"One Small Movement Can Set You Up for Success within the Gym: Head Nods!"
The Importance of Mastering Head Control for our Everyday Lives
As children we mastered the concept of walking, which is usually the first aspect of our youth that is pointed out when we are growing. However, the mastering of head control and our vestibular system is just as vital as walking, as this system is what creates balance within our body, but also very necessary to have a healthy, strong body in our lives. Through a concept called Pressing Reset from the developers of the Original Strength Series, the act of simply being on all fours and moving your head up and down with proper breathing mechanisms can truly take us back to how we are supposed to be moving and breathing.
From the Original Strength Series about the importance of the Vestibular System:
“The vestibular system is also extremely important because it is also the foundation of all other sensory systems are built upon or routed through. In fact, all the systems in the body, and all the information received by the body are routed thru the vestibular system.”(“Andersen and Neupert Page 56)
The vestibular system is the first sensory system that is developed before we even come out of our mother’s womb. It begins developing about 21 days after conception, and can be fully developed within the first 5 months of pregnancy. Through movement, this is how our brain and body develops, and this can only happen thru the help of the vestibular system. The importance of movement for adults is so vital to being healthy, fit, and stronger since thru movement we can make more neural connections in your brain and throughout your body.
We can aid in this development as an adult by simply watching how a baby moves in their early stages. Babies head can weigh up to 33% of their bodyweight (“Anderson and Neuprt Page 60), so think about how strong and how active babies must be to be able to hold this massive head on their small body. The infant is working extra hard to be able to stabilize and control this weight that is bearing down on their neck and spine. The final product is the child learning how to control his/her head thru a concept called head nods that the Original Strength Educators have developed to use for adults to once again gain control of their movement system.
In the fitness industry, we have come to negate the fact that the neck can move into extension and flexion, and telling our bodies not to go thru the motion of extension in a safe manner is in fact putting us behind the eight ball in gaining that mobility and stability we are searching for in our lives.
Through heads nods we can gain mobility, stability, and correct posture for our everyday lives. With this simple movement, we can help our major body’s systems thru the help of digestion, movement, immune system, and cardiorespiratory systems. The more often we perform these head nods daily, the quicker we will help restore the process and body. Remember, this is simple and easy, and comes down to whether you want to make this is a priority in your everyday life. I will go over next on how to position yourself for this movement and how to properly perform, so you can start implementing this into your daily routine.
The Steps to Head Nods(Andersen and Neupert Page 62)
- Start on Hands and Knees in a Quadruped Position.
- Keep your mouth closed.
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, basically try to swallow your tongue, it will end up at the roof of your mouth. This helps fire your balance system, and also free up your neck’s range of motion.
- Motion will be tuck chin into your chest, and then try to look up ceiling and raise your head.
- Nod up and down, and lead with your eyes.
- Breathe thru your nose, and practice that diaphragmatic breathing aka belly breathing, which helps with anterior core strengthening as well.