Chain, Chain, Chain….(Kinetic Chain, that is)

  1. (image from mikereinold.com)

To me, one of the body’s most fascinating design features is something called the Kinetic Chain. If you’re a YFH regular, you might recall my mentioning that term a time or two (e.g. The Great Joint Compromise post). And being that it’s one of the most fundamental concepts of physical function–and thus of Functional Health–you can expect to see it mentioned here again from time to time as well…..like now, for instance.

In short, Kinetic Chain is the term used to describe the way in which your entire body actually operates as one, big mechanical unit, as opposed to a bunch of smaller, independently functioning components. The whole concept likens the body to series of individual links (i.e. joints, muscles) that form a contiguous chain from head to toe and culminate in the ultimate movement machine–your body!  It’s truly a phenomenal design, one that accounts for so many interesting aspects of physical function, such as why a baseball pitcher’s power really comes from his legs not his arm (a fact you’ve probably heard before but never really understood….until now) and why you are supposed to bend at the knees not the waist when lifting something heavy.

But as with most concepts of Functional Health, interesting might be nice, but useful is the name of the game! And understanding the Kinetic Chain is nothing if not useful, from improving your golf swing to making day-to-day life easier to avoiding and rehabbing injuries.

My latest Muscle.com article is all about the Kinetic Chain. So if you want to learn more, please TAKE A LOOK AT MY FULL ARTICLE and let me know what you think:

  • Had you heard of the concept before?
  • Can you see how incorporating the kinetic chain into your exercises would make your routine more functional?
  • Will you think about the kinetic chain now as you go about your daily activities like lifting groceries or serving a tennis ball?

Comments welcome!

(Btw, for your multi-lingual pleasure, you have the option to read my take on the kinetic chain in French or German as well)

 

[Header image from www.mikereinold.com]