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Lineal Design / Pivotal Design

by Lloyd Shaw

Lineal Design
Predator versus prey

To understand this theory look at yourself in the mirror. Front and side on. Ask yourself a couple of questions.

Yes they may appear unrelated at first but bear with me, I will explain.

(a) Where are my eyes situated ?
(b) Where is my muscle mass on my body ?

You will of course find your eyes situated at the front of your skull. This will tell you we have binocular vision - we have depth perception (we can tell how far away something is). This allows us to project an attack at an object with very good accuracy, suggesting we have evolved as a PREDATOR species.

This is very different than some animals like horses that can not. This is why they will jump over a puddle only an inch deep. They are not nervous about water, they just can not tell how deep the puddle is. They are PREY animals where peripheral vision comes in very handy when something is trying to catch you from behind and eat you. Unlike grass that does not run away.

Eyes front of the head: PREDATOR
Eyes side of the head: PREY

So our body is a well developed for seeing an object; judging its distance; running towards and catching it with enough force to kill it. This would also come in handy if we had to “fight” for our lives. Which is why we automatically turn to face an attacker if surprised.

Running quickly at something by definition also gives us the ability to run away from something. That’s where the “flight” part comes in.

A Quick Experiment
Get someone to push you from the front while you push back. Then get them to push you from the side while you try to again push back. You will notice the marked difference in the amount of energy it takes to push you around. From the front you have good all round ability to not only balance but also fight back. As opposed to the side where all your energy will be used just to keep balance.

This clearly shows us that the human body is well developed to absorb and produce large amounts of Lineal pressure. But a much lower degree of Pivotal can be handled. When in contact with a Vibration Platform the body not only gets pushed - but it also pushes back. So a direct powerful response will always be favoured for a “workout ” type movement. As these larger muscles use up far more calories than any other exercise program in an involuntary reflex due to their sheer size and cell mass.

Muscle Placement
The actual placement and size of muscles on our body also backs up this equation. As our muscles are placed in a Lineal fashion. Take the legs for example. The Quad and Hamstring (our “drive” muscles) are much larger by far than our Adductor muscles. We can never run sideways as fast or as powerfully as we can forwards.

The moment we vary from the Lineal path before us we exponentially lose power.

Pivotal Design
The above theory in no way though displaces the importance on Pivotal movement - as this is the primary rebalancing response and without this our Lineal design would have a major flaw - quite simply we would keep falling over.

Our support muscles must be kept in balance with our “drive” muscles or injury would be inevitable. As every time you tried to turn you would fall sideways. In fact all the smaller groups of muscles that make up our rebalancing responses are also responsible for holding our body together.

This is very apparent when athletes are clearly strong but a minor injury brings them down.

This type of weakness can also be responsible for such things as incontinence or the more serious fall of an older person cased by pelvic instability - which in some cases can lead to an early death due to blood clots in bone fractures.

The sideways action of a Pivotal machine is the most effective way of targeting these weak points in our design - but in my opinion would mainly fall into the “Therapy” mindset and should be treated with even more caution than Lineal programs. As correct positioning of a new client is much harder to judge on a Pivotal unit.

Both systems are valid but should be used for different purposes - not in competition with each other. The only reason I personally favor Lineal for use with the public at the moment is it’s ease of use. In fact the first machine I ever made was Pivotal - and I will be releasing one in the near future. I picture all good Studios, Gyms and Physio’s will have both types of machines and will also hopefully have the appropriate programs attached.

I will continue to not only explain the differences between these 2 platforms in future articles.