Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Specificity & Posture

The other day, I was reviewing a Squat Rx Video and was hit full-face with my own atrocious posture. I made the video above about three years ago and I'm guessing my posture is no better now. Thankfully, I don't believe it's to the point of being unfixable, but remedying it will require vigilance and work.

Posture, like just about anything, follows the "SAID principle" (specific adaptations to imposed demands). Many sports do not necessarily impose positive demands on posture (especially if you've developed bad habits), however, optimal sports performance demands proper posture. Let me rephrase that so it's clear: good posture will help your sport, but your sport might not be helping your posture.

Good posture = improved breathing, greater neck and shoulder girdle balance, stability and health. If your imposed demands on posture are this for hours everyday...

...then, given enough time/practice, you can reasonably expect:

* neck pain and stiffness
* kyphosis
* weak, overstretched thoracic and neck extensors
* compromised t-spine, rib cage, scapulae/shoulder mobility and stability
* poor breathing patterns
* shoulder impingement
* lower back/hip/hamstring issues

If your posture is not "aligned" (pun intended) with your training goals, you will be leaving a lot on the table when it's time to cash in your training chips come performance-time.

Reexamine your daily routines and be mindful of your posture. Until your have reset your postural proprioception, it is very likely that you will feel as if you are standing hyper-erect when, in fact, you are merely standing straight.


Unknown said...

Among Yang's ten principles of Tai Chi are "Keep your head erect," "Sink your shoulders and elbows," and "Relax your waist (which really means your hip joints)." While mental state is at the root of good health, good body mechanics is one of the things to be mindful of on the journey.

Darryl Lardizabal said...

Posture is a weird thing of beauty, one thing I've noticed carries to all postures is a mastery of creating distraction - elongating your spine, not necessarily upward, but rather making sure there's spaces in between each vertebrae.

Boris said...

Thank you. I hadn't thought of elbows - it makes sense.

It's an interesting way of looking at it. Thank you.

Franklin said...

Performing Z-health with its emphasis on its canonical "neutral position" has been a great help in improving my posture.

Boris said...

I think finding "neutral" is tough for people that have been doing everything w. bad posture for a long time. At least it's not easy for me.