How Posture Affects Your Strength

Posture Affects Your Strength On And Off The Ice

Human spine left lateral viewYour spine is like a set of building block that have a specific way they should piece together – vertebrae in the different areas of the spine have different shapes to suit their function.

So the spine creates the solid structure, but the muscles and fascia create the dynamic stabilization – like guy-wires on a telephone pole.  Without the support structures there would be no stability.  Now I hope you appreciate the relationship between the two.

Do you remember when I told you before that one of my mentors Thomas Myers (Anatomy Trains) has a fantastic saying…

A movement becomes habit.  Habit becomes posture.  Posture becomes structure.

In other words, if you sit (or stand) with a slouched posture there is a natural tendency to bring the head forward (it is actually extension of your neck, but you would not likely be aware of that).  If you do that hour after hour and day after day, it will be come your comfortable posture.

In fact, trying to sit or stand with a more aligned posture will likely be very difficult as you use your muscles to pull yourself back into shape.  You will fatigue, some of your muscles will ache and you will be fooled into thinking ‘my body doesn’t like neutral posture’.

But there are exercises you can do to improve your posture – like these…

If you can’t see the video in the player above, just click on the link below…
http://youtu.be/B4zR5tBKLg8

OR… you continue with your slouching posture with your head jutting forward; week after week, month after month.  Your body’s response?  It adapts to support that position.  Muscles and FASCIA in the front – chest, abdominals, hip flexors get shorter and tighter.

Muscles in the back – back extensors, rhomboids lengthen out.

Your shoulders get pulled forward and are not only in a weaker position to do work, but they are also not sitting in proper alignment so it is much easier for muscles and tendons to become impinged and irritated.

When an athlete has shoulder pain the first thing we work on is posture.

Your neck is the opposite, it is in constant extension – so the structures in the front are actually lengthened and the tissues in the back get tight and restrictive.  There is strain on your neck.

So there are simple things you can do to improve your posture.  Here are the big three must do exercises from the video.

Big 3 Posture Exercises For Hockey Players

  • BG ‘W’ with neutral spine (you can even put your back to the wall) x 12
  • Shoulder ER at Wall x 12
  • Thoracic Spine Extension on Foam Roll – 3 positions for 4 breaths each

That’s it, that’s all!
Cheers,
M

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