Glossary

This is a compilation of frequent terms I mention in the articles, so I don’t have to explain them every time I use them. One of the blessings but also curses about language is its dependency on interpretation, so lets try reducing this a little by having a shared understanding of what are we talking about. Most of the definitions used here are created by myself and for informative uses, so they don’t follow strict academic standards and focus on the practical side of the concepts and in regard to the topics discussed in this page. If you want to know the more rigorous definitions, you can check the texts listed in the reading list.


A

Abdominal wall: Layers of muscle that protect the organs and spine in the abdominal region.

Acupressure: Manual release of points of obstruction of the Qi.

Adaptive shortening: Mechanism through which the nervous system shortens a whole groups of muscles when one of them tenses, due to a repetitive pattern or position of the body.

Acute pain: Nervous reaction caused by a traumatic, abrupt and specific event.

Agonist muscle: Muscle that contracts to produce movement.

All or nothing: Principle according to which the fibers that contract or relax a muscle are activated totally, not partially.

Anatomical planes of the human being: Imaginary lines of measurement through the body.

Antagonist muscle: Muscle that extends to allow movement.


Antagonistic pairs: Muscular groups that tend to have a relationship of agonist and antagonist.

Atlas: First vertebrae of the column.

Autogenic inhibition reflex: Sudden relaxation of a stretched muscle to prevent injuries.

B

Bend: Movement in which the trunk displaces towards the group by folding across the hip.

Bent arm exercises: Arm movement with some degree of flexion in the elbow.

C

Center of gravity: Point in which all of the forces of the body are balanced.

Chronic pain: Nervous reaction caused by repetitive and generic events.

Closed kinetic chain exercises: Movement where the extremities remain fixed to a point of contact and the rest of the body moves around them.

Compression: Technique in which we limit the blood flow to an area of the body to then take away the object that obstruct it.

Concentric: The raising part of a motion, where the main muscles are contracting and gravity is against us. It is also referred as the positive.

Core: Center of the body composed of everything that is not the extremities.


Corset effect: Effect of tensioning a part of the body with pressure, not letting enough blood and oxygen reaching the area.

Counter-stimulation effect: Phenomenon where a painful stimulus in a point reduces the sensitivity of another point.

Cross training: Mix of different physical practices to keep the versatility of the body.

D

Dynamic vision of stability: Analysis of the stability under movement.

E

Eccentric: The lowering part of a motion, where the main muscles are elongating and gravity is helping us. It is also referred as the negative.

Elasticity: Capacity of the joints of getting out and back into their anatomical position.

Etiology: The ultimate or efficient cause.

F

Fascia: Band of connective tissue that recovers the whole body and that joins, stabilizes, wraps and separates muscles and internal organs.

Flexibility: Movement capacity in a determined range.

Force-velocity relationship: Rule according to which the amount of tension a muscle can produce is dependent on its velocity of contraction. In isometric contractions, the muscle force is in a inverse relation to the velocity. This means that in concentric actions the greatest amount of force will correspond with low velocity, and the greatest amount of velocity will correspond with low force, and in eccentric actions is the opposite: the greatest amount of force will require high velocity, and the greatest amount of velocity will correspond with high force.

Functional school: Rehabilitation approach of connected structures.

G

Gait: Bipedal locomotion. It can be slow (walk), medium (jog) or rapid (sprint).

Great lock: Kundalini technique in yoga to block the energetic flux on three keys areas of the body.

Gua sha: Traditional Chinese technique that consist of scratching the skin until bruises are created.

H

Hara: Point below the umbilicus where the energy and strength of a person has its root.

Histology: The study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues.

I

Improper alignment: Capacity of the body to get out of good line-up.

Intra-abdominal pressure: Steady counter force in the abdominal wall to compensate for internal and external pressures.

Irradiation: Stimulation effect of a muscle by the activation of an adjacent one.

Isometric: The static effort of the muscles, where there is a change in tension that do not corresponds with a change in length.

Isotonic: The contraction of the muscles in which there is a change in length but not in muscle tension.

K

Kegel exercises: Therapy exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.

Kinetic chain: Synergy and causalities between different parts of the body to create movement.

L

Length-tension relationship: Rule according to which the amount of tension a muscle can produce is dependent on its length. In isometric contractions, the muscle can produce the greatest amount of force at its mid range.

Lunge: Separation of the legs, where one goes to the front and the other goes back and tries to touch the knee with the ground.

M

MEAT: Therapy that uses Movement, Exercise, Analgesics and Treatment.


Miotatic reflex: Muscular contraction the prevents a joint of overpassing its safe range of motion.

Mobility: Capacity of a joint to displace in a range of motion.

Motility: Capacity of moving spontaneously and independently.

Muscular imbalance: Situation of disparity between muscles that stabilize a joint. It can exist between the anterior and posterior part of the body, between the left and the right part of the body, or between the upper and lower part of the body. The disparity can be in respect to the muscles strength or flexibility.

Muscular tone: Level of muscular contraction that a muscle exhibits during rest.

Muscular vision: Approach to movement based on the relationship between the muscles and the bones.

Myofascial release: Technique of application of pressure to connective tissue.

N

Neutral position: Measurement position in the anatomical planes.

Neurologic vision: Approach to movement based on the coordination created by the nervous system.

O

Open kinetic chain exercises: Movement where the body remains fixed and the extremities move around.

P

Pain: Perception of a nervous stimulus associated with an actual or a potential damage.

Pattern overload: Repetitive use of a movement that creates an adaptation of the organism to that task.

Prehabilitation: Therapy that looks to prevent any perturbation from an optimal state.

Primal movement patterns: Movements available to the human body as a whole.

Passive stretching: Stretching where we reach and maintain extended positions using our own weight.

Phasic muscle: Muscle with a low muscular tone. They usually tend to being long and weak.

Posterior train: Back part of the body that brings explosive power to the lower body.

Proper alignment: Capacity of the body to keep good line-up.

Proximal stability before distal mobility: Principle that states that the body protects the spine first before the extremities.

Pull: Movement that applies a strength that diminishes the distance between an object and our body.

Push: Movement that applies a force that increases the distance between an object and our body.

Q

Qi: Flowing energy that connects all existence.

R

Reciprocal inhibition: Automatic contraction and relaxation between the agonist and the antagonist.

Rehabilitation: Therapy that looks to recuperate an optimal state after having being disturbed.

REM: State of deep mammal dream in which there is rapid and chaotic ocular movements, low muscular tone and vivid dreams.

Resilience: Capacity of overcoming a challenge.

RICE: Therapy that uses Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Righting reflex: Balancing action used in a immobile surface.

Rotate: Movement where the trunk twists around the hip.

S

Synergist muscle: Muscle that assist the agonist.

Squat: Movement in which our trunk lowers to the floor in a vertical path, sinking our pelvis between our toes.

Stability: Capacity of a joint of keeping its proper anatomical position.

Static vision of stability: Analysis of the stability under stillness.

Startle reflex: Sudden reaction of the nervous system to a shocking stimulus.

Specific adaptations to imposed demands: Principle that states that the body gets accustomed only to the stimulus which faces repeatedly.

Straight arm exercises: Arm movement with total extension of the elbow.

Strength: Capacity of breaking inertia.

Stretching weakness: Muscular weakness caused by a repetitive pattern or position where a muscle last too long on a lengthened position, changing the tension-length relationship.

Structural integrity: State of balance between the muscles of the body.

Structural school: Rehabilitation approach of isolated structures.

Superacumulation: A type of periodization of accumulating a lot of volume followed by ample rest.

Supercompensation effect: The reaction of the body following a period of increased tension by adapting with better conditions to manage it.

T

Tension weakness: Muscular weakness caused by a repetitive pattern or position where a muscle last too long on a tensed position, changing the tension-length relationship.

Thoracolumbar fascia: A deep membrane of connective tissue that surrounds the thorax and the abdomen to create intraabdominal pressure.

Tilting reflex: Balancing action used in a mobile surface.

Tonic muscle: Muscle with a high muscular tone. They usually tend to being short and tense.


Trauma: Reaction to the incapacity of overcoming a challenge.

V

Vacuuming: Abdominal suction.

Vestibule-ocular reflex: Activation of the neck muscles to compensate eye movement.

Visceral somatic inhibition: The shutting down effect of the deep abdominal wall caused by the irritation of the gut.

U
Uncoupling: Disintegrating movements that tend to go together.


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