Friday, February 15, 2008

Improve Athletic Performance By Correcting Your Posture

It is critical for athletes to correct body postural distortions. Failure to do so will lead to injuries and average athletic performance.
Common postural distortions are:

1. Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Postural Distortion - This distortion causes you to have increased lumbar lordosis and an anterior pelvic tilt as shown below.

Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip postural distortions are characterized by increased lumbar extension and decreased hip extension. Flexibility deficiencies for this distortion are tight calves, adductors, erector spinae, rectus femoris (quad), latissimus dorsi and iliopsoas.

Common injuries caused by this distortion are hamstring strains, groin strains and low back pain. Core stabilization exercises such as tube walking, bridges, planks and abdominal ball crunches are also very important.

2. Upper-Extremity Postural Distortion - This distortion is seen in a person with rounded shoulders or a forward head posture as shown below.

Flexibility deficiencies include tightness in the upper trapezius, neck muscles, latissimus dorsi and chest muscles (pectoralis major/minor). Common injuries include headaches, biceps tendonitis and shoulder injuries. Important core stabilization exercises for this distortion include prone cobras and cervical retraction.

3. Lower-Extremity Postural Distortion - A person with this distortion often has flat feet (pronation), feet pointed outward (slew-footed) and internal rotation of the knees (knock-kneed). During the squat exercise the knees will collapse and the heels will rise off the ground.

Flexibility deficiencies are tightness in the calves, peroneals, adductors, iliotibial band (IT), Iliopsoas and rectus femoris (quad). Common injuries for this distortion are plantar fascitis, shin splints and patellar tendonitis (jumper's knee). Core stabilization exercises that can be performed are tube walking, bridges, planks and abdominal ball crunches.

Stop me if you have heard this before---flexibility and core strength are critical! They are the main problems behind the postural distortions that we have. Now, get that posture corrected!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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  1. I like the chart! Pretty cool. And yeah, core strength is pretty essential for just about everything we do. I just started snowboarding, and let's just say, you got no core strength, you cannot be up on that mountain. You WILL hurt yourself seriously.
    Great post!

  2. Thanks for the post, and for bringing attention to the importance of core muscles for good posture.


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