How PurePosture helps athletes (click here)
WHY YOU NEED TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO ATHLETIC POSTURE
Lee Ness - The author of The Sports Motivation Masterplan and is the coaching coordinator for the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club, and for Wiltshire Athletic
Athletic posture includes the way you hold your body and the position of your spine, joints, and head. It affects biomechanical and bio-motor ability and the likelihood of injury. It should be seen as the foundation of all functional movements. However, it is possibly the area that gets the least attention. Building athletic performance on a poor foundation should be avoided at all costs. Most Important: Do not build muscles on a crooked spine.
In sports, the base of control comes from correct posture.
From this comes the ability to run, jump or throw, or simply to perform any functional movement. If this base of control is not aligned correctly, you won't be able to perform the movement with the appropriate degree of control.
Unfortunately, because our bodies are so versatile, when something is mechanically incorrect, we adapt. If one component isn't working correctly, our body adjusts and overcomes it, albeit in a less efficient manner, using muscles incorrectly. These changes happen so gradually and so subtly that we often don't notice them.
Causes of Poor Posture
Poor athletic posture in the general population comes from sitting too much. Because of our ancestry, we are not developed for sitting. Sitting compresses the spine, the glutes, and the hamstrings. And since more and more work and schooling involves sitting down—at desks, while driving, playing video games or using a computer—the problem is becoming worse. We also don't walk straight, introducing our quadriceps into the motion rather than our glutes and hip flexors.
In addition, many sports over-strengthen some muscles, particularly the quadriceps. This leads to an unbalanced ratio of quadriceps-to-hamstring strength, which in turn pulls the front of the pelvis down. The result is anterior pelvic tilt (APT), where the front of the pelvis is lower than the back. Once this occurs, the position of the spine changes, causing a curve, which then shuts down the hip flexor muscle group.
Good Posture Basics
Sports scientists, coaches, and therapists talk about having a "neutral" posture. This means having a stable, neutral, balanced position. If you drop a plumb line from your ear, it should bisect each joint—the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle. These joints should be in a neutral position, which will improve spine alignment.
The pelvis must be held in a neutral position. This means the peak of the pelvis from the front to the back and on either side should be at the same height.
Bench pressing leads to great looking pec muscles, but the pecs can become chronically short leading to forward rounded shoulders and overly rounded back. The thoracic spine must be flexible to hold the chest up and the shoulders back and down.
Abdominal work is often done by leading the motion with your head. This is incorrect and will lead to neck pain and in some instances herniated cervical discs. The head and neck must be in the neutral position to avoid potential problems.
Benefits of Good Athletic Posture
The first and most important impact of correct posture is to reduce the likelihood of injury.
Second, good posture activates the deeper muscle groups and the deep core muscles, which increases the stability of the body and ensures that for each movement, power, and speed are not lost in a weak core. Again, merely strengthening the core does little to improve performance if the wrong muscles are doing the work.
The results are less injury and greater speed, power, and control.
PurePosture is specifically designed to increase thoracic spine range of motion at each vertebral level. Increased flexibility in the thoracic spine allows for a lifted chest, relaxed shoulders and correct posture.