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  • Writer's pictureAndray Voronov

Developmental Milestones: The Missing Link in Adult Movement

Human growth and development is a fascinating process that unfolds sequentially, from simple embryonic movements to complex adult actions. Core developmental movements are fundamental building blocks that lay the groundwork for an individual's motor skills, providing a foundation for physical and cognitive development. Yet, our increasingly technocentric modern lifestyles can often disrupt or hasten this natural progression, leading to a need for many adults to revisit and relearn these essential movement patterns.

The journey of developmental movements starts even before birth, when the baby begins to move in the womb. This primary initiation phase is characterized by movements like neck extension and naval radiation that lay the groundwork for the baby’s first physical interactions with the world. Post-birth, these patterns evolve into more advanced actions like grasping, reaching, rolling, crawling, and eventually walking.

Each of these stages play a crucial role in fostering not only physical abilities, but also cognitive, perceptual, and social-emotional skills. For instance, crawling helps develop spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination, while walking fosters independence and exploration, bolstering the child’s confidence and curiosity.

However, in the contemporary era marked by advanced tools and toys, children often miss or skip certain developmental milestones. The reasons can be multifarious, ranging from overuse of confining baby equipment, like walkers and bouncers, to excessive screen time that stifles active play. Consequently, children may jump stages, developing compensatory movement patterns that could potentially lead to suboptimal motor skills or other related issues in the future.

Bypassing these foundational movements can have long-term implications. For example, skipping the crawling stage could hinder the development of cross-lateral movements, critical for tasks requiring coordination of both body sides, like reading or playing sports. Similarly, overreliance on baby walkers might limit the natural process of balance and strength development that comes with independent walking.

Acknowledging these challenges, it's crucial for adults, especially those facing movement difficulties, to revisit these core developmental stages and relearn these movement patterns. This journey back to the basics isn’t merely a physical retraining; it involves an intricate interplay of neuromuscular coordination, spatial perception, and cognitive engagement.

Embarking on this process, adults might start by focusing on primary patterns like neck extension and naval radiation, which encourage the activation of deep core muscles and facilitate better body awareness. Following this, adults can progress to crawling exercises to improve bilateral coordination, strength, and mobility. Walking and running drills, emphasizing proper technique, can help develop balance, coordination, and endurance. Relearning jumping, meanwhile, can enhance power generation and landing mechanics, crucial for many day-to-day activities and sports.

Revisiting these fundamental movement patterns can have significant benefits. Adults can improve their motor control, balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility, thereby enhancing their overall movement quality and efficiency. Furthermore, relearning these patterns can also assist in injury prevention and rehabilitation, as many common injuries stem from poor movement habits that might have originated from missed developmental milestones.

Re-engaging with these basic movements also offers cognitive benefits. These exercises stimulate various brain regions, enhancing neurological health and cognitive functions like memory, attention, and problem-solving. Additionally, relearning can also lead to psychological benefits, such as improved self-confidence and reduced anxiety, often associated with improved physical competence.

In conclusion, the journey of human movement development is a complex and profound process, with each stage laying a critical foundation for the next. While modern lifestyle changes can sometimes disrupt this natural sequence, it is never too late to relearn and re-engage with these fundamental movements. Whether it's rediscovering the simple joy of crawling or perfecting the art of running and jumping, relearning core developmental movements provides a holistic approach to enhancing physical capabilities, cognitive functions, and overall wellbeing. In this quest for improved movement quality, we not only optimize our present capabilities but also secure a more active, vibrant, and fulfilling future.

Are you ready to rediscover the foundations of movement and take a step towards a healthier, more active lifestyle? Contact your Narre Warren osteopath today, and let us support you on your journey to optimal movement and wellbeing. Make a booking at

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