Movement Capacity Series – Coordination

In this episode of MoveMedics TV we dive deep into Coordination – why is it that we can feel so uncoordinated when we’re learning a new movement? I explain why Brain Space is important and break it all down for you with a real-life example from my Hip-Hop classes days. I also share 2 tips that you can use immediately in your Movement Training.

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Have you ever tried to learn a new movement and felt utterly, hopelessly uncoordinated and wondered why is this happening? Let me break that down for you and also give you some tips to help you with your movement training. Ready? Let’s jump in.

Hi, I’m Selina, physio from MoveMedics. Welcome to my channel! If you are new please consider subscribing, especially if you are an active, movement-loving person who wants to do split, straddle, backbend to support your favourite movement activity, or you’re a singer who wants to optimise your movement to help support your vocal health and performance.

Today we are continuing on with our Movement Capacity Series, which is a part of my Movement Philosophy. If you haven’t seen those episodes yet you can go binge watch these two playlists later.

So what’s the dealio with coordination? To me, coordination is your ability to execute every component that makes up a movement all at the same time, and that depends on how much brain space you have available at the time, as well as how much brain space each of the component of movement requires of you.

Let’s say the amount of brain space you have available for movement is a hundred percent. If a movement requires just 5% of brain space then you can probably do them with your eyes shut. A movement that requires 80% brain space however will be much more demanding. And if a movement requires 150% of brain space, you’ve maxed out! And when you try to do that and you’ve maxed out, that’s when you feel and look uncoordinated.

Let me give you an example. Years ago I did adult Hip Hop classes, loved it and shout out to Mega Jam here in Brisbane. When I first started I wasn’t getting it and I felt so unco because it was taking me like some 50% of brain space to figure out the legs, 40% to figure out the arms, and like 30% to figure out the timing to keep everything in time to the music, so there was 50 plus 40 plus 30, that’s 120! I was maxed out, no wonder I wasn’t getting it.

But my teacher, Luis, always say to us “stick with the legs, just focus on the legs first and try to stay in time” and that was possible because leg was only 50%, keeping time was 30% and that’s only 80%. I haven’t maxed out so I was able to keep up.

And with time, when I became more familiar with different components of the movement, my I got familiar with what kind of steps we tend to do, the weight shifting of it, and some of the arm movement I have done a few times by then, and importantly, I was also developing a new skill of learning new choreography on the spot, which really helps you keep time.

So in time they started shrinking, it was no longer taking as much brain space for me to do each component, it was only taking 30% for the legs, 20% for the arms, and 20% for the timing, and that is 30 40 40 is 70. I was grooving along by then, having a good time.

And then one day Luis say “We’re starting with the Top Rock” I know what a Top Rock is, alright, what’s next? And it was only like taking 25% brain space to keep a Top Rock going and then I thought “Okay, what else do I do now?” Oh I know, I try some arms huh, some attitude, right? When I had the brain space I was then able to interpret the movement how I want, put my own groove and swag, my personality into it.

When you can execute every component of a movement properly, fully, and have ample brain space left, that’s when you can freely explore and experiment with new ways of moving, that’s when you get to play with your movement.

I want to share two tips with you today that you can use straight away in your movement training. The first one is that remember that being coordinated, feeling coordinated has to do with how much brain space you have available at the time, so firstly we want to make sure that we don’t rob ourselves of our precious brain space when we are doing movement training, and the things to think about are: the lighting, is it too bright? Is it too dark? Is it too flashy and distracting for you?

Second thing to think about is the sound, is something too loud? Is it too loud music? Is it too distracting some sounds? Are you listening to a podcast that can take your brain away every now and then?

And also your visual, what are you watching? Are you watching TV? Are you watching Netflix? Are you scrolling on Instagram? Or are you watching what you’re doing? So eliminate distraction and preserve your brain space for your movement.

Tip number two, remember it is also about how brains space demanding each component of your movement is, so practice them separately, shrink each component down so when you put them all together, it all fits.

And now I would love to hear from you, what movement are you currently struggling to coordinate? Drop me a comment to let me know.

And if you have been with me all the way through this video I think it’s safe to say that you are enjoying it, so please go ahead and give me that thumbs up, it will really help me grow this channel so I can help more people.

If you haven’t already make sure you subscribe and also ding that notification bell so when my new video comes out, it will pop up on your home page.

And until then, thank you so much for watching and Be Free In Your Movement™

Selina Asirus Tannenberg. Voice Physio


Selina Tannenberg is a Meanjin (Brisbane)-based Physiotherapist, Singer, Composer. She believes a Strong, Limber and Fit body is an under-utilised key to enhancing Vocal Efficiency and Performance so has created Voice Physio to help Singers build Strong Bodies for Singing! She publishes music under her nom de plume, Asirus, and has a pet dragon named Sk’on.

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