Nathan Lents on The Design of Shoulder


We are partially adapted for throwing. No other animal in our group is adapted this way.

I should add, as a physician, that throwing is a very strange and “unnatural” sort of movement.


I began to do shoulder exercises toward the end of this video. I appreciate the tips. :sweat_smile:

I was amused when @nlentz used the words “originally designed” at one point.

Is there any difference in the way humans tend to carry or hold their babies compared to chimps? I’m curious if our shoulder movement is useful in the way we like to care for our babies. But I know I can get in a very hunched position when breastfeeding which is bad for my shoulders. On the other hand when I went back to work and sat in a chair all day, my back and right shoulder (the side handling a computer mouse) had lots of problems compared to the adjustment of holding a baby after birth.

After I commented I realized that men would not think to ask the question I asked. Even though the presenter/producer was female, evolutionary pressures were presented perhaps in a misogynistic way - men were the hunter gatherers and throwing the spears. I wonder how typical this is. But we are half the population… There was very little depiction of women until the end of the video when it showed women exercising.


That is a really interesting thing :slight_smile:


I recently re-read Jenny Clack’s book Gaining Ground, and I find the differences between the evolution of the rear legs and the front legs really interesting. I’m always looking at it in paleontological museums, and the contrast is often so very striking: large heavy animals, especially, will have their joints oriented so that the femurs are right under the sockets and capable of delivering the weight right downward onto the leg, and yet, the fronts will still sometimes leave you with the feeling that there’s almost nothing holding it all together. And with humans, bipedalism has really liberated those limbs from any serious weight-bearing at all, making it even more extreme.

And how this got this way all has a great deal to do with our fishy heritage. Wild stuff.

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