aspx

Show notes:

-Landing mechanics
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26117159

-Shock absorbing landing loads
J Athl Train. 2015 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]
Weight-Bearing Dorsiflexion Range of Motion and Landing Biomechanics in Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability. Hoch MC1, Farwell KE1, Gaven SL2, Weinhandl JT1.

-Neuroscience:
Trying to reteach your client’s CNS new sensory-motor patterns so they can move better ?
New connections and pathways are fragile and only through repetition and practice and focused attention can those connections be established enough to become habitual or default behaviors.
Neuroscience for Leadership: Harnessing the Brain Gain Advantage (The Neuroscience of Business). Tara Swart

-Does variability in muscle activity reflect a preferred way of moving or just reflect what they’ve always done?
http://esciencenews.com/articles/2014/03/14/motion.and.muscles.dont.always.work.lockstep.researchers.find.surprising.new.study

-Context-dependent changes in motor control and kinematics during locomotion: modulation and decoupling. Foster and Higham
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24621949

-gait technology problems 😕
http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemlee/who-owns-your-steps#.twn1Bg28P

-Dance video discussed, Alvin Ailey Dance Company
https://vimeo.com/36286106

-SI joint anatomy/rehab piece: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3512279/
more rehab strategies here: http://lermagazine.com/article/music-therapy-and-gait-rehab-to-a-different-beat

-a few minutes on Gray Cook quotes. pick a few we can talk about (pic attached)

movement patterns talk: http://www.anatomy-physiotherapy.com/28-systems/musculoskeletal/lower-extremity/knee/1191-altered-movement-patterns-in-individuals-with-acl-rupture

From Abby Road to Vivaldi; the Sensory information in has a corresponding motor output.

Going for a run or a workout? What you listen to has an impact on your motor output, but why ? Functional MRI of the listening brain found that different regions become active when listening to different types of music and instrumental versus vocals.
From Abby Road to Vivaldi; the Sensory information in has a corresponding motor output. The brain shifts the sound to different areas depending on the music. This is why ACDC is likely a better sound track for your next run than Vivaldi.
“Computer algorithms were used to identify specific aspects of the music, which the researchers were able to match with specific, activated brain areas. The researchers found that vocal and instrumental music get treated differently. While both hemispheres of the brain deal with musical features, the presence of lyrics shifts the processing of musical features to the left auditory cortex.” – Allie Wilkinson

A 60 second podcast.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/different-brain-regions-handle-different-music-types/

Listening to music in the first 1.5 km of a run alters pacing strategies and improves performance.

How do  you feel before a race? Excited ? Adrenaine pumping? Do you ever notice how you typically “go out” a bit too fast for the first mile or two because of this ? Do you feel that it takes that first mile to find your comfortable running pace ?
How do you feel otherwise during  your training runs during the first mile or two ? Some folks feel a bit sluggish and it takes a mile to get into the rhythm and “get the bugs out”, eventually loosening up and getting the heart rate at your comfortable running rate.  For many, it takes time to get “the machine” up to cruising speed, up to cruising temperature (especially if we are dealing with some environmental temperature extremes), and to get our head “in the game” or in that meditative zone we all love so much. 
In this study the authors looked at “the effects of listening to music on attentional focus, rating of perceived exertion, pacing strategy and performance during a simulated 5-km running race”. What they found was that through the use of music they were able to create an affect on the runner’s outcome. More specifically, they discovered that listening to music at the beginning of a run may draw the person’s attentional focus away from internal sensations of fatigue and transfer their focus elsewhere thus affording a faster pace.
We have talked about the use of music in previous blog posts here on The Gait Guys regarding its function in assisting speed work and helping to set a tempo via beats per minute of the music. Interestingly in this study, because of the distracting factor of the music, the rate of perceived exertion of the runner increased linearly throughout the run hinting that the change in velocity may be to maintain the same rate of rate of perceived exertion increase.
Possible take away point?:  Well, is it possible that using music on your runs may distract you from the uncomfortable internal environment brought about by running (ie. pushing through fatigue, pain or lactate for example) that might otherwise dictate a slower pace because of perceived exertion ?  This article seems to suggest this possibility.  So, you might run faster because you have reduced your perceived effort via distraction.
 
Shawn and Ivo
 
Int J Sports Med. 2012 Oct;33(10):813-8. Epub 2012 May 16.

Listening to music in the first, but not the last, 1.5 km of a 5-km running trial alters pacing strategy and improves performance.

Lima-Silva AE, Silva-Cavalcante MD, Pires FO, Bertuzzi R, Oliveira RS, Bishop D. Sports Science Research Group, Faculty of Nutrition, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceio, Brazil. adrianosilva@usp.br

Abstract

We examined the effects of listening to music on attentional focus, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), pacing strategy and performance during a simulated 5-km running race. 15 participants performed 2 controlled trials to establish their best baseline time, followed by 2 counterbalanced experimental trials during which they listened to music during the first (M start) or the last (M finish) 1.5 km. The mean running velocity during the first 1.5 km was significantly higher in M start than in the fastest control condition (p<0.05), but there was no difference in velocity between conditions during the last 1.5 km (p>0.05). The faster first 1.5 m in M start was accompanied by a reduction in associative thoughts compared with the fastest control condition. There were no significant differences in RPE between conditions (p>0.05). These results suggest that listening to music at the beginning of a trial may draw the attentional focus away from internal sensations of fatigue to thoughts about the external environment. However, along with the reduction in associative thoughts and the increase in running velocity while listening to music, the RPE increased linearly and similarly under all conditions, suggesting that the change in velocity throughout the race may be to maintain the same rate of RPE increase.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

Listening to music in the first 1.5 km of a run alters pacing strategies and improves performance.

How do  you feel before a race? Excited ? Adrenaine pumping? Do you ever notice how you typically “go out” a bit too fast for the first mile or two because of this ? Do you feel that it takes that first mile to find your comfortable running pace ?
How do you feel otherwise during  your training runs during the first mile or two ? Some folks feel a bit sluggish and it takes a mile to get into the rhythm and “get the bugs out”, eventually loosening up and getting the heart rate at your comfortable running rate.  For many, it takes time to get “the machine” up to cruising speed, up to cruising temperature (especially if we are dealing with some environmental temperature extremes), and to get our head “in the game” or in that meditative zone we all love so much. 
In this study the authors looked at “the effects of listening to music on attentional focus, rating of perceived exertion, pacing strategy and performance during a simulated 5-km running race”. What they found was that through the use of music they were able to create an affect on the runner’s outcome. More specifically, they discovered that listening to music at the beginning of a run may draw the person’s attentional focus away from internal sensations of fatigue and transfer their focus elsewhere thus affording a faster pace.
We have talked about the use of music in previous blog posts here on The Gait Guys regarding its function in assisting speed work and helping to set a tempo via beats per minute of the music. Interestingly in this study, because of the distracting factor of the music, the rate of perceived exertion of the runner increased linearly throughout the run hinting that the change in velocity may be to maintain the same rate of rate of perceived exertion increase.
Possible take away point?:  Well, is it possible that using music on your runs may distract you from the uncomfortable internal environment brought about by running (ie. pushing through fatigue, pain or lactate for example) that might otherwise dictate a slower pace because of perceived exertion ?  This article seems to suggest this possibility.  So, you might run faster because you have reduced your perceived effort via distraction.
 
Shawn and Ivo
 
Int J Sports Med. 2012 Oct;33(10):813-8. Epub 2012 May 16.

Listening to music in the first, but not the last, 1.5 km of a 5-km running trial alters pacing strategy and improves performance.

Lima-Silva AE, Silva-Cavalcante MD, Pires FO, Bertuzzi R, Oliveira RS, Bishop D. Sports Science Research Group, Faculty of Nutrition, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceio, Brazil. adrianosilva@usp.br

Abstract

We examined the effects of listening to music on attentional focus, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), pacing strategy and performance during a simulated 5-km running race. 15 participants performed 2 controlled trials to establish their best baseline time, followed by 2 counterbalanced experimental trials during which they listened to music during the first (M start) or the last (M finish) 1.5 km. The mean running velocity during the first 1.5 km was significantly higher in M start than in the fastest control condition (p<0.05), but there was no difference in velocity between conditions during the last 1.5 km (p>0.05). The faster first 1.5 m in M start was accompanied by a reduction in associative thoughts compared with the fastest control condition. There were no significant differences in RPE between conditions (p>0.05). These results suggest that listening to music at the beginning of a trial may draw the attentional focus away from internal sensations of fatigue to thoughts about the external environment. However, along with the reduction in associative thoughts and the increase in running velocity while listening to music, the RPE increased linearly and similarly under all conditions, suggesting that the change in velocity throughout the race may be to maintain the same rate of RPE increase.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

Listening to music in the first 1.5 km of a run alters pacing strategies and improves performance.

How do  you feel before a race? Excited ? Adrenaine pumping? Do you ever notice how you typically “go out” a bit too fast for the first mile or two because of this ? Do you feel that it takes that first mile to find your comfortable running pace ?
How do you feel otherwise during  your training runs during the first mile or two ? Some folks feel a bit sluggish and it takes a mile to get into the rhythm and “get the bugs out”, eventually loosening up and getting the heart rate at your comfortable running rate.  For many, it takes time to get “the machine” up to cruising speed, up to cruising temperature (especially if we are dealing with some environmental temperature extremes), and to get our head “in the game” or in that meditative zone we all love so much. 
In this study the authors looked at “the effects of listening to music on attentional focus, rating of perceived exertion, pacing strategy and performance during a simulated 5-km running race”. What they found was that through the use of music they were able to create an affect on the runner’s outcome. More specifically, they discovered that listening to music at the beginning of a run may draw the person’s attentional focus away from internal sensations of fatigue and transfer their focus elsewhere thus affording a faster pace.
We have talked about the use of music in previous blog posts here on The Gait Guys regarding its function in assisting speed work and helping to set a tempo via beats per minute of the music. Interestingly in this study, because of the distracting factor of the music, the rate of perceived exertion of the runner increased linearly throughout the run hinting that the change in velocity may be to maintain the same rate of rate of perceived exertion increase.
Possible take away point?:  Well, is it possible that using music on your runs may distract you from the uncomfortable internal environment brought about by running (ie. pushing through fatigue, pain or lactate for example) that might otherwise dictate a slower pace because of perceived exertion ?  This article seems to suggest this possibility.  So, you might run faster because you have reduced your perceived effort via distraction.
 
Shawn and Ivo
 
Int J Sports Med. 2012 Oct;33(10):813-8. Epub 2012 May 16.

Listening to music in the first, but not the last, 1.5 km of a 5-km running trial alters pacing strategy and improves performance.

Lima-Silva AE, Silva-Cavalcante MD, Pires FO, Bertuzzi R, Oliveira RS, Bishop D. Sports Science Research Group, Faculty of Nutrition, Federal University of Alagoas, Maceio, Brazil. adrianosilva@usp.br

Abstract

We examined the effects of listening to music on attentional focus, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), pacing strategy and performance during a simulated 5-km running race. 15 participants performed 2 controlled trials to establish their best baseline time, followed by 2 counterbalanced experimental trials during which they listened to music during the first (M start) or the last (M finish) 1.5 km. The mean running velocity during the first 1.5 km was significantly higher in M start than in the fastest control condition (p<0.05), but there was no difference in velocity between conditions during the last 1.5 km (p>0.05). The faster first 1.5 m in M start was accompanied by a reduction in associative thoughts compared with the fastest control condition. There were no significant differences in RPE between conditions (p>0.05). These results suggest that listening to music at the beginning of a trial may draw the attentional focus away from internal sensations of fatigue to thoughts about the external environment. However, along with the reduction in associative thoughts and the increase in running velocity while listening to music, the RPE increased linearly and similarly under all conditions, suggesting that the change in velocity throughout the race may be to maintain the same rate of RPE increase.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

Using music in your training is smart. We have been saying this for over a year in some of our blog articles regarding music and dance and incorporating some of the advantages of brain development and music. Today we have more research to prove our point. In The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (link) British researchers concluded that “exercise is more efficient when performed synchronously with music than when musical tempo is slightly slower than the rate of cyclical movement.” Scott Douglas summarized the study nicely:
    The study had cyclists pedal at 65 revolutions per minute (i.e., 130 pedal strokes per minute) while working at 70% of their aerobic max, which in running terms would be between recovery pace and half marathon pace. The cyclists listened to music at three tempi:faster than their pedal rate (137 beats per minute),synced with their pedal rate (130 beats per minute)and slower than their pedal rate (123 beats per minute).Although the cyclists rated their perceived effort the same in the three conditions, their oxygen cost was greater when they pedaled along to music that was slower than they were riding. Their heart rates were also slightly higher when listening to the slowest of the three music speeds.
Anyone who has frequently run with music knows how a peppy tune can jump start things. This study suggests you’re asking to work a little harder if your playlist includes songs slower than your turnover, which for running purposes ideally means around 170 or more beats per minute.In one of our favorite Gait Guys blog posts on June 7th, (here is the link)we mentioned some other great benefits of strategically using music to further your training:
Music provides timing. Music taps into fundamental systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat. And when you are learning a task, timing can access part of the brain to either make it easier, easier to remember, or engrain the learned behavior deeper. When you add music to anything you are exercising other parts of your brain with that task. It is nothing new in the world of music and brain research when it comes to proving that music expands areas of learning and development in the brain. As Dr. Charles Limb, associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University states “It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”Several weeks ago we asked you as an athlete, and this pertains to runners and even those walking, to add music to your training. If you are walking, vary the songs in your ipod to express variations in tempo. Use those tempo changes to change your cadence. If you are a runner, once in awhile add ipod training to your workouts and do the same. Your next fartlek (a system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are varied to enhance conditioning) might be a new experience. Perhaps an enjoyable one. Trust us, we have done it. Here at The Gait Guys, with our backgrounds in neurology and biomechanics amongst other things, we are always looking for new ways to learn and to incorporate other areas of brain challenge to our clients. To build a better athlete you have to use training ideas that are often outside the box.Remember what Dr. Charles Limb said,
“It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”
It is nice to see more studies on music. All to often we use music for pleasure, but here we once again show that it can be a useful training tool if you are paying attention and thinking outside of the iPod. Shawn and Ivo, The Gait Guys ……… music lovers as well.

Run and Bike Training using Music and Cadence.

Format LinkPosted on Categories Running, Running Technique, Running/Gait, Sports MedicineTags , , , , , 1 Comment on Using music in your training is smart. We have been saying this for over a year in some of our blog articles regarding music and dance and incorporating some of the advantages of brain development and music. Today we have more research to prove our point. In The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (link) British researchers concluded that “exercise is more efficient when performed synchronously with music than when musical tempo is slightly slower than the rate of cyclical movement.” Scott Douglas summarized the study nicely:
    The study had cyclists pedal at 65 revolutions per minute (i.e., 130 pedal strokes per minute) while working at 70% of their aerobic max, which in running terms would be between recovery pace and half marathon pace. The cyclists listened to music at three tempi:faster than their pedal rate (137 beats per minute),synced with their pedal rate (130 beats per minute)and slower than their pedal rate (123 beats per minute).Although the cyclists rated their perceived effort the same in the three conditions, their oxygen cost was greater when they pedaled along to music that was slower than they were riding. Their heart rates were also slightly higher when listening to the slowest of the three music speeds.
Anyone who has frequently run with music knows how a peppy tune can jump start things. This study suggests you’re asking to work a little harder if your playlist includes songs slower than your turnover, which for running purposes ideally means around 170 or more beats per minute.In one of our favorite Gait Guys blog posts on June 7th, (here is the link)we mentioned some other great benefits of strategically using music to further your training:
Music provides timing. Music taps into fundamental systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat. And when you are learning a task, timing can access part of the brain to either make it easier, easier to remember, or engrain the learned behavior deeper. When you add music to anything you are exercising other parts of your brain with that task. It is nothing new in the world of music and brain research when it comes to proving that music expands areas of learning and development in the brain. As Dr. Charles Limb, associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University states “It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”Several weeks ago we asked you as an athlete, and this pertains to runners and even those walking, to add music to your training. If you are walking, vary the songs in your ipod to express variations in tempo. Use those tempo changes to change your cadence. If you are a runner, once in awhile add ipod training to your workouts and do the same. Your next fartlek (a system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are varied to enhance conditioning) might be a new experience. Perhaps an enjoyable one. Trust us, we have done it. Here at The Gait Guys, with our backgrounds in neurology and biomechanics amongst other things, we are always looking for new ways to learn and to incorporate other areas of brain challenge to our clients. To build a better athlete you have to use training ideas that are often outside the box.Remember what Dr. Charles Limb said,
“It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”
It is nice to see more studies on music. All to often we use music for pleasure, but here we once again show that it can be a useful training tool if you are paying attention and thinking outside of the iPod. Shawn and Ivo, The Gait Guys ……… music lovers as well.

Gait and Biomechanics and Love Potion #9 !

The topic today is the brain and human movement and music. We would like you to enjoy this video we chose today of Slavik and Anna a little differently that you would normally watch a video. We ask that you cover up the top half of the video with your hand or a thick piece of paper so that you can ONLY see their legs and feet. Trust us, the hands, arms and their youthful attractiveness will distract you from the amazing stuff going on down in the legs and feet. Go ahead now and watch the video and see the amazing skill and precision of complicated foot work. There will be times that the feet are a blur, you will think the video has been sped up. It has not. If you can understand this type of complex footwork gait and running foot strike is going to be child’s play. It is why we study this stuff, because everything after this is easy. These are two of the very best dancers of all time and they show it here moving to the musical group, The Coasters version of “Love Potion #9”. This video is a classic example of complex motor tasks combined to music. Music makes everything better. Weddings, parties, even elevators (usually) are better when there is music. Today we will discuss how the brain can use music to help us learn. If you know this next song, you may find yourself immediately humming it in your head …

A B C

Easy as 1 2 3

Or simple as Do Re Mi

ABC, 123, Do Re Mi, baby you and me

There you have it. The chorus to The Jackson 5’s song “ABC”.

Kids have always learned well and fast (such as the alphabet) when music is integrated into a concept. Music provides timing. Music taps into fundamental systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat. And when you are learning a task, timing can access part of the brain to either make it easier, easier to remember, or engrain the learned behavior deeper. When you add music to anything you are exercising other parts of your brain with that task. It is nothing new in the world of music and brain research when it comes to proving that music expands areas of learning and development in the brain. As Dr. Charles Limb, associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University states “It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”

Several weeks ago we asked you as an athlete, and this pertains to runners and even those walking, to add music to your training. If you are walking, vary the songs in your ipod to express variations in tempo. Use those tempo changes to change your cadence. If you are a runner, once in awhile add ipod training to your workouts and do the same. Your next fartlek (a system of training for distance runners in which the terrain and pace are varied to enhance conditioning) might be a new experience. Perhaps an enjoyable one. Trust us, we have done it. Here at The Gait Guys, with our backgrounds in neurology and biomechanics amongst other things, we are always looking for new ways to learn and to incorporate other areas of brain challenge to our clients. To build a better athlete you have to use training ideas that are often outside the box.

Today’s video of Slavik and Anna is a classic example of complex motor tasks combined to music. It is much about timing. Dancers call it musicality. Asking anyone to learn these movements without music would not be impossible, it would take some time, but without a focus on perfect technique or music timing to the movements someone might be able to learn them crudely in a day or two. BUT, add the timing and musicality and accentuations to that music, such as Slavik and Anna show here, and this becomes a task of many many years study and practice. A task they make appear simple, elegant and fun to do or watch. Can you imagine the foot skill and core abilities of these two ? It is mind boggling the number of complex motor tasks that occur here every second.

So, go grab your iPod and go for a run or a walk. Mix up your songs. Hear the beat, feel the rhythm and change your next workout into “feeling” the change of the music’s embedded metronome. Use those advanced areas of your brain to integrate music and timing into your rehab, your run, your walk, your workout. Don’t just “listen” to the music. Rather, feel it, move your body to it, so your brain can integrate it and embed it and make your task more engrained. Remember what Dr. Charles Limb said,

“It (music) allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.”

Shawn and Ivo……helping you push the edges of human performance, through science, music and medicine.

(And here is a thank you “shout out” to my dance instructors (Godiva, Brittni, Max, Jake, Vance, Ellie, Caleb and Michael) for helping me to understand, struggle, and learn about these complex foot, limb, core motions and how music changes the brain’s learning curve. It has taken my understanding of human movement, functional anatomy and biomechanics to a level that I never knew existed. You make walking and running so simple for me now, simple to do and understand. Thank you !)

Attached here is an article from CNN and Dr. Limb that inspired today’s blog post.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/26/health/mental-health/music-brain-science/index.html

Gait, Running, Dance, Martial Arts and the Mirror neurons of the brain. Today The Gait Guys put it all together.  (Why you need to get familiar with mirror neurons).


When was the last time you actually truly “listened” to music and “used it” while you worked out or ran?  Many of us do it, but many of us are not using the music to its optimal advantage. This is something we will talk about at the end as we summarize today’s very important article.

Beautiful human movement is something to behold.  Being able to watch and appreciate beautiful movement does several things within the brain.

According the the Scientific American Article (LINK) by Columbia University neurologist John Krakauer:

“some reward-related areas in the brain are connected with motor areas …  and mounting evidence suggests that we are sensitive and attuned to the movements of others’ bodies, because similar brain regions are activated when certain movements are both made and observed. For example, the motor regions of professional dancers’ brains show more activation when they watch other dancers compared with people who don’t dance.”

Many things stimulate our brains’ reward centers, among them, both the participation in and the observance of coordinated movements thanks to our mirror neurons. Today we show an example of the world famous Slavi Kryklyvyy once again. The combination of the physical capabilities and the artistic rendering of the fluid and complex movements stir something in your brain.  Thanks to the mirror neuron cells in the brain’s cortex, which link the sensory experience from when a person is performing a movement or when watching someone else do it generates a subsequent motor experience in the brain.  Watching someone execute a complex athletic task for example, your brain’s movement areas subconscously activate and mentally plan and predict how the athlete would move based on what you would do. We do this when watching sports all the time. How many times have you watched an athlete and either verbally or mentally said to yourself “Oh man ! That was a dumb move ! I would never have done that ! I would have done ______ !”  Krakauer mentioned, ” the motor regions of professional dancers’ brains show more activation when they watch other dancers compared with people who don’t dance.”  This will be the same for all athletes. This is the same neurologic phenomenon that also allows you to truly appreciate a movement when it is done with amazing skill and precision.  Think of Cirque du Soleil and you will instantly know what we mean.

Watching Slavik move in the video above is complex motor tasking at its best. Dancers are amazing athletes, they are not just dancers. They are much like martial artists. Take Capoeira for example. It is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences. It is a complex and feared martial art known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for leg sweeps. It is a beautiful art, and a deadly art.

So, why does music make it that much better ? It is the same reason why weddings are less touching without music.  It is why music is used in church. It is why dance is paired with music.  Music stimulates the pleasure and reward areas of the brain, such as the orbitofrontal cortex, the ventral striatum and the cerebellum where timing, coordination and movement planning is performed. The combination of music with the motor task amplifies the reward zone in the brain. It is the task of trying to add timing and rhythm to movement that makes these activities that much harder, but that much more rewarding to the brain.  Runners who run with music, those who truly hear the timing and rhythm of the music and then use it in their workouts get a little something extra out of it. But sadly so many people “just listen” to the music instead of incorporating it into the movement.  A smart runner will vary the music and combine it with a run to vary tempo, cadence, speed etc.  That way the brain will be on fire and dish out rewards at a  new level. Dancers have no choice but to force the issue. We will sometimes use a metronome snapping of our fingers or clapping in the rhythm of a clients gait to help them hear the rhythm of their gait, particularly when it is arrhythmic due to pain or faulty biomechanics. We will do this so that it cues a heightened awareness in them. Seeing, feeling and hearing are all additive when sensory-motor relearning is concerned.

Gait and running are complex movements which we take for granted.  They are so automatized that we really do not realize how complex and amazing they are until something goes wrong or until someone brings the subtle flaws to our attention.  Maybe it is a stroke that compromises it, or maybe a neurologic disease like Parkinsons, or maybe it is as simple as a sprained ankle, a torn knee mensicus, a strained hamstring or a degenerative hip.  But any compromise to this complex sensory-motor task of ambulation immediately brings about a recognition that something is wrong to the skilled and aware observer. As in life, we do not appreciate something until something goes wrong with it.  Getting good at recognizing beautiful clean fluid gait and running is our job, and it is now your job. Now that you know better you cannot ignore gait in your clients, your artists, your athletes. Now that you know better, you must hold yourself to a higher level of expertise. Knowing what beautiful looks like will help you better understand what loss of beauty looks like.  It is what will make you better at understanding gait and human movement and locomotion and better at your chosen craft. It is what will heighten your appreciation of the amazing beauty of the human form and motion, whatever form it might take.

Shawn and Ivo.  Two guys who can see the beauty in movement, and who want you to see and feel it too.