Wednesday, 14 January 2009

"Paleoanthropologists tell us that our ancestors left the trees for the ground millions of years ago. Competing hypotheses attribute this shift from a predominantly arboreal to terrestrial locomotion on postural-feeding, socialbehavioral, or thermoregulatory pressures. In any case there is a strong consensus among scientists that our heritage is deeply rooted in both climbing and bipedalism, i.e., both swinging from the trees and functioning on two feet."

"In the broadest and most useful sense, the functional distinction between arboreal and terrestrial skills is that arboreal skills are rich in pulling movements whereas the bipedal movements mostly comprise hip extension and pushing movements. As a consequence of this
distinction and the dearth of climbing skills drawn upon in fitness programs, the pulling capacity of modern athletes is woefully deficient. Compare briefly the number of pushing to pulling movements available in the course of our normal training. Push-ups, dips, handstand push-ups, bench press, shoulder press, and jerks versus, what, pull-ups and maybe rope climb?"

" Even the bodybuilding repertoire, which includes seated cable rows, bent-over rows, one-armed rows, and curls, includes more pulling movements than more functional and developmental weight training like weightlifting and powerlifting, but the motivation and value behind these moves is somewhat more anatomical or cosmetic than functional."

Thanks Crispin for pointing this out. Although a piece of advertorial for some climbing equipment I thought it was interesting to examine where we came from and how this affects our range of movement, limitations and strengths.

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