[Autodidactism means self-directed learning. As an autodidact, you teach yourself. In learning anatomy and physiology, no where else will this be more needed.]
The way we typically go about learning Anatomy and Physiology (i.e. in a school setting) is, and I don’t mean to offend anyone with these words, funking retarded.
It’s all-theory and all-mind.
And because it’s usually “learned” through cramming, it is information that is easily forgot.
If we want to train ourselves (and everyone does), however, we have to learn these symbols (words like “internal rotation of the humerus” and “latissimus dorsi“) that we are playing with.
Failure to do so will not only have us being the person 20 years down the exercise road who still points to muscles and mimics movements when discussing their program, but also still has to rely on trainers (to design proper programs) and physios (to repair thesmelves from following unbalanced ones).
The truth is, no one is going to be a better trainer than you or I. We all have an innate intelligence that only we can tap into. Dipping into some objective science, however, will be required first.
HOW TO LEARN ANATOMY
Step 1: Exercise
Our brain was built for movement. Need I say more?
Step 2: Buy an anatomy book
First and foremost, our best companion will be Dr. Google. After we feel a little comfortable with terms, however, buying an anatomy book and/or poster will be recommended. I like the books of Frederic Delavier.
Step 3: Ask Questions
The key to learning is not so much learning for the sake of learning, but learning because we need to learn (more emotion = more retention). How we start this process is simply by asking about that which we must know.
Here are some examples of the “down the rabbit hole” process I use.
#1 – You may notice that you have a tight muscle on your back:
- “What muscle is that?”
- “How can I stretch it and relieve the pain?”
- “What is the function of this muscle and why might it be tight?”
- “What muscle(s) are it’s antagonists (i.e do the opposite action)?”
#2 – You may suddenly want a bigger booty:
- “What muscles make up the glutes?”
- “What muscles are it’s antagonist and may be preventing the glutes from firing?”
- “What exercises work the glutes and how do they grow best?”
#3 – You may have a grand dream to do a deep squat:
- “What muscles and movements are involved?”
- “What typically prevents someone from doing a squat and what are the fixes?”
- “What exercises (regressions) can I do that will help me squat while I work on my limitations?”
You probably won’t care until….
I received high 90s in my A & P courses, but I can’t say I really learned anything. It wasn’t until I got hurt and worked with those that were hurt, that I had real motivation to learn. It will probably be the same for you.
When we are fit and healthy we take this movement thing for granted. When we lose the ability to move pain-free, however, than that is when the questions start. Rather than defer those questions to someone else, I challenge you to take them on.