5 tips for learning kinesiology
1. Get motivated!
Why is it that you want to learn about muscles and movement? Learning any new topic or skill can seem daunting at first, but if it has value to you, then you’re more likely to stick with it.
Take a moment to think through the different ways that learning kinesiology will be valuable to you. Are you interested in better understanding how your own body works? Are you looking to expand your skill set and knowledge as a practitioner that you can offer to clients? Are you working towards a degree or certification and need to learn kinesiology to complete it? Any of these might be motivating for you. You probably have even more reasons why you want to be learning kinesiology. Remind yourself of why you are learning this new topic to help yourself stay motivated.
2. Vary the method of learning
Take in new information in more than one way. Experiment with reading, watching, listening to, and applying the new information. See which combination works best for you. You may want to watch a video or read about new information the first time you are encountering it. Then, as you go through the information a second time, try taking notes or thinking through the application of that information.
For example, the first time you read or hear about the quadriceps muscles, you could simply take in this new material. However, to help you organize the information, the second time you hear or read about the quadriceps, you might take some notes about what you are hearing as the key points, or physically draw the key points for a more visual record.
Focus on the learning and set aside distractions. Research shows that it takes an average of 25 minutes to refocus on a task when you have been distracted by something else, even if the distraction only lasted for a few moments. Try turning off your devices and closing extra tabs on your laptop while you are focused on learning kinesiology. Make efficient use of your study time, by making studying your priority during that period.
4. Pace yourself
Take breaks during a learning session. Don’t try to learn everything in one day! Set yourself up for success by planning your time in a way that you can focus on small pieces of new information at a time. Plan ahead and set aside shorter periods of time on multiple days, so you can focus on a manageable unit of new information in each study session.
5. Repeat and review
Research shows that we need to take in new information more than once to really understand it. Reviewing new material is critical to connecting all the disparate pieces in a way that helps you make sense of the new topic. (Check out this article from the American Psychological Association to learn more about the importance of information review and retrieval for learning.)
So, for best learning retention and depth of understanding: review, review, review! You could make flashcards for yourself, as the act of writing down the information will help you review it. You can use your notes, flashcards, or quizzes to quiz yourself and have a friend quiz you. Try rewriting your notes in a form that helps the material make sense to you, perhaps by rewriting your notes in outline form or as a large web diagram. If you need some ideas, check out mindmapping.com.
Try explaining concepts that you want to understand better to a friend. You really have to understand a subject well in order to explain it to others. Sharing your new knowledge out loud to a friend will help that information stick in your memory, and it will make you aware of any gaps in the information where concepts haven’t quite gelled yet. This is especially true of learning kinesiology.