The human body is an amazing entity, a universe in itself. Once we comprehend the complexity of the whole system, we can only be in awe and respect its nature. From each organ fulfilling their individual function to the synchronized work that the body accomplishes, the human brain can only hope to invent a mechanism as perfect as the body. Our inventions are simply imitations of nature’s excellence. As babies and young children, we naturally know how to move and use our bodies. It’s only later that our lifestyle throws everything out of balance.
Yet the body is also very malleable, and at any age people can change and restructure their alignment. It takes time and patience, but it’s always possible.
The name “Power Tower” evokes an image of an absolutely solid core that doesn’t bend or compromise its upright position. The spine is the “tower,” dictating the range of motion of the limbs. All the vertebrae need to behave as one coordinated unit; if any one collapses then compensation occurs and the body is no longer in alignment, compromising proper movement.
The number one determinant is posture: if the spine isn’t straight, then the muscles next to it won’t develop properly. This can lead to rotation, asymmetry and compensation, and ultimately injury. This is why it’s important to test yourself before you even start the program, using the measures on pages 16-20 in The Happy Body: The Simple Science of Nutrition, Exercise and Relaxation. Sometimes you need practice lifting first, making sure your arms are absolutely vertical before you even incorporate the squat part of this exercise.
As adults, we might run into a paradox where we can do deep squats with no problems, but once we raise our arms, we allow gravity to pull us forward. Or there’s the opposite issue where we can raise our arms perfectly in alignment, but once we start squatting, thanks to inflexible ankles, we start shifting, with our heels coming off the ground.
You cannot outsmart the body; all shortcuts will turn into “longcuts” in the end. If you try to work at a level that’s more advanced than where you are, you’ll only succeed in reinforcing your bad habits, compensations and asymmetries. Form, which is skill, is everything. To proceed correctly, follow the following steps:
- Test yourself with the 5 measures on pages 16-20 every six weeks. If you’re not progressing, then you need to take a close look at what you’re doing wrong.
- Adjust your level in all 18 exercises so you’re working at the proper level that fits. It’s natural that you may be more accomplished in some areas than others. The goal is to bring symmetry and balance, improving where you’re the weakest and over-flexible, or strong yet too rigid.
- Adjust the weights properly, using our recommended ratio (The Happy Body, Table 8.3, page 149) to bring symmetry to your muscle development and support a balanced structure.