How Do I Memorize Kinesiology?

By Brent Brookbush MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Fatimah Rada: How do you memorize all of the agonist, antagonist, synergists, neutralizers, and stabilizers for each joint?

That is a great question Fatimah, and no easy task…

But understanding human movement science is the foundation for our profession and worth the effort required for proficiency.  We can use a popular teaching and learning tool to help us develop a strategy for learning this information.  Many of my fellow educators out there will be familiar with “Bloom’s Taxonomy.”  Bloom's taxonomy places various cognitive skills and types of knowledge in a continuum.  Within this continuum, knowledge is categorized as factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive.  Cognitive processes progress from remember to understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create.  “Memorizing” a method of analyzing movement, implies a need for factual and conceptual knowledge, and low level cognitive processes - remember and understand.  However, our profession imposes a need for procedural and metacognitive knowledge when we teach individuals to perform an exercise.  Creating activities that use higher level cognitive processes will improve retention of the information.  Below you will find a sample strategy for remembering your kinesiology:

Remembering Factual Knowledge

Make a list of the knowledge you need

For example:

  • Muscular Anatomy (Origin, insertion, action, neural innervations)
  • Skeletal Anatomy (Bones, joints, joint types, movement allowed at each joint
  • Basic Neural Anatomy (Basic understanding of CNS and PNS, and neuromuscular innervations)
  • Definitions of basic kinesiology terms
  • Definitions of “Human Movement Science (HMS)” terms

Make a list of sources that you can use to acquire accurate information.

For example:

  • Hollinshead’s Functional Anatomy of the Limbs and Back by David B. Jenkins
  • Joint Structureand Function by Cynthia Norkin and Pamela Levangia
  • Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System by Donald Neumann