Athletes face high extremes to out play their competition and be the best of the best. But even the most rigorous of training may not be enough to perform at the top if posture is not taken into consideration. If you are like the majority of athletes, your training program is missing an essential component: functional posture correction.
Certainly, a balanced posture exudes confidence and excellent physical form. But the benefit of proper posture begins in training, both for injury prevention and achieving balance in muscular development. Athletes build a much stronger core foundation by focusing on posture. The stronger your foundation, the more receptive your muscles are in your extremities. This makes muscles easier to sculpt and train. The correct posture is very important for performing functional exercises and is absolutely necessary to optimize athletic potential.
A study conducted in 2004 by the American Medical Athletic Association concluded that athletes who want to take their athletic performance to the next level must focus upon stabilizing their core and training their postural muscles. Posture affects and moderates every physiological function of the body, from breathing to balanced movements. Despite the considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the majority of athletes and coaches overlook the significant influence of posture and athletic performance.
The posture of the body begins with the alignment of the spine. If the spine is misaligned, the body will naturally compensate with the position of the hips, shoulders, and head to hold the body upright against gravity. Changes in the ideal spinal position produce spinal pathologies and loss of function. Spinal pathologies destroy joint reflexes and arc fibers, causing nerve impedance. This results in slower reaction times and less accuracy when performing athletic activities. In this way, proper alignment of the spinal column helps to prevent serious sports-related traumas.
To have a better-balanced posture and increase coordination, athletes should integrate balance training into their workout regimens. Exercises such as vibration therapy and standing on one-leg for intervals of 30 seconds or more have been demonstrated to help athletes increase balance and coordination. As with any exercise, when performing balance training, pay special attention to maintaining proper posture of your body.
Posture is a dynamic process; proper alignment allows smooth transition from one posture to the next. Athletes with good dynamic posture move with precision, coordination, and ease. The links of the kinetic chain move in perfect synchronicity increasing accuracy of motion. Proper bodily alignment allows efficient muscle utilization minimizing overall fatigue and stress to the joints.
Functional posture correction is the key to maximize athletic potential. Dynamic postural training gives aspiring athletes the winning edge over their competition. While other athletes continue to focus on their physique, not their form, the smart athletes will focus on developing their dynamic posture patterns to supersede their competition. In terms of longevity and injury prevention, those who workout correctly will outplay and outlast their competitors. Do you have what it takes to be a FITPosture athlete?
Dr. Krista Burns DC, DRHA, CPEP, CPS
Doctor of Chiropractic
Doctor of Health Administration
Certified Postural Specialist
Co-Founder American Posture Institute
Posture by Design, Not by Circumstance