As humans we are built for movement, we are constantly moving and seeking movement. Before you were even born you were moving about, creating flow and sensations for your brain. The human body is not built to stay in a static position for long periods of time. Do you ever get the urge to move or sensation when standing still to walk forward? Of course because our brain wants to move and shift and express itself.
Unfortunately in society, we continue to take movement out of our lives, many go to an office and sit all day, many do not get enough movement through exercise as is and this is becoming a problem. The same thing happens when people are in the gym. Walk into the gym and most of the time you will see machines, and look at them most are seated, seated leg extension, seated calf raise etc, then look at some cardio machines and you get the same concepts.
Our feet are the only thing that connects us to the ground, it connects our right side and left side of the body. The feet are one of the most important parts of our body, providing information on sense of balance, sense of movement, sense of who you are.
Remember, the systems of the body are all intertwined together, the feet are always relaying information. The more sensory information we get from the plantar surfaces (bottom of the feet) the more comfortable our diaphragmatic activity can be. This means that if we have a better sense of the floor (and spend enough time on it) we can keep our systems in flow.
Many times when it comes to exercising and working out people will choose machines as a main source, mainly because they are simple and easy. But machines take away the information and senses that our bodies crave, they restrict movement that we need to make. Taking away movement is a big problem for our overall system.
Upright Movements are King
Upright standing activities are the end goal for any exercise program, humans have one basic movement pattern that we all do and that is forward locomotion, walking. We all walk, to get from place to place, to move around to survive. With that in mind the end goal of any exercise program should be upright moving activities. Whether that is walking lunges, or a staggered stance band press, the aspect of understanding the way our feet sense into the floor with arms moving on top is the goal.
The arms above together with the legs below, in alternation, contralateral (opposite) arm and leg movement is the best movement we can provide the body when it comes to training and exercise.
Not all exercises involve alternating arms and legs, those exercises are still great and good to do, but do not overdo it with those. Doing too much of any exercise will lock the body in certain patterns and restrict movement. Add some alternating movements in with those and your program becomes even better for the body. Add some running and sprinting into the workouts, this is another great way to incorporate upright movement. Variability is key, and since we sit too often, upright positions help add in variability.