During your average college basketball game, a player can cover as much as 6 miles sprinting, back pedaling, sliding and cutting. In order to do this at high speed for the full duration of the game, the athlete has to be in peak physical shape. Although athletes are typically well-versed in the ins and outs of general fitness and sports nutrition, there is one area of training that is often overlooked – posture. Apart from the constantly changing body positions during intense physical activity known as dynamic posture, attention also needs to be given to an athlete’s everyday static posture.
Performance directly linked to posture
During game time, athletes are constantly moving, having to change the position of their bodies at the drop of a hat. Good posture will allow the athlete to perform these complex moves while maintaining a high level of energy for the duration of the game. In addition to this, good posture can also reduce the amount of stress the joints and skeletal structure have to endure, allowing the athlete to perform at maximum capacity for longer periods of time. On the other hand, however, poor posture can hinder performance on the court or field by increasing fatigue and injury risk.
Don’t neglect smaller muscle groups
In the high-tech world we are living in, even athletes spend increasing amounts of time in front of an electronic device, which can result in poor posture. The added strain on the neck and back can result in pain and discomfort, and has a big impact on athletic performance. Head and spine alignment can be improved with simple at-home exercises such as chin tucks. By performing this basic exercise, an athlete can improve their posture, strengthen their neck muscles, and alleviate muscle tension.
Make a change before it’s too late
Poor posture can have a lasting effect on not only the physical performance of athletes, but on their general wellbeing as well. The human body is designed to function at its best when all its segments are well-balanced and properly aligned. When the body is in such a state, an athlete can enjoy improved circulation, unobstructed nerves, and muscles that operate at their full capacity. Poor posture can also lead to compromised lung capacity and increased spells of anxiety and depression. The sooner poor posture is corrected, the lower the risk that it will have a negative long-term effect on the athlete.
An athlete’s posture can have a significant impact on their performance. By ensuring the body is well-aligned, athletic performance and overall wellbeing can be improved considerably.