The World Above
Aug 18, 2014
Did you know that the neck, the cervical spine, has seven vertebrae? These strategically placed vertebrae allow the neck to move into flexion, rotation and extension. That is, the design of our neck lends itself to being able to flex, rotate and extend. In Original Strength, we stand on the premise that mastering head control is essential to having a reflexively strong and able body. Being able to move the head in all the directions it was designed to move, allows the body to retain and regain it's original strength.
I bring this up because many people don't look up, or they are afraid to. Some people say we shouldn't look up, some people say we should keep a "neutral spine". Can you imagine a world where people never look up? No one would be able to see birds flying overhead, or clouds, or rainbows, or tree tops.
Today, in the fitness industry, it is common to refer back to the cave man, the rock man, or the paleo man as to how they would have lived. This cave man reference is often made to demonstrate how man should live today, and how man would live if he was not surrounded by technology. Well, I am pretty sure our ancestors would have looked up into the trees to search for food, or to spy out any would be predators. They probably never gave one second of concern as to whether or not their necks should move into extension. They were survivors and part of surviving meant moving by their design. Surviving would have included looking up at the sky, reading the stars, judging the clouds, and looking for something greater than the fear of moving their necks into extension.
We were made to be able to extend our necks. We were made to be able to look up. If we weren't supposed to look up, we would probably have rods in our necks instead of 7 vertebrae.
Every muscle in our bodies are tied to our ability to move our head. Moving the head, in a sense, strengthens and reflexively sharpens, our entire body. Moving the head in flexion stimulates our flexors, our anterior chain. Moving the head in extension stimulates our extensors, our posterior chain. To not move the head, where it is designed to move, is like purposefully dulling and weakening our entire body. To take away movement from one part of our body is to take away movement and strength from all of our body.
We have all been given a good head on our shoulders. We are all supposed to have strong necks to support our big, heavy heads. Strong, mobile necks, lead to strong, mobile, resilient bodies. Not only that, but much of the beauty we were created to see, much of the wonder in this world, actually lives higher than our line of sight. We were simply made to look up.
If you would like to learn more about head control, be on the look out for our new, soon to be released book, Original Strength Restoration. In it we explain how to start where you are, how to begin where your body will let you begin, and reclaim your head control and restore the body you were meant to have.