By Betsy Podlach
It turns out there is a way our bodies are meant to move. This is not a surprise, but it is something we easily forget; and it turns out our bodies do, also.
“Getting people moving and having fun is always a good thing, because we don’t move enough”, said Jim O’Hagan who makes an effort to help local businesses and good causes on a regular basis. This is among the reasons he will host a leg of the ongoing Relay for Life at his gym, Core Dynamics, on March 26. The “relay” is a fundraiser to benefit long term cancer patients.
But Jim O’ Hagan has had a greater goal in mind since he was 19 and entered the business of fitness: to have us regain our ability to “move correctly”, regain the normal patterns of movement we had as kids and obtain the flexibility, stability and mobility our bodies need to function well and endure.
O’Hagan started Core Dynamics in 2006 after learning all he could in nearly 20 years of personal training, working at gyms and in physical therapy. With his gym established in a former potato barn in Water Mill, O’Hagan’s focus is even more passionate and deliberate with each class he takes and each area of information he investigates, as it applies directly to his singular goal as a fitness trainer — to rebuild that personal and particular harmony each of our bodies have, so we can work out, move and feel at our best.
“Sitting at desks for hours and driving”, O’Hagan says, alters the balance of our muscles and shifts our movements from the ideal to a compensated action.
“Corrective training” — a relatively new movement in the fitness industry — protects us from the harm of repetitive sitting, leaning and other activities of adult life, and from the harm of working out in ways that do not address any imbalances we may have developed.
Correcting the “subtle compensations that build upon themselves,” learning to know how muscles working in harmony feels and strengthening, rather than compensating for, our weaknesses can create a body that moves at all times and all ways without pain, stiffness or limitations of motion, O’Hara explains with considerable passion.
O’Hagan’s approach is designed to have one’s back muscles in harmony with those acting opposite to them. “Flexion and extension,” he said, need to function equally across muscle groups and indeed all of our muscles interact in various ways with others, rather than as isolated areas to pump up or build up.
In addition, O’Hagan said he can help “fine tune” the body alignment and the smaller muscles of the body that act as stabilizers when other muscles are performing tasks which require flexion or extension.
We think of “perfect form” as something more to do with dance or art. O’Hagan calls it simply “moving correctly” or utilizing our “normal pattern of movement” that we have lost as we have aged. Our bodies are born with all we need for perfect form and movement, suggests O’Hagan. Our job is to recover that perfection for a healthy workout that keeps us moving, having fun, and improving coordination, range of motion, stability and strength.
“Ultimately,” said O’Hagan, “we want to get everybody to exercise correctly.”
Core Dynamics, 56 Deerfield Rd., Water Mill, will host a benefit for the American Cancer Society on Saturday, March 26, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be corrective exercise and functional movement assessments and guests can participate in “Fitland” in the gym. $10 donation.