Infant motor-sensory development / brain growth while mastering the skill sets of crawling and walking are intimately linked with postural development and performance as an adult. I can personally attest to this because during infancy my center of gravity was excessively forward, and consequently my feet rotated inwards while walking as I got older. This imbalance resulted in the entire chain of muscle improperly developing to compensate around these issues. Soon, these little adjustments became deeply embedded patterns in both the brain and muscle, that would ultimately serve as the triggers to much larger issues for the rest of my life. There are many personal examples of these improper developments and their expression / consequences in my physique pursuits, as well as lessons learned along the way that I am now looking to share with you
For starters, I was born with a lazy eye, resulting in a distorted field of depth perception, which made it so that during early phases of crawling / walking as a child I constantly was holding onto objects for stability with my left arm. Due to my imbalances from birth, during the key years of motor/physical development I was forced to constantly tilt my left shoulder forward while reaching for stability. It didn’t seem a big deal to most at the time, but in retrospect it was a clear demonstration even at that age, of the little imbalances that were ingrained early in me, and how they would ultimately manifest themselves through my physique as an adult. Contrast this to our present Mr. Olympia and other elite competitors, who have lived and grown in the perfect conditions, from vision, jaw structure (Just look at Jay), hip stability, and motor sensory-learning since the phases of crawling. This isn’t just limited to bodybuilding, but all sports as well and children of athletes who know which of their children’s skills to hone from birth. Though their parents were likely not even aware of the variable of postural control and its role skill acquisition, as often is the case of these champions you will find that it was in their favor from birth.
On the reverse of the spectrum, because I was slow to address these fundamental issues, the consequence is now at 39 years old, and 270 lb, these imbalances have only exaggerated / grown with my physique. But with age (sometimes) comes wisdom, and I have begun to address these postural weaknesses and slowly reversed some of these deeply embedded patterns of activation. I’m no doctor or posturology expert, but a damaged older soul that identified and undstands his issues, just a tad late… Imagine if i knew this when i start training 15 years ago… While I have used these techniques to reverse negative motor developments, others who include them can possibly prevent these issues entirely.
By working the Deeper-Core / TVA / Multifidus, Eye Strengthening /Vision Exercises, and refocusing my center of gravity, I have been able to enhance my performance as well as heal the majority of the shoulder impingement I had developed in my youth. Though late is better than never, addressing these weaknesses early prevents them from becoming more glaring as athletes add the extreme mass required to compete at the upper echelons of the sport. With these types of exercises and proper core development (as well as analysis of weaknesses) you can improve athletes at the most fundamental / base level.
The next few pieces will further delve into how to directly address a number of these issues, and or prevent them entirely. So for those of you that have signs of poor motor development such as knee pain, hip misbalance, or asymmetrical shoulders, you have the capability to self-diagnose and address these issues, and we will explore how. While everyone scream drugs and genetics, people forget the most important factor, your childhood environment.