Feldenkrais Method® and Fitness and Athletics
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Perceptual and Motor Skills, Volume: 123 issue: 1, August 7, 2016
Josef Mattes, University of Vienna, Austria
The present paper discusses attentional focus in motor learning and performance from the point of view of mindful movement practices, taking as a starting point the Feldenkrais method. It is argued that earlier criticism of the Feldenkrais method ... turns out to be unfounded in light of recent developments in the study of motor learning and performance. Conversely, the examples of the Feldenkrais method and Ki-Aikido are used to illustrate how both Western and Eastern (martial arts derived) mindful movement practices might benefit sports psychology.
Conference: 8th International Scientific Conference on Kinesiology, 2017, At Opatija, Croatia
Krešimir Šoš, Filip Bolčević, Vladimir Medved, University of Zagreb
To achieve adequate range of movement in joints is an important determinant of training status in football. It enables a biomechanically correct performance of certain movement structures and contributes to the prevention of sports injuries. The Feldenkrais method offers the possibility of learning and optimization of movement, which, consequently, through inhibition of redundant muscular activity may enable an increase in the range of movement (ROM). ... The goal of this research has been to compare and quantify the influence of work according to Feldenkrais method and classic stretching exercises on ROM in top-level football players. ... Group I practiced Feldenkrais method and had an average initial value of Reach 1=0.57±11.4 cm, and of final Reach 2=6.1±10 cm.
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport ©2001 by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Vol. 72, No. 4
Patricia A. Buchanan and Beverly D. Ulrich
Also published in the IFF Research Journal: http://iffresearchjournal.org/de/system/files/10PatBuchananEnglishVersion.pdf
The Feldenkrais Method was designed as an approach to changing and improving motor behavior over time—or simply, motor development—whether within a single session or over years of training. We believe this method is based on plausible tenets, made more intriguing by the many similarities to the principles of a popular contemporary theory—dynamic systems theory.
Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, Vol 16, July 1992
Suzanne Ruth, MS, PT, Sam Kegerreis, MS, PT, ACT
Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement (ATM) methods can benefit anyone, even skilled athletes. ... This study provides data that support assertions that immediate physical and perceptual changes can be effected with the use of Feldenkrais ATM sequences. The ATM sequence studied was shown not only to increase the range of movement in a neck flexion task, but also to decrease the perceived effort required to perform this task in normal subjects
Physical Therapy, Volume 86, Issue 12, 1 December 2006,
James Stephens, Joshua Davidson, Joseph DeRosa, Michael Kriz, Nicole Saltzman
Passive stretching is widely used to increase muscle flexibility, but it has been shown that this process does not produce long-term changes in the viscoelastic properties of muscle as originally thought. The authors tested a method of lengthening hamstring muscles called “Awareness Through Movement” (ATM) that does not use passive stretching. ... Hamstring muscle length was measured before and after intervention using the Active Knee Extension Test. Results. The ATM group gained significantly more hamstring muscle length (+7.04°) compared with the control group (+1.15°). Discussion and Conclusions. The results suggest that muscle length can be increased through a process of active movement that does not involve stretching. Further research is needed to investigate this finding.
Psychology Today, July 2010
Alan Fogel, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City
There is mounting evidence that slow movement, with body sense awareness, has astounding health benefits by itself and in combination with regular exercise routines. ... Aside from the legacy slow movement practices of yoga, tai chi, qi gong, aikido, and others, there are many movement practices, a few of which are mentioned here, that were developed in the 20th century and that also lend themselves to similar psychophysiological effects. Moshe Feldenkrais invented a system of body movement education-the Feldenkrais method-that reawakens, develops, and organizes capacities for kinesthetic (sensorimotor) learning. Whereas children before the age of three learn movements by relying on their sensorimotor experience, older children and adults in technological cultures often behave according to social expectations, distancing themselves from their bodily feelings. Feldenkrais "Awareness through Movement" classes teach moving with awareness and ease.
Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, October 1999
C. Hopper, G. S. Kolt, J. C. McConville
La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3083 Australia
Although the Feldenkrais Method is rapidly gaining popularity among health professionals, only a small body of empirical research has documented its efficacy. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of the Feldenkrais Method on flexibility, perceived exertion and hamstring length. In Study 1, 79 healthy participants undertook measurements of flexibility (sit and reach test), perceived exertion (Borg's Rating of Perceived Exertion 6-20) and hamstring length (active knee extension test) prior to being randomly allocated into a Feldenkrais or control group.The same measurements were taken after the group intervention (a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lesson, or control procedure). Although the Feldenkrais participants improved significantly more in sit and reach measurements than their control counterparts, no differences between the groups were found for measures of perceived exertion or hamstring length.
Isokinetics and Exercise Science. 1(4): 216-221, 1991 - Only the abstract is available for review (unless purchase the article)
Brown, Elaine, Kegerreis, Samuel
Affiliations: University of Indianapolis
The purpose of this investigation is (1) to determine if a Feldenkrais awareness through movement technique creates a measurable physiological change in muscular activity, (2) to determine if there is a perceptual recognition of a physiological change, and (3) to determine if perceptual recognition may be induced as a result of suggestion, imagery, and visualization. The results support the following conclusions: (1) the Feldenkrais method produces a change in the amount of muscular activity as measured by EMG required to perform a movement task; (2) a perceptual recognition of the change in muscular activity is produced; and (3) this perceptual recognition of change is not the direct result of the use of suggestion, imagery, and visualization. This study supports the use of the Feldenkrais Method clinically for increasing attention to posturing, movements, and changes in muscular activity with movements.
Online Blog - by Cross Country Ski Technique
Try the Feldenkrais Method to Improve Coordination. Here’s a typical list of things you need to work on if you want to be a faster nordic skier:
Aerobic Capacity, Strength, including explosive strength, Speed, Agility, Flexibility and Balance. There’s one item, not on that list, that I think is most important for learning to ski well: Body Awareness. ... The Feldenkrais Method ... is all about improving coordination using small, exploratory movements that our brain finds interesting and non-threatening.
IDEA Fitness Journal
Mind-Body Wellness Review, 2016
Valerie Grant, Oct. 2016
Activity coupled with attention leads to efficiency. If we don't pay attention to what we’re doing, there can be serious ramifications. Just think how important attentive driving is! In terms of movement efficiency, the Feldenkrais Method may be the “missing link” in the mind-body conversation. As a fitness or wellness professional, you may find that integrating elements of Feldenkrais lessons into your teaching can help your clients and class participants to move more efficiently and to make better progress.
The Yoga Lunchbox, online website articles, APRIL 28, 2015
I first came across Feldenkrais in a yoga teacher ... Now that I’ve been practicing yoga for almost two decades, I’ve also become very interested in how the body opens up, or doesn’t open up. From my own experience I can see that it’s not a simple equation of doing x, y, or z posture enough times and achieving your optimum range of movement. I’ve discovered that there are many variables to increasing flexibility or ease within postures ... I’d always thought that finding greater freedom in a reclining twist was a matter of effort, of finding the stretch and release. However, through this technique I can see that sometimes it’s about training the body to move in different ways. It’s about working with the nervous system and the origins of movement.
Psychology Today, December 2017
Pirkko Markula, Ph.D.
Body awareness, aka the sensitivity to one’s body’s internal sensations, is at the core of many body-mind therapies or movement forms, such as yoga, Feldenkrais, Alexander, Tai Chi, and Pilates. While we can practice body awareness in these types of classes, why not have it inform all of our exercise practices — or even our everyday movement experiences. This means paying more attention to how we perform exercises. To do this, we can add a few small pointers to our workouts: Perform each exercise at a slower pace to carefully observe each part of the exercise. This strategy helps to employ both the concentric phase — muscle contracts while working — and eccentric phase — muscle lengthens while working — of each exercise.