“Nothing is impossible”
Chances are, if you watched the video above, you simply wrote off what you just witnessed as some kind of anomaly. A ‘Freak of Nature’ if you will. You probably saw what he was able to do with his feet, then took a glance of curiosity down toward your shoe covered appendages.
“Well, there is no way I would ever be able to do that”, was likely the first thought that came to your head.
Yet, today I am going to explain the science behind why this is uniquely possible and how it affects our brains, bodies and lives. To illustrate this concept we are going to be referring to a phenomenon known in neuroscience as the Human Motor Homonculous.
Human Motor Homoculous (How your brain sees your body)
The Human Motor Homoculous is a map of how our brain perceives our body, based on the amount of sensation it gives to a particular area. What we find is that those areas we functionally use the most, have the most sensation from the brain (otherwise known as cortical input).
The reason this is interesting is because, when we look at recent discoveries of neuroplasticity and an understanding of how our brain executes tasks such as skilled performance, we see that the amount of cortical input to an area determines how much control we have over that area. What this means is that a skilled performer, such as the gentleman in the video above will have significantly more cortical input to the areas they use the most. If we took the image of the man above, we would see the feet being as large as the hands (or in his case as a whole lot larger as his brain will have very little if any sensation of hands due to the fact he doesn’t have any). What this suggests is that over time, this man has likely developed his motor homunculus in his brain by practicing in order to gain more control over his feet. This ability to adapt is directly in line with the physiological law of Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands (i.e. we get better at what we do regularly).
Human Beings are Special
The example above highlights the essence of what makes it so special to be a human being. Our ability to adapt and get better over time is what separates us from all other animals in the kingdom.
When we apply the idea of adaptation and the size of our cortical input, being representative of how much control we have over an area we can start to see how we would go about truly improving our mobility and as a result our ability to perform optimally.
Performing Well makes you Sexy: Function Drives Structure
But optimal performance is not the only benefit to training your brain!
You see, when our brain has greater control over an area it allows you to do more with that area. When we do more with an area we expose it to more stress, which then leads to more adaptation.
Adaptation = Muscle (Strength, Size, Speed, Power, Aesthetics, fat burning, etc.) + Connective tissue (Decreased injury risk) + Physiology (everything else)
Learn more about the amazing benefits of mobility training and how your body adapts below:
Brain is King
At the end of the day, what we have to understand is that: In order to achieve your best performance, you are simply training your brain. This training, or practice that we do literally changes our body, once we get the dose right. When the dose is right we get physiological adaptations and changes in our structure (which can be both positive & negative), which ultimately cause us to achieve the performance we desire.
It’s that simple!
Yet this idea begs the question: do you know how to effectively train your brain?
Let us know what your answer is below 🙂