Lon Kilgore, PhD writes about the basics of human anatomy and movement definitions (Movement 101).
Anatomy is an intimidating topic to lots of people, but it is an important area of study relevant to many professions, including teachers of exercise. Previously, we examined how the recognition of body segment lengths that deviated from “normal” affected how a movement would look (Measure of a Man). It was our first step at developing an “eye” for coaching. In the next step, we will take a look at how we describe human movement in very specific spatial and directional terms and hopefully simplify them for easy use in teaching. After all, if you know something and cannot communicate it in a manner that the listener or reader comprehends, your teaching failed.
Orienting yourself to the body is important whether it is on a dissecting table, standing up, or in a convoluted exercise position. You have to know where the parts are relative to other parts, the earth, and to any implement used during the exercise. Anatomists have a nice set of uniformly understood terms describing just that. These will be necessary for the exercise professional to learn.
In this application of anatomy there are two tasks to be accomplished: An understanding of the anatomical nature of the movement, what is actually occurring, and where it is occurring in order to detect segmental deviations from a reference standard (the prototypical example of good technique), and an ability to convey anatomical feedback to your trainee in a vocabulary that is understandable to them. The former point is science applied to exercise; the latter is at its core part of the art of coaching. Failure to accomplish either makes for a less successful coach or trainer.