Posture in Athletes: How does it Affect Performance?
You might not think there’s a connection between good posture and elite athletic performance, but there definitely is. Everyone should be concerned about having good posture, whether you have elite strength and agility like a world-class athlete, or whether you’re just an ordinary person who participates in recreational activities or a corporate athlete. Anyone who is involved with any kind of activities will be affected by resting body position, and that in turn impacts the way you look and feel, as well as your overall spinal health.
The relationship between posture and athletics
Most sports have situations where various positions have to be shifted at different speeds for different periods of time, and all this is handled by your posture and spine. Body positioning is therefore dynamic, and having good posture can have a major effect on your performance, even the difference between winning or losing. A highly skilled athlete knows how to use their body position so that the greatest advantage can be gained, and energy can be conserved during athletic movement.
In many sports there is built-in resistance from the equipment worn, as well as from opponents. As an example, in football, a player’s spine, neck, and head are affected by the intensity and the contact associated with play. Every sport makes it obvious to us that postural elements have a big impact on how well you perform. Another good example is in golf, where your neck and shoulders will have a major impact on every single shot you make on the golf course.
How posture can hurt your performance
There are also some negative impacts that posture can have on an athlete, as in the case of gymnasts who begin training at very young ages. A child who is only four or five years old might be maximizing their flexibility, but there’s also a built-in tendency to emphasize abnormal body posture. In fact, it’s very possible that you may personally have observed how a young gymnast will stand on the sidelines between events in a posture that features a significantly curved back, or legs that are bowed.
Even when you’re not participating in sporting activities, your body will be changing its form when you’re doing simple things like driving to work, texting your friends, studying a textbook, carrying shopping bags, or looking at your computer. All these things have an effect on your posture, and those effects are carried right onto the field of play, or wherever it is that you’re involved.
Achieving better posture
Here’s how you can achieve better posture:
- your efforts at achieving better posture should begin in your brain because that’s how you will begin to pay closer attention to your body’s position when running, sitting, or standing
- your goal should be to minimize the chance of any injuries at work or during play, and good posture will help to activate muscle groups that are responsible for maximizing speed and power with stability
- it’s always a good strategy to strengthen your core because that will provide you with greater control of your body
- you will need to develop those core muscles which are deepest since they’re the ones responsible for greater stability
- take the time to maintain good posture both before and after your athletic endeavors, so you can help your body achieve more
If you strive to achieve these goals, your body will be in better balance, and it will be better able to access all the components necessary for greater speed and power.