Body Mapping: 7 compelling reasons to sketch your way into the future of fitness

Do you remember a time when you readily grabbed a pencil, pen or crayon and took to drawing something? Chances are it was way back in your childhood and the memory is as feint as the lined paper you were drawing on. If you can recall those moments, you will probably remember the feeling of excitement, intent focus and creativity coursing through your veins. And that’s where my story begins.

I didn’t do a lot of drawing in my childhood, but I came back to it later in life (mid 20’s), when I discovered, to my surprise, that it was a lot of fun drawing on people! Picture the scene: I’m teaching a group of eighteen students musculoskeletal anatomy for Sports Massage Therapy. Lots of faces contorting in mental ‘anguish’ as they tried to cram another muscle origin, insertion or bony landmark into their already overloaded brains.

The drawing transformed students learning skills

So, in an attempt to make the process more effective and more pleasurable, I reached for a whiteboard marker, with a glint in the eye, and asked for a volunteer…

What ensued was a most entertaining experience, sketching out muscles and bones, all colour co-ordinated, on the students ankle and knee. Then much fun and laughter as the students took to creating their own Da Vinci masterpieces on eachothers’ legs.

That was enough for me – the learning experience had been transformed, brought to life and the group was fully engaged and hungry for more. But, what I hadn’t bargained on was the steep rise in assimilation, understanding and application which the students subsequently displayed. The drawing had a profound effect on their capacity to learn and reproduce higher level skills. This was the moment that Body Mapping was born in my world.

Fast forward to 2017 and the tradition lives on, but has assumed a much greater importance in the future of the fitness and healthcare industries. As the team at HPT5 reaches for higher and higher standards, we insist that the art of Body Mapping – drawing muscles, bones and tendons in a minimum requirement.

7 reasons why Body Mapping changes your fitness career

So why do we think this is so important? Here are 7 compelling reasons:

1.     Confidence. When you have a strong appreciation of musculoskeletal anatomy and are able to reproduce that knowledge in a practical way to educate a prospect, your value to the customer rises steeply. You become indispensable.

2.     Future proofing. The practitioners of the future will need to have these solid anatomical foundations to match the skill sets of, and work credibly with, healthcare practitioners such as Physiotherapists, Osteopaths and GPs.

3.     Avoiding lost opportunities. Increasingly, those without Body Mapping skills will be overlooked for referral opportunities because other fitness and healthcare professionals will not trust them to manage their clients safely and effectively.

4.     Superlative skills foundations: The ability to map the human body in three dimensions in your mind is an essential component of higher level knowledge and skills. Without these, you are building your product and service capabilities on shaky foundations.

5.     Fun! It is a truly enlivening experience to see structures mapped out on a real human body rather than just in two dimensions in a book

6.    Accelerated learning: As you engage your mind in Body Mapping, you learn at an accelerated rate and retain for longer – more so when you have to teach it back to someone else, something we insist on at HPT5.

7.     Increased earning capability: As people you meet begin to realise that you not only talk the talk, but you walk the walk. Everyone wants to be involved with and offer work to people with these talents.


Who’d have thought? Is it just a recreational pastime, drawing on people for a bit of fun? Or is it the catalyst to a stellar career based on superlative technical skills? I know what I think.

Come and join us on Nov 22nd at Richmond upon Thames College if you want to see Body Mapping in action and learn about our Specialist Programme, in which it is embedded.