Organizing Your Body to Move
By Retrofit Master Instructor Carrie Lynn Nieves

Human movement is greatly varied and complex. We use our bodies in myriad ways in every aspect of life, sport, dance and fitness. Beneath all this great variety of activities exists a set of organizational principles that are innate and unchanging. They are inherent to how we, as bipedal creatures, move. When these principles are addressed, true functional fitness follows.

Why is this valuable?
When people think of moving, the word "organized" does not typically come to mind. We readily organize our time, our homes, our thoughts. Why not organize how we move? After all, movement is the basis for any fitness routine or sport. Even more fundamentally, the ability to move well greatly influences our ability to perform everyday tasks with ease.

Causes and Consequences of Being Disorganized in Movement
You may be wondering how a body in motion can get disorganized in the first place. It could result from trauma or injury. It could also be due to a lack of movement variety or a sedentary lifestyle. A body disorganized in movement will develop a compensation pattern. The outcome usually is a relatively less efficient mode of locomotion that may cause stress on joints and muscles. Conventional fitness routines tend to strengthen the compensation pattern, overlooking the need to first restore the correct underlying movement template.

“Don’t put fitness on top of dysfunction.” Gray Cook, Physiotherapist
Organize the body first, then load it. This became the guiding philosophy of Dianne L. Woodruff, CMA, PhD that led her to create her 3-D WorkoutTM in the early 1980's. Her goal was to implement a system that provided "a more accessible, harmonious and functional way to condition the body,"

“Don’t train in pieces if you expect to move as a whole.” Dianne L. Woodruff, CMA, PhD
Woodruff’s belief that we should train the body as a whole is reflected in her system. One can also say that 3-D trains the movement, not just the muscle. She drew inspiration from Irmgard Bartenieff, Rudolf Laban and Dr. Vladimir Janda. One needs to look no further than the recent research on fascia and its role in body movement, mood and metabolism to understand why 3-D WorkoutTM is so effective.

No sweat!
What is truly remarkable is that Woodruff's method does not require you to endure a punishing workout routine in order to effect change. What you see is a series of thoughtful, whole-body, restorative, and gentle exercises. What you get is improved essential movement patterns, reduced wear and tear, enhanced agility, balance, and strength-all without breaking a sweat. Hence the reason 3-D WorkoutTM has been embraced by those wanting an alternative to the "no pain, no gain" mindset of many exercise systems and their proponents.

Move for a Lifetime
The rewards of being organized in movement are plenty. Count among them: better function and performance, less pain. To live is to move. Move well and you will be ready for whatever demands life throws your way.

About the author: Carrie Lynn Nieves is fascinated by the body in motion. She is certified to teach Pilates mat and equipment. She also holds certification in 3-D WorkoutTM Level II. As a 3-D Workout Pro-Trainer she certifies others to teach the method. Her training also includes ELDOA Level 2 and MELT Method Hand and Foot instructor.



About Retrofit Pilates

- Cynthia Scott, Retrofit client since 2002

- Robert Spence, Retrofit client since 2003

- Margaret Kelch, Retrofit client since 2000.