7 Things You Didn¹t Know About Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization – Part 1

When was the last time you were watching a sporting event on TV and you said to yourself “This athlete just makes the sport looks so seamlessly easy.” How about when you take your child to watch someone perform live and you are sitting up close and all you can say to yourself is “Wow.”

Part of this “perfection” is, yes, genetics, this athlete was born with talent. Yet, it is also through proper training and more specifically training of the entire movement or locomotor system.

When speaking of the locomotor system we are discussing the natural movement patterns of human development constructed by the central nervous system (CNS). This central programming is developed during the first critical years of life. Do you ever wonder how babies learn how to roll, crawl, stand up or even start walking. All of this should occur automatically in the course of the CNS maturation. This is an innate process that is engrained in our brains.

1 – What is DNS
Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) uses the approach in which every purposeful movement is reinforced by the coordinated activity of segmental postural stability. It is based on the scientific principles of Developmental Kinesiology (DK). The goal is to achieve optimal muscle coordination by exercising in developmental positions.

Traditionally, when thinking about muscle strengthening in our extremities, we automatically think of what the origin and insertion of that muscle is and how can we contract that muscle. The DNS approach is much more functional. It brings the supporting joints and segments into a functionally aligned position. If one muscle is dysfunctional (weak), the entire stabilizing function is disturbed and the quality of the movement is compromised.

DNS Principles

2 – How is our “Perfection” of Movement Lost
When you watch a healthy baby move, they move in what we called earlier “perfection” because all the joints and muscle attachments do not have compensations and are working a perfect synergy and perfect joint stabilization. The muscles and joints working in synergy help achieve the given task. As we get older, there are a few things which hinder this synergy that do not allow us to move with such “perfection.”

  1. Improper Neuromuscular Control
  2. Abnormal Postural Development
  3. Developmental Delays
  4. Incorrectly Learned Activity
  5. Poor Coaching
  6. Incorrect Practice
  7. CNS Adapting to a Pathological Situation
  8. Casting from a Fractured Limb


  1. Muscle Insufficiency for Joint Stabilization
  2. Dyskinesia: Muscle Strengthening in Poor Alignment
  3. Corrected through Exercise


  1. Ligament insufficiency and poor anatomy
  2. CAM, Pincer, Alignment of Glenoid Fossa, etc.
  3. Corrected through Surgery

3 – How is DNS related to Exercise?
Since DNS is based on the principles of Developmental Kinesiology, we must compare the athletes stabilizing pattern to that of the stabilization pattern of what normal movement is. That basis of normal movement patterning is derived from observation of a healthy developing baby.

What is the role of primitive movement patterns in relationship to exercises we do on a daily basis? Every natural movement during the first year of life is a natural process from our central nervous system. The best examples of proper movement function to relate to our exercise choice in relationship to proper muscle and joint synergy of a developing baby.

A healthy baby in their first year of life has proper breathing patterning, synergistic movement patterns of the trunk and the extremities and proper joint interplay during tasks.

We learn from their movement patterns and break it down into components to allow for synergistic functional movements.

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In Part 2 we’ll discuss:
-Sports Example: DNS and Golf
-Finding the Source of Pain, Not the Location of Pain
-How is DNS Related to the Throwing Motion
-How can this be Related to My Pain

Kobesova, A. Kolar, P. Developmental Kinesiology: Three levels of motor control in the assessement and treatment of the motor system. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 2013

Kolar, P., et al. Clinical Rehabilitation. 1st Edition. Rehabilitation Prague School. 2013

Sahrmann S. Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes. 1st Edition. Mosby, Inc. 2002.

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