THE FORM AND FUNCTION OF THE LOCOMOTIVE CORE OF OUR BODIES
Human Beings have rather unique physiology than enables us to use our front legs for something other than walking around. Stabilizing our body mass over our hind legs liberated our forelimbs for tool manipulation, ultimately resulting in the built world surrounding us. Using this perspective, we are able to separate human physiology into two primary structural elements, the Locomotive Core and the Manipulation Core. We are quite unique in being able to make a distinction about our musculoskeletal system that is independent of locomotion. The purpose of this section on the Locomotive Core is to provide an adequate overview to cultivate our capacity for standing and moving with our locomotive core dynamics fully enabled, based on the Dimensional Mastery Model.
Our Locomotive Core begins at our feet. Our feet are so critical to the function of this, and our other Cores, that there is a special section dedicated to their structural and functional roles (FEET). Viewing the above diagram one can see that the load vectors of this Core cross the pelvis at the Sit Bones and Sacroiliac Joints and then converge at the Manubrium (T1, T2)(It is worth noting that this structure functions similarly in both standing and sitting.) The load vectors then cross the contralateral Atlanto-Occipital Joints, ending at the Sphenoid attribute of the orbit of the eyes. The contralateral eye to the foot carrying load is asserted (this can be validated by standing on one foot and noticing which eye is more dominant). Like the feet, Cranial Organization supports the function of multiple Cores and therefore requires a separate section (HEAD). The load vector crossing the mid-line of our body at the Manubrium also facilitates the engagement of the contralateral arm. This is discussed in the section on the Manipulation Core.
The Locomotive Core has excellent inherent lateral stability and minimal stability in the front/back-line, facilitating forward movement. If our feet do not efficiently support our core functions of standing and moving, our core will be both less stable and responsive. As our function echos our form, having a suboptimal core inclines us to a myriad array of dysfunctional expressions – which range from physical to emotional to cognitive. Our capacity to adapt to challenges is constrained by the extent to which our core is both stable and responsive. Postural Extension and Flexion describe this mechanism of core function, which is unique to our lineage and discussed separately here: (POSTURAL EXTENSION/FLEXION).
CORE DESCRIBED IN STANDING, GAIT, AND LS.
If the Core is examined as purely static anatomy, it’s physiology does not correlate well with the vectors through which load translates through our bodies. However, if viewed with an understanding of how the principle of Tensegrity is active in biological systems the loading as presented here becomes apparent. The section on Tensegrity explores this dynamic (TENSEGRITY).
N.B.: It should be noted that there is a range of definitions of what comprises our Core, originating from a range of ideas of what core function is. The Pilates’s definition of what comprises our core differs from this definition of the Locomotive Core by its inclusion of elements of the Manipulative Core. In this section, the LC is defined by analysis of human structure and function from the perspective of Evolutionary Physiology, as well as this writer’s understanding of mechanics enabled by the study of Tensegrity Principles, and the application of these principles to load-bearing, movement, and acceleration in Gravity. The benefit of articulating the Locomotive Core with these parameters is that it describes kinematic chains connecting the big toe to the back of the eyes, integrating all attributes of our vertebrate and mammalian physiology as a discrete entity operating the gravity.
The Locomotive Core comprises the structural and functional attributes which we use to deal with gravity, both in standing and moving. Gravity is an intrinsic element of our structure. It is impossible to understand how the structural attributes of how we stand and move function without gravity.
OUR BODIES AND EVERYTHING AROUND US ARE
ACCELERATING TOWARDS THE CENTER OF THE EARTH’S MASS
IN THE DIMENSION OF TIME
GRAVITY LINE AND CENTER OF GRAVITY
A body with mass has a center of gravity. The structure of our bodies also has loading vectors that are the anatomically optimal organization for maximizing the efficiency with which we move and stand. Optimally aligning our center of gravity with our gravity-vector accomplishes this, thereby expending minimal energy for standing and walking. The Lateral View shows both the center of gravity and the load vector aligned. The front view shows only the center of gravity as the load vectors are diagramed in the image above.
In Gait, the Locomotive Core utilizes the Manipulative Core for cross-lateral counter-rotation to keep our body’s center of gravity near our center of mass
EVOLUTIONARY LAYERS AND THE CORE
The functionality of the Locomotive Core is distinct to each evolutionary layer:
With All Living Things, the Core we share is the Metabolic Core. The Locomotive Core is not an element of this evolutionary layer.
With Animals and Vertebrates, we share the Locomotive Core’s capacity to move.
With Mammals, we share this Core’s integration of Tensegrity.
With Primates, we share this Core as Stabilization for the Manipulation Core.
EXERCISE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STRENGTHENING THE CORE
EXERCISES FOR THE CORE