You know those times when you're lying in bed on your way to being asleep and your mind is either wandering or working on a problem and suddenly there's this light bulb that goes off in your head? I had one of those moments last night.
I was mentally reviewing some new vocabulary I’d learned this week in my training session. I’ve told my trainer that he must explain the “how” and “why” of everything we do, including what muscle groups we’re working on.
I felt I needed to understand what we’re doing in order to “get it”. So, this week, we learned about the back, the chest, the shoulders and the back of the arms. I was mentally reviewing… “The latissimus dorsi… starts in the lower back and sweeps upwards… The pectoralis major goes across the front and attaches in the upper arm… The deltoids (anterior, posterior and middle) fit like a shoulder pad…”
Then Epiphany #1 happened.
“OH MY GOD! The deltoids! That’s where you make the V!”
When I was learning ballroom and Latin dance a few years back, they talk a lot about two things: “frame” and “connection”.
“Frame” is basically how you hold your upper body. You need to hold it in such a way that it makes it easy for your partner to lead or follow what you’re doing. Both men and women struggle to learn proper frame. “Connection” is based on push/pull principles and it is what you build in order to lead, follow and ultimately share the dance.
When you’re first learning to “have frame” as it is called, women are taught (among other things) to place their left hand on their partner’s upper arm and “find the V” with their thumb and forefinger. From there, you connect the rest of your hand to your partner’s arm and, providing your partner also “has frame”, then that is all you should need to be able to lead and follow.
Not sure what I mean? Try it with your own left hand on your right arm. You should be able to find a “V”. Naturally, some people have a more defined “V” than others, and typically, it’s relatively easy to find on most men, but not always so on women. (Many of us have weaker shoulders!) But nevertheless, I bet you can find your own “V”.
This “V”, as I discovered yesterday, is the deltoid muscle. The “V”-shape is created by the muscle tapering off at the bottom.
Why was this an epiphany? Because it was the first time I’d “made a connection” between what shoulders do in dance and what they do in a gym.
Sounds simple, I know… but some of us are slow!
The major point of wonder here is that I was able to transfer one concept or skill from one physical activity, and apply it to another! Without the "intellectual" connection of learning the muscle groups, I'm not sure I would have been able to figure it out. But they're all connected... these muscles... and physical activities. Imagine that!
By the way, here’s a cool website that is helping me to learn the names of the muscle groups: http://www.gwc.maricopa.edu/class/bio201/muscle/musc13.htm