Fitness Friday: Primal Movement – Rolling

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Have you ever watched a baby slowly learn a new movement? They work at it and work at it and then suddenly, there it is! It’s locked in their muscles, firmly in their body’s memory and repertoire of movement.

We can actually learn a lot about the core aspects of movement from our littlest ones. When I first started working with our fitness expert, Laura, she watched me walk and asked immediately: “Did you crawl as a baby?” My answer was no. It turns out that skipping that important developmental stage was fundamental in my body’s misalignment. These movements are what we call “Primal Movements” and revisiting them as adults can have surprisingly powerful impacts on our overall strength and physical wellbeing.

Before crawling, most babies first learn to roll over. I can remember the day my daughter Sia went from happily lounging around on her back to rolling. Diaper changing suddenly got a lot more exciting!

Turns out that this first primal movement is actually quite core to every movement we make. It’s the baseline for something as simple as looking over your shoulder to back your car up. You need to be able to twist segmentally so that all parts move in harmony. If one part doesn’t move because it’s stuck or blocked (like something in your neck or shoulder in this example), and the top part does (like your head), you can torque or tweak things unnecessarily. Ever feel your neck tweak when doing something simple like looking over your shoulder? That means the rolling motion got stuck in one place instead of continuing down the kinetic chain.

The solution? It doesn’t have to be something fancy – it can be as simple as reintroducing that primal movement and making sure that simple pattern is awakened and working properly in your body. In today’s Fitness Friday installment, Laura helps us get our baby on and learn how to roll all over again.

Fitness Friday - Primal Movement Series - Rolling |

Laura Coleman - Laura Coleman rocked my world a few years back when she helped me get to the root of all the knee and lower-back issues I’d had since my teens. In just a couple of sessions, Laura put me on a simple program of rehab exercises (unlike any I’d ever seen before) that brought my body back into alignment and actually fixed the problem that no physiotherapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor had ever been able to solve. I was hooked! We’ve been terrific friends and shared many clients since, and I’m delighted that she has offered to share her wisdom with all of you via this Fitness Friday video series. Laura lives in Portland, OR with her two gorgeous daughters. She works her magic at Club Sport and with clients all over the continent via the magic of technology (aka Skype). Check out her blog and website here.

1 Comment

  1. This is very much like an Awareness Through Movement lesson of the Feldenkrais method. I wonder if you have heard of that? There’s a lesson that uses a similar rolling movement; it’s done a little differently, but this reminds me of that. I have done Feldenkrais lessons to help me walk without pain (most of the time) — I have fairly advanced osteoarthritis. Good to see this!

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