Practical Science on Movement and Pain

Category Archives: SAID principle

Developmental Movements: Part Two

In the previous post I pointed out that the developmental movement patterns learned in infancy are building blocks for the more complex movements that we use in our daily lives as adults. These simple patterns are combined to form sophisticated movements, just as words and letters are combined to make sentences. One implication of thisRead More

Extreme Performance or Optimal Health? Pick One!

Many of my clients will ask my opinion about whether a particular sport or activity promotes movement health. Yoga, running, swimming, weight training, ballet, soccer, gymnastics, crossfit. (People are especially interested in whether these activities will be healthy for their kids.) It’s an interesting question because almost any physical activity you can think of hasRead More

Barefoot Running, Squatting Like a Baby, and Pygmy Feet

I just came across a very interesting article on the tree climbing ability of pygmies and the extreme ankle flexibility that allows them to do it. I know, this is something you have always wondered about. I think it sheds some light on a couple of common debates relating to the impact of the modernRead More

The Effect of Fatigue on Coordination

I just read the abstract of a study cited by Chris Highcock at Conditioning Research. (By the way if you are interested in either strength training or hiking, check out Chris’ excellent new e-book called Hillfit.) It is one of many studies that show that muscular fatigue impairs coordination. Because coordination is essentially a mentalRead More

High Heels, Barefeet, and Running in Circles

Three new studies recently emerged that shed light on how gait changes our structure and function. I thought it would be interesting to discuss them all at the same time. High heels are bad It is known that wearing high heels tends to shorten the calf muscles and stiffen the achilles tendon. Shocker. Some researchersRead More

The Difference Between Motor Learning and Exercise

When you work on your movement or physical function, are you trying to learn how to move better, or are you just exercising and placing a healthy form of stress on the body? Maybe you are doing both at the same time, or maybe you are focused on only one of these elements. Either way,Read More

The SAID Principle and Transfer

After writing last week’s post on the meaning of strength, I was thinking about doing a post that would address whether getting “stronger” in the gym makes you stronger on the field. The big question is: to what degree will resistance training make you better at your sport? For example, will improving your deadlift make you better at soccer?

I have a previous post on the SAID principle which makes the point that exposure to …Read More

New Deadlift Record: Making the Impossible Possible

Benedickt Magnusson just set a new world record in the deadlift – 1015 pounds! Check it out below. This amazing demonstration illustrates many of the principles I write about on this blog. Here are just a few. First, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Moshe Feldenkrais, who said that the purposeRead More

Nerve Mechanics Part III

Image via Wikipedia In the first two posts on nerve mechanics I discussed how nerves move and how that movement can cause pain. This post is about making sensitive nerves healthy again. Without getting into a bunch of complicated anatomy about how to tension or slide certain nerves and when it’s safe to do so,Read More

The SAID Principle

Rafael Nadal’s huge left arm, courtesy of the SAID principle. The SAID principle is one of the most important basic concepts in sport science. It is an acronym which stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. It means that when the body is placed under some form of stress, it starts to make adaptations thatRead More