Keep It Natural

As a biokineticist I am often asked which exercise is best for this sport, or those muscles, and I always reply natural exercises. In my experience with working with clients and patients over the last 10 years I have noticed that we have lost our natural ability to move and exercise our bodies. I mentioned in my previous blog that I believe the body has been designed to move and exercise. As with anything that has been designed if it is not used properly it will become damaged and the same applies with the body. Exercise is a stress to the human body and when done naturally brings many health benefits, however when done unnaturally accelerates the aging process in your joints, makes you stiff, impedes the healing processes and affects your posture which has many other health consequences.

The way you move and exercise determines the muscles you use. When we exercise the brain recruits muscles in specific sequences depending on the positioning of your joints. It is important to note here that it is not natural for the brain to isolate muscles during movement. Therefore when you place your joints such as the knee, back or shoulder in positions that they were not designed to be in you not only affect the muscle sequence but place tremendous stress and strain throughout your body especially the lower back, shoulders and neck.

Our bodies are not designed to be exercised lying down, on our hands and knees or even in the plank position and therefore the most natural position to strengthen your core and muscles is in a standing position. Unfortunately today many of the current exercise systems and recovery programs use exercises that are not natural and are done mostly on our backs. An example is the sit up exercise. Although this position challenges the abdominal muscles, it actually also strains the neck and lower back.

Here are a few good questions to ask yourself whenever you are doing an exercise:

  • Would I ever do this exercise in real life especially when it comes to core and strength training?

  • Do I feel other parts of my body working or taking strain like the neck?

  • Do I isolate muscles when I train?

I will go into more detail about core exercises in my future blogs.

For any further information or consultations you can contact Carl on 076 524 3705 or

Carl Reader is the a registered Biokineticist with the following credentials:
BSc (Med)(Hons) Biokinetics.
Pilates Instructor.
Key Speaker at an Evening Lecture at Stellenbosch Medi Clinic for Physiotherapists on Rehabilitation from a Biokineticist perspective.