As an athlete, your regimen probably consists of the usual exercises: cardiovascular endurance, strength training, aerobic conditioning, etc. But while these workouts may aid in improving your overall performance, a new study has shown that athletes are overlooking a vital component of a successful training regimen: maintaining excellent posture.
A 2004 study conducted by the American Medical Athletic Association (AMAA; www.amaasportsmed.org) concluded that athletes who want to optimize their performance should focus on their posture. The study reported that “postural repositioning exercises, breathing exercises, gluteal, hamstring and abdominal/oblique exercises alone can provide for improved…performance as a result of improved posture.” The study also concluded that improved posture can alleviate aches and pains, as well as prevent common sports injuries.
So why does good posture play such an important role in how well you’ll run during the big marathon, football game or at your next tennis match? Simple: it’s because improper application of pressure on your spine, joints, muscles and nerves can all contribute to a less-than-optimal athletic performance.
Think about it in terms of a car. No matter how much top-notch oil you pour into it, or how powerful the engine is, if the fundamental mechanics of the car aren’t properly aligned or working, you won’t get the maximum performance out of the car. The human body functions in the same way: even if your diet and exercise routines are highly optimized for an Olympic outcome, you won’t get the expected results if your body has been strained by poor posture.
So what exercises can you do to improve your posture?
Experts recommend that all athletes include yoga and meditative practices in their training regimen as a way of strengthening key muscles and joints. While yoga teaches how to find and maintain excellent posture, meditative sessions can reinforce proper breathing techniques, which can also relieve strain on muscles and joints. Try this simple exercise, known as “belly breathing”: breathe in through the nose and into the diaphragm for a count of five, and then exhale by “sighing” for a count of seven. By using this breathing technique, athletes will not only relieve stress to the ribs, shoulders and backs – this type of breathing also requires less energy to use. And as any athlete knows, less energy expelled on breathing means better performances.
Many athletes may require more assistance with corrective posture to enhance their athletic performance, which is where our combination of physical rehabilitation and chiropractic services help. At an initial consultation, the athlete’s overall balance, structure and tension will be assessed to determine the root cause of poor posture. Once the mechanical or structural problem has been identified, a custom program will be developed to help the athlete correct the imbalance and regain full range of athletic ability and performance.
When considering treatment for correcting posture related problems and enhancing athletic performance, our clinics in Henderson NV comes highly recommended by physicians in Clark County. Feel free to contact us for a Sports Performance Evaluation, by calling us at (702) 565-7474 or at www.nevadachiro.com.