Is Posture relevant to Sports performance?
"Good Posture"...what is it? Sitting straight? Giving yourself double chins? Putting a book on your head and walking around?
Posture is the dreaded word that every Physio mentions, even if you have a broken toe nail. So how do you know if your posture is actually affecting how you train or how you perform in sport
Firstly, you need to answer some questions.
1) Do you work at a computer or sit down for most parts of your day e.g. Driving?
2) Do you use a smartphone, kindle, tablet or laptop on a regular basis e.g. more than an hour a day?
3) When using the above devices, do you regularly have the tv on in the background?
4) Does your job or hobby involve you being in sustained positions for long periods (>20 minutes) e.g. A roofer on his knees fitting tiles.
If you said yes to any of these, than your risk for shoulder and neck problems increase significantly. It will also have an impact on your ability to perform certain exercises that are essential in any sport e.g. Overhead press, bench press, Squat, deadlift, running etc etc. Even more importantly, if you try and squat or deadlift with poor posture, your risk of spinal injury increases greatly.
Let's use an example to explain what I mean. Let's say I tell you to keep your knee still for 2 hours straight before a heavy leg session in the gym. Do you think this might affect your performance? My guess is your saying yes, well it's the same for your neck and thoracic spine (part between your shoulder blades). If this area of your body spends most of the day in the same position, then your brain thinks this is normal. The muscles and joints then adapt to this position and it becomes a habit. This new adapted position will have a significant affect on shoulder range of movement and you will place a significant increase in load on the tendons of the shoulder. Furthermore, blood flow to the nerves in your arm, which are responsible for muscle activity can become restricted and can lead to symptoms like pain and pins & needles.
Posture is more than just "sitting up straight". At ProCare we show you ways to combat poor posture in all aspects of your life from driving to computer work. We then implement this into your training so that your brain adapts to this new behaviour and performance improves.
If you want to learn more about how posture can affect performance and how you can improve it and subsequently perform better in your training sessions or at your sport, than contact us for a consultation.