What is Kinesiology?

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How do you define kinesiology?

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Merriam-Webster defines kinesiology as: the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement.

We could define it more simply for our purposes as: the study of movement.

Merriam-Webster also states, “As a field of research, kinesiology focuses particularly on the mechanics of muscular activity.” This is because we use muscles to create movement in our body.

The 3D Muscle Lab, then, is a course on kinesiology, which is a fancy way to say it’s a course on muscles and how they create movement.

Why would you want to know about kinesiology or how muscles create movement?

First and foremost, we might be interested in kinesiology because this is a study of ourselves.  We live in a body. Understanding something about how muscles create movement is important for a better understanding of our own functional movement or dysfunctional movement.

You might be interested in kinesiology and how muscles create movement because you are training to become a bodyworker or a professional in a movement therapy field. If you are preparing to work as a massage therapist, a physical therapist, a personal trainer, or a yoga instructor, then understanding muscles will be an important part of your knowledge base. Your clients will have bodies too! Understanding your client’s functional or dysfunctional movement comes back to a clear understanding of how muscles initiate or restrict movement.

Maybe you are a therapist working with clients already and you want to improve your effectiveness at supporting healthy movement for your clients. This definitely requires knowledge of how movement happens in the body.

What do you learn in a kinesiology course?

The study of which muscles at which joints cause what kinds of movement are the details of kinesiology.

Movement happens in the body at joints. A joint is where two bones come together. When one or more muscles contract and this results in changing the angle between two bones at a joint, then movement has occurred.

Do you want to know which muscles cause the knee to bend? That’s kinesiology. What about which muscles cause the knee to straighten? That’s more kinesiology. Do you think we create the actions of bending and straightening the knee using the same or different muscles? The answers to these kinds of questions are the substance of a kinesiology course.