Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Posture + Positioning = Performance

Here's a great article I came across recently:

Fix Your Posture to Maximize Muscle - Bill Hartman PT CSCS, Men's Health Magazine

How can we,  as coaches, use this knowledge to help improve our athletes performance?
Evaluate your athletes for posture and positioning and how it will affect their performance
  1. Take pictures of the athlete in shorts from the front, back and  both sides.
  2. Perform evaluation as the attached article indicates for each athlete and their potential  issues.

Why is posture Important??
  1. The article in Men's Health lists many basic issues relating to posture that we all should be concerned about.
  2. The athlete should be concerned beyond the basic issues the article lists and focus on perfect posture for prevention of injuries as well!
Consider the following benefits of good posture:
  1.  Proper muscle integration occurs since bones and joints are in proper alignment!!
  2.  Reduction in joint wear and tear!
  3.  Decreased stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together!
  4.  Prevents the spine from being fixed in abnormal positions!
  5.  Less energy is expended because the muscles are being used more efficiently!
  6.  Prevents Strain!
  7.  Prevents Backache and Muscular Pain!
Power of Performance is greatly enhanced by the athlete with good posture
  1. Body weight is positioned over the feet at all times allowing for maximum power into the ground.
  2. Weight is over the feet at all times allowing for better hip rotation and consequently better and more precise lateral movement.  Note: Both the above are critical for skilled performance movements, and even more important for the non - gifted
Band strength and stretching for prevention and correction of posture problems
  1. Band neck exercises for forward head - flexion-extension -side to  side - rotation spiral - head chin forward and back  Note: This should help strength and flexibility for better posture of the head ( a 12-15 lb weight) which can greatly affect your movement, efficiency and safety
  2. Band Exercises for elevated shoulder - very common - single arm shrugs  Note: Concentrate on the traps and the serratus muscles
  3. Band Exercises for rounded shoulders - retraction and reverse retraction - lat rows middle and low Note: One of the most common posture issues with those who bench too much and incorrectly form bad posture.
  4. Band Exercises for Hunch Back - Deadlift Note: the previous exercises help with this issue as well
  5.  Band exercises for anterior pelvic tilt-glute bridges  Note: great way to strengthen the lower posterior chain
  6. Band exercises for pigeon toes, and duck toes - squats or deadlifts from toes in - toes out - toes straight ahead
See my band exercise videos at www.youtube.com/user/coachbilljacobs
Coaching Points for Posture + Positioning  for Performance
  1. Posture is one of the most neglected areas of strength training - "emphasis to the extreme will get the dream" Note: Talking about it will not do it.  Buddy Morris, a well known Strength Coach, once said that for every bad habit, it takes 5000 good reps to change the habit
  2. Posture pics are worth a thousand words.  Use your cell phone camera to make the point as you move through the weight room coaching them up!Note: Pics Benching - Pics Pulling ( one of the worst things we all do)
  3. Posture maintained with movement is what we need to focus on for the athlete Note: Functional posture is the key to great movement
  4. Posture or any bad habit needs to be over-emphasized in all ways possible.  Don't tell them what NOT to do.  Tell them how and why to do it right!  Note: Constant Reminders during drills, during exercise, during walking, during sitting will eventually sink in! Great coaching creates great habits!