A distinction is to be made between a truly healthy state of the body, and a distortion that can be called athleticism. Athleticism aims towards the outer look of a body, especially a controlled, hard-bodied look, strength, and a low fat percentage. The feel of the body is lost. This is essentially a ego-driven state. Often injuries result because joints are compressed, and the body is driven too hard to accomplished extreme maneuvers.

If one watches video of Olympic gymnasts from the 1960's and compares it to gymnasts from this century, the difference is stark. In the past, gymnastics has been modeled on gracefulness of movement. Now it is is based on strength and extremeness of the movement. It is no longer enjoyable to watch apart from the competition

Body-mind unity is a foundational principle of the Reich and Lowen tradition, and so there is no way that kinesiology and the psychology becomes very decoupled. A truly athletic body will be healthier emotionally than most bodies. However there is another degree of distortion, the hard-body which is modeled after the athletic body but which may not be very athletic in terms of agility, balance, responsiveness or gracefulness. Cardio and resistance training can harden muscles and decrease fat-percentage without addressing movement, poise, footing, breathing, or body unity.