Baseworks Movement Principles

Central to the Baseworks Method are the 6 core Movement Principles that can be applied to any movement.

These principles were formulated in the process of formalizing the Baseworks Practice, originally developed by Patrick Oancia based on his personal experience and observation of what allowed for his students to learn better.

The 6 Baseworks Movement principles change our intentions about how to perform the movement, disrupting habitual movement patterns. They also instantaneously add stability and strength, help protect the joints, relieve muscular tension and work on developing the 3 types of Body Awareness.

Anyone who has continuously and seriously worked on their body knows that it changes perception.

You begin to sense and experience things, which may be difficult to explain in words.

When you can better sense the body, you begin to understand how it works even without any knowledge of science.

You can also spot in other people the lack of physical or perceptual ability.

The Baseworks approach focuses on consistently developing perception.

This is the ultimate precursor to safely learn how to better understand and control the muscles of the body.

Distributed Activation

In any movement, we keep all the muscles in a state of constant low-intensi ty activation (or isometric contractions). So, we simultaneously engage much more muscles than is normally required to produce a particular movement.

This allows to equalize the distribution of strength across the whole muscular-skeletal system. This stabilizes the joints and builds sensitivity to how body parts are functionally connected.

This also makes it easier to feel sensation in the muscles. This allows to better feel the position of different parts of the body and, with time, increases the proprioceptive awareness.   


Micro movements are almost invisible, low-amplitude movements that we “apply” to visible body movements.

Combined with Distributed Activation, it increases the amount of sensory information available to conscious awareness.

This also helps to relieve muscular and myo-fascial tension. 

Micro-movements also help to control muscles better, improve stability, and enable us to use muscle interactions to improve flexibility.

Gridlines | Symmetry

When we move, we constantly imagine that certain points of our body follow a set of gridlines /lines of symmetry.

This makes one constantly aware of the surrounding 3D space.

Sticking to the grid automatically engages multiple groups of muscles as fixators. It is also an easy way to disrupt habitual movement patterns.

This is a great way to work on one’s spatial awareness and motor control.


We fix the body in a certain position and then we move only one body part at a time, keeping the rest of the body still (fixed).

This requires the muscles to constantly readjust their activation levels.

This greatly improves the ability to control movements and sense different parts of the body and helps develop the “fundamental movement vocabulary”.

Intensity Modification

One of the major training objectives in Baseworks is to learn to notice and understand your current physical and mental state and to select actions that are appropriate to your current condition.

Therefore, we pay attention to spatial cues and sensory cues related to the level of stress, excitement, joint compression and muscle tension, and we select a movement that is most appropriate to the current state. 

A 1-hour of practice may includes hundreds of such decision-making checkpoints.


In exercise and fitness, deep breathing is often used to “push through” and create a euphoric state.

This feels good but can be associated with increased risk of injury, and hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system and the stress response.

One of the goals of Baseworks is to promote calm, contemplative state of mind as an alternative.

In Baseworks, breathing is kept natural and serves as a feedback modality to adjust the intensity of the physical activity.

This helps to notice and control the effects of stress.

Baseworks Teaching Methodology

All the principles above describe the quality of movement. Very often, the body may look still, but, in reality, the whole body is engaged and active.

But how can we effectively teach that? The answer lies in the Baseworks Teaching Methodology and the framework of Baseworks teachers’ interdisciplinary education process.

The instructions to students are kept simple. The same simple movements form a framework overtime to deepen a person’s perceptual and physical ability.