What is strength? Part 1 of 3


What is strength? As a teacher and practitioner, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. Many people believe or intuit that strength comes from using some kind of force, some kind of muscular contraction. This is correct of course, but it is only one part of the equation. The other, no less important part of the equation, is that to use muscles optimally and to build strength, one needs to be able to release as fully as possible between each movement one makes. This is surprisingly difficult for people to do. Because to release fully, one has to bring a lot of attention and focus to it and this is not always intuitive. Real strength, I posit, comes from engaging our body when we need to and also fully releasing it when we rest. The release, when done properly, can be felt in the musculature, in the joints and even in our breathing. This interplay between using force and releasing force then, is what can make our body stronger and more resilient.
Next week I will give an example of how this works and how we can use this insight to our advantage.