Human movement is hugely varied and complex. We use our bodies in myriad ways in every aspect of life, sport, dance and fitness. Beneath all this great variety of activities exists a set of organizational principles that are innate and unchanging. They are inherent to how we, as bipedal creatures, move. When these principles are addressed, true functional fitness follows.

Why is this valuable? 

When people think of moving, the word “organized” does not typically come to mind. We readily organize our time, our homes, our thoughts. Why not organize how we move? After all, movement is the basis for any fitness routine or sport. Even more fundamentally, the ability to move well greatly influences our ability to perform everyday tasks with ease.

Causes and Consequences of Being Disorganized in Movement 

You may be wondering how a body in motion can get disorganized in the first place. It could result from trauma or injury. It could also be due to a lack of movement variety or a sedentary lifestyle. A body disorganized in movement will develop a compensation pattern. The outcome usually is a relatively less efficient mode of locomotion that may cause stress on joints and muscles. Conventional fitness routines tend to strengthen the compensation pattern, overlooking the need to first restore the correct underlying movement template.

 “Don’t put fitness on top of dysfunction.” Gray Cook, Physiotherapist 

Organize the body first, then load it. This became the guiding philosophy of Dianne L. Woodruff, CMA, PhD that led her to create her 3-D WorkoutTM in the early 1980’s. Her goal was to implement a system that provided “a more accessible, harmonious and functional way to condition the body,”

“Don’t train in pieces if you expect to move as a whole.” Dianne L. Woodruff, CMA, PhD 

Woodruff’s belief that we should train the body as a whole is reflected in her system. One can also say that 3-D trains the movement, not just the muscle. She drew inspiration from Irmgard Bartenieff, Rudolf Laban and Dr. Vladimir Janda. One needs to look no further than the recent research on fascia and its role in body movement, mood and metabolism to understand why 3-D Workout is so effective.

No sweat! 

What is truly remarkable is that Woodruff’s method does not require you to endure a punishing workout routine in order to effect change. What you see is a series of thoughtful, whole-body, restorative, and gentle exercises. What you get is improved essential movement patterns, reduced wear and tear, enhanced agility, balance, and strength-all without breaking a sweat. Hence the reason 3-D Workout has been embraced by those wanting an alternative to the “no pain, no gain” mindset of many exercise systems and their proponents.

Move for a Lifetime 

The rewards of being organized in movement are plenty. Count among them: better function and performance, less pain. To live is to move. Move well and you will be ready for whatever demands life throws your way.

Carrie Lynn Nieves
is a 3-D WorkoutTM Level II instructor and Pro-Trainer. She has been teaching clients how to organize their bodies in motion since 2002 and holds additional certifications in Pilates, ELDOA Level 2 and MELT Method.

She will be teaching a Level I Certification in 3-D WorkoutTM this summer 2017 at Counterbalance Studio Pilates, 1911 Danforth Avenue

The 5 module course will take place on Saturdays and Sundays during the weekends of:

June 3 & 4/ June 24 & 25/ July 8 & 9/ July 22 & 23/ August 12 & 13

For registration details email [email protected] or call (647)273-1943

For more information on 3-D WorkoutTM or to view videos of some of the exercises, go to