Healthcare and Medicine Reference
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the chest to the opposite side. This connection allows
the front of the outstretched arm to counterbalance and
provide a base for the throw.
The right leg is contracting along the Superficial Back
Line, pushing onto the ball of the foot and extending the
hip to start the body on its forward path, pushing the
weight onto the stable left leg. The left leg is planted
firmly, though the knee is slightly bent, not locked, with
stabilizing tension along all four leg lines, so that the left
Spiral Line and right Front Functional Line, which are
both anchored to the left leg, can assist the two front
Arm Lines in imparting forward momentum to the right
shoulder and arm.
Because the bolt is clearly to be thrown along the
horizontal plane, the two Lateral Lines are quite bal-
anced with each other. By this we can infer that it is
being thrown for accuracy over a short distance (compare
to the 'Hail Mary' throw in Fig. 8.3 where the Arm Lines
are also strongly assisted by the Spiral and Functional
Lines). Were it to be thrown earthward from heaven, the
left Lateral Line would necessarily shorten to angle the
throw downward.
Discobolus (Fig. 10.5)
The discus thrower of Praxiteles is the consummate rep-
resentation of the lines in service of an athletic skill. The
trim young fellow holds the discus with the Superficial
Front Arm Line of his right arm from the flexed fingers
to the pectoralis major, stabilizing his hold with the
pressure from his thumb, which connects up the Deep
Front Arm Line through the biceps to the pectoralis
minor. This tension is balanced by a similar engagement
in the two front Arm Lines on the left side, and the two
are connected across the pectoral muscles in the chest
down the arm to his left hand, which is clearly fully
involved in the throw.
He has 'coiled the spring' of his body by shortening
the right Spiral Line, which is clearly pulled in from the
right side of the head (the splenii muscles) around the
left shoulder (rhomboid and serratus anterior) across
the belly (left external and right internal oblique) to the
right hip. This tension carries beyond the hip to the
tensor fasciae latae, iliotibial band, and down the front
of the shin via the tibialis anterior to the inner arch of
his supporting right foot. The Front Functional Line
from his left shoulder to his right femur is likewise
short. The left Lateral Line is shorter than the right,
which is extended.
He has been like this for over 2000 years, but any
moment now he will 'rise and cast' the discus. The
obvious power will come from the right SFAL bringing
the discus forward across his body, but the coordination
with the other lines will really make the difference in
the distance the discus goes. Shortening the right SPL
stretches and potentiates the left, which he will now
shorten strongly, bringing his eyes and head to the left
and the right shoulder forward working off the left hip.
This will bring his weight as he turns onto the left leg
and foot, which will become the fulcrum for the remain-
der of the movement. At the same time, he will shorten
the Back Functional Line from the left shoulder to the
Fig. 10.5 Discobolus. The great athletes involve all the lines,
distributing the strain evenly across the body. (Reproduced with
kind permission from Hirmer Fotoarkiv.)
right femur, pulling the left shoulder back and rotating
the whole trunk to the left. Shortening the right LL will
help stabilize the platform of the shoulder and add a
little more impetus to the throw. Finally, the erectors of
the Superficial Back Line will straighten the flexion in
his body, leaving his back extended and his head lifted
to follow the flight of the discus. The right Back Func-
tional Line, from right shoulder to left femur, will con-
tract at the end of the movement to save his right rotator
cuff from overstrain, allowing him to stay healthy for
future contests.
Tennis player (Fig. 10.6)
We can imagine our tennis server is short, so she leaps
to get the highest advantage on the ball. The obvious
lines for the power of the stroke are provided by both
the Superficial and Deep Front Arm Lines that grip and
power the racket, arrayed along the visible surface of
the right arm in this picture. Notice how the left Front
Arm Lines have contracted in against the body to
provide more height and stretch to the right side.
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