The 8 types of coordination (and their main characteristics)
A classification of the types of muscular coordination that exist, and how they affect movement.
The human locomotor system is made up of the union between the muscular system and the osteoarticular system, that is, muscles and bones that not only protect our organs, but also allow us to move.that is, muscles and bones that not only protect our organs, but also allow movement and locomotion.
We have more than 650 muscles that, when contracting, cause different body movements, thus dragging the bone mass and being assisted by ligaments, tendons, cartilage and joints. Muscles are the functional organs of the locomotor apparatus and it is thanks to them that we have the function of locomotion.
The capacity of contraction and relaxation of the muscles is mediated by the nervous system and requires a precise and harmonious synchronization so that we can make all kinds of movements. In order for us to move, both to move and to pick up objects, it is necessary to have muscular coordination.
This coordination can occur in different ways, involving different physical abilities, and we will now discuss the main types of coordination. Let us see, then, what are the types of muscular coordination.
What is coordination in the human body?
In anatomical terms, we can define coordination as the capacity of the skeletal muscles of the body to synchronize in trajectory and movement in order to be able to carry out a technical gesture..
This capacity is the result of the harmonic synchronization between the nervous system and the musculature, whereby our brain sends orders that travel through the spinal cord, reach the peripheral nerves and, in turn, reach the musculature, setting the skeleton in motion. Thanks to this balance, we can control our Muscle tone and perform fine and precise movements.
Related to this idea we can talk about neuromuscular coordination, an ability that may be impaired in approximately 8% of school-age children. Children with a neuromuscular disorder may have problems in motor education and, due to their motor coordination problems, they may have an unsteady gait, be prone to stumble, bump into each other very often or not have the ability to hold some objects well.
Motor coordination can be learned and improved, which is why it is so important for children to play physical sports in which they will practice their motor skills and automate movements. in which they will practice their motor skills and automate movements. Although it is true that human beings are born with a certain natural capacity for musculoskeletal coordination, it is always advisable to do everything possible to improve it and become more skilled in physical tasks.
By developing from a very young age, this will give us the tools that, at a nervous level, will allow us to carry out movements in an organized, directed, precise and synchronized manner.
Types of muscular coordination
Now that we understand what muscular coordination is in general terms, let's see what types of motor synchronization there are. Although all the movements we carry out involve our muscles, all of which are controlled by the nervous system, the same muscles and skills are not involved when, for example, we are playing soccer as when we are dancing ballet.
1. Dynamic coordination
Dynamic or general coordination is a type of motor synchronization that allows us to set different parts of the body in motion. allows us to set in motion different parts of the locomotor apparatus without interfering with each other.. That is to say, this type of coordination allows us to move the organism in an efficient way, without the movement of some parts hindering the movement of others.
This type of coordination involves all parts of the body and, therefore, we say that global synchronization is necessary, in which each locomotor region fulfills its function in a particular way but within a set, without interfering or hindering the motor activity of the other regions.
Dynamic coordination is what gives us stability when we move dynamically, that is to say, when we involve many different muscles but each one makes a specific movement in order to carry out a well-coordinated complex action, such as walking or running.
2. Spatial coordination
The spatial coordination is the one that we apply when we organize our muscular movements to adapt our general movement to a trajectory or other people's space..
By means of this type of motor synchronization we can adjust our muscular activity to the movement of a moving object in our environment, in order to be able to carry out the necessary technical action.
An example of this can be found in baseball batters and volleyball players, sports in which body movement must be coordinated with the movement of the ball in order to reach and hit it.
3. Intramuscular coordination
Intramuscular coordination is the ability of our muscles to contract when they receive orders from the central nervous system through the peripheral nerves..
Muscle cells, called myocytes, have actin and myosin filaments inside them that are activated when muscles receive electrical impulses, and that allow the myocytes to contract, which makes the biomechanical action of muscles possible.
4. Intermuscular coordination
Intermuscular coordination is the global capacity to activate different muscles while performing a physical activity..
This is not limited to the contraction of a specific muscle, but of several of them that are activated in a synchronized manner to perform more or less complex locomotor actions, which is why it is called intermuscular, i.e., between muscles.
An example of intermuscular coordination is when we hit a golf ball, involving in this action different muscle groups that must coordinate with each other.
5. Segmental coordination
The segmental or segmented coordination is the one that involves an increase of the aptitude in specific regions of the organism.. Unlike dynamic coordination, which is based on a global increase in the overall synchronization of the locomotor apparatus, segmental coordination enhances coordination reactions specific to the anatomical area.
The sense of sight plays a fundamental role in this coordination modality. In fact, segmental synchronization works on the basis of the relationship between vision and the different parts of the human locomotor apparatus involved. Being specific to each region, we can distinguish three main forms of segmental coordination: eye-hand, eye-foot and eye-head.
5.1. Eye-hand coordination
Eye-hand coordination, also known as eye-hand or eye-motor coordination, is the type of segmental coordination where motor skills are involved in the use of the hands. are involved in the use of the hands, having therefore the synchronization between the visual and the manual..
This type of coordination is what allows us to handle our hands depending on what we are seeing and we can see it in everyday activities such as typing on a computer, writing with a pen or throwing a stone into the lake.
5.2. Eye-foot coordination
Oculo-pedic coordination is the segmental coordination modality in which the use of the feet is involved, synchronizing the visual with the pedic..
This type of coordination allows us to handle the feet in an adequate way according to what we perceive through the sense of sight, being a classic example how we use our feet while playing soccer.
5.3. Eye-head coordination
In the oculo-head coordination involves the motor skills in which the use of the head is required, understood as the anatomical region of the head..
This type of coordination is the one that allows us to move our head according to what we are seeing, adapting to the needs that the environment awakens in us. An example also related to soccer would be to kick the ball with the forehead.
6. Static coordination
Static coordination is the type of musculoskeletal synchronization that has the particularity of achieving "no movement". It is the motor skill that allows us to be physically still when we are standing, having control and stability over our posture.having control and stability over our posture.
7. Fine coordination
Fine coordination is the type of motor synchronization that allows us to make very precise, precise movements. allows us to make very precise movements, in which the fine musculature is involved..
This coordination is based on the development of locomotor skills to coordinate slight, small and very controlled muscular movements. An example of this would be knitting, writing, assembling a model...
8. Gross coordination
Finally we have the gross coordination, antagonistic to the one we have seen in the previous point.
This type of motor synchronization does not lead us to be able to perform very precise muscular movements, but rather to carry out locomotor tasks in which we have to perform locomotor tasks in which large biomechanical regions of the organism are involved..
Gross coordination is what we can observe in movements that do not require too much precision, such as jumping.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)