There are NO DNS Exercises!

Posted by Hans Lindgren DC on 28 October 2021 | 0 Comments

Tags: ,

When teaching DNS, we often get asked where people can find the “DNS Exercises”, and  we also hear about people practicing the DNS exercises they saw somewhere on the internet.

Let us just get straight to the point-

There are no “DNS Exercises”, but every exercise can be a DNS Exercise.


The correct execution of an exercise is what makes it DNS, which is why DNS training initially always should be supervised by a DNS trained professional.

DNS is a system of principles applied to movements to make them functional.

DNS Principles

  1. It all starts with trunk stabilization (core) which is dependent upon proper breathing function and control of Intra-abdominal pressure. Trunk stabilization precedes all other movements.
  2. Joint centration are the positions in a joint which allow for maximum loading with minimal strain of the supporting structures. Centration is a range not a static position.
  3. Posture is dynamic and is our way of dealing with the forces of gravity. Good posture is achieved by centration of the joints. All movements consist of a series of different postures.
  4. Support is the contact with the ground and has to be centrated to allow for maximum force transfer.
  5. Spinal elongation is a concept which enhances the control of intersegmental mobility and stability of the spine. 
  6. DNS is based upon Developmental Kinesiology and uses the inborn positions and movement patterns of healthy babies as a template for functional movements.
  7. Every position in the baby development has a specific purpose in the development of joints and their functional stability. When an adult is put in the same “Developmental positions”, the same hard-wired stabilization pattern is activated, pending functional centration of the joint. 
  8. All training is to be performed within our Functional Capacity.

Functional 01a

Functional Capacity:

  • The threshold for the ability to maintain centration of joints in a movement.
  • Depend upon different variables- resistance, speed, duration (fatigue) and range of movement.
  • Training should be performed with the intent of improving the Functional Capacity. This is achieved by training close to the Capacity barrier but never exceeding it. Monitoring of the movement patterns is therefore crucial.

Functional1 01b

The Purpose of the DNS approach is to activate the deepest layer of stabilization of the joints, which achieves joint centration and allows the larger muscles to perform purposeful movements instead of being recruited as additional stabilizers.

This can be illustrated by looking at the hip-joint. - If the deep stabilizers (eg. Obturators and Gemellis) are not fulfilling their function, the longer muscles spanning the joint will be recruited and often get overloaded by a function they are not designed for. Problems with Adductors, Gluteals and Hamstrings are examples of this, as well as a reduction of the isolated movements of the hip joints and overloading of the joint structures.  The deep stabilizers work as the hinges of a door and if the hinges are not working properly the door will be very wobbly and unstable when opening and closing.

DNS also teaches that all movements are full body movements, where several joints are involved to distribute the load between them. In the same way are muscles working together in chains distributing the forces from the extremities to the ground via the stable trunk.

An example of this can be a thrower, who by being taught how to synchronize the throwing arm with a rotation of the opposite shoulder and hip joint with good foot support, can minimize the strain on the throwing shoulder joint. 


DNS training is divided into three stages:

  1. Positions- Trunk Stabilization and centration of the joints in static positions.
  2. Movements within the positions- Trunk stabilization and centration of the joints while some limbs perform phasic movements- centration is important in both the support and phasic limb joints.
  3. Transitions- moving from one position to another while maintaining trunk stabilization and centration of the joints.

The positions and exercises taught in the DNS program are only the beginning- the more proficient the DNS professional gets the more variables can be introduced into treatments and training.

DNS is a system of observing and correcting dysfunctional movement patterns. The better we get at observing movement patterns, the less we have to rely on the functional tests-

All tests are exercises and all exercises are tests.

Post your comment

You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Login Here.


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments