Be a Better Athlete, Improve your Posture
Posture seems to be such a trivial thing. Parents are great at reminding, “stand up straight” or “stop slouching”. Wise words and sometimes they go unheeded.
Wise because it is important to have good posture DURING the activities that you partake in. More often than not, elite athletes have excellent posture. They stand, walk, run and carry themselves meticulously. However it is when the body is under load, either by training, competing and opposition pressures that their posture has to perform.
What is good posture?
Is it standing up straight, shoulders back, spine erect—looking like you are standing to attention?? NOPE.
There are 2 ways to improve your posture:
1st – stand up ‘tall’. Imagine a piece of string pulling you up from your head. We naturally elongate. You are NOT standing to attention. You are simply standing tall with your shoulders relaxed back not pulled back.
2nd – Have a neutral pelvis. There are 2 ways people stand – first is with the bum ‘sticking’ out’ – many dancers do this because their pelvis is tilted forwards through habit.
The second is people stand with the bum ‘tucked’ in. In this scenario the pelvis is tilted backwards.
Another way of looking at it — Imagine your pelvis to be a fruit bowl that needs a to be kept level. Do not let your fruit-bowl tip forwards (anatomical term -anterior pelvic tilt) or tip back backwards (anatomically – posterior pelvic tilt). When its level it is neutral.
How quickly can you improve your posture?
It takes approximately 3000 reps of motor learning. Motor learning is mastering a task so that the brain does it automatically.This can be achieved if you complete 200 reps per day for 15 days.
Don’t be concerned – you will get through 200 reps quickly. Create cues during the day to improve your posture eg. when checking your watch, seeing yourself in the mirror, reminding team-mates, taping your back, etc.
All these add up. If done correctly within 15 days you will notice a difference. After 30 days it will feel awkward to even slouch.
Good luck and improve your personal best.