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 a result of proper training and, more specifically, training of the entire movement or locomotor system.

When we speak 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.

2. How is our “Perfection” of Movement Lost

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

  1. Improper Neuromuscular Control
    1. Abnormal Postural Development
      1. Developmental Delays
    2. Incorrectly Learned Activity
      1. Poor Coaching
      2. Incorrect Practice
    3. CNS Adapting to a Pathological Situation
      1. Casting from a Fractured Limb
  2. Muscle Insufficiency for Joint Stabilization
    1. Dyskinesia: Muscle Strengthening in Poor Alignment
      1. Corrected through Exercise
  3. Ligament insufficiency and poor anatomy
    1. CAM, Pincer, Alignment of Glenoid Fossa, etc.
      1. Corrected through Surgery

3. How is DNS related to Exercise?

Since DNS is based on the principles of Developmental Kinesiology, we must compare the athlete’s stabilizing pattern to the stabilization pattern of normal movement. 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.

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.

In Part 2 we’ll discuss:

4. Sports Example: DNS and Golf

5. Finding the Source of Pain, Not the Location of Pain

6. How is DNS Related to the Throwing Motion?

7. How can this be Related to My Pain


Kobesova, A. Kolar, P. Developmental Kinesiology: Three levels of motor control in the assessment 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.