What is Tensegrity?

Tensegrity Skeleton

We live in a culture where moving as little as possible has long been considered a sign of success or affluence. This tendency to delegate natural human movement whenever possible has led to a population that is sedentary to a degree that is unprecedented in human history.


Researchers are only beginning to fully understand the health implications of this situation, but many detrimental effects of being sedentary are already well documented.


At Tensegrity we want to be on the front lines of this necessary shift in our culture. Tensegrity’s vision is to become a leader in the fitness industry and community when it comes to providing practical solutions to the negative physical symptoms that commonly result from being sedentary.

It is our mission to provide our unique and effective solutions to our clients in a way that is convenient and enables people to easily integrate these techniques into their daily lives.

The word “tensegrity” was coined by the famous architect, Buckminster Fuller in the 1960s to describe a structure that stands aloft using a combination of tension and compression. Conventional fitness programs treat the body as a continuous compression structure, like a brick wall. The vertebrae of the spine are thought to be stacked upon another with each section bearing the collective weight of the “bricks” above it; muscles acting as levers that contract to move the bones as needed.


The scenario described above has been proven to be incomplete, if not incorrect. Our bodies are tensegrity structures! This is significant because it is a fundamental difference in how the structure reacts to gravity.


Looking at the body in this new way was popularized by Tom Myers and his groundbreaking book, Anatomy Trains where he suggested that a sailboat would be a more accurate metaphor than the brick wall because of the complex arrangement of ropes and pulleys that are constantly under various degrees of tension depending on the situation. The frame, mast and other rigid parts of the boat would be similar to our bones. However, our bodies are much more complex than the sailboat with layers upon layers of "ropes" arranged in patterns that science is still trying to understand.



Mark Walker, aka "Mr. Exercise"


Mark is as a personal trainer who believes in the body’s amazing ability to heal itself and has adapted techniques from a variety of different disciplines on his journey out of chronic pain.


Mark holds a diploma in Fitness and Health from Humber College and is certified as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor by Can Fit Pro. He is a Level 2 ELDOA Practitioner and has taken courses in Adaptive Bodywork and the Move in Mind system. Mark has developed and conducted a variety of fitness classes and workshops for the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre and the Alzheimer’s Society of Durham's Minds in Motion program.