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Cross Train for Better Posture and Performance

posture alignment posture fitness class posture therapy strength training training Nov 06, 2013
Cross Training

Not enough motion or too much of the same, repetitive movements can cause one major issue: postural deviations. For example, because I spent years hunched over a bicycle, along with a desk job, my shoulders and upper back took on a rounded position. This hunched-over position also tightened my hip flexors and back extensors. The result? A forward pelvic tilt.

Clearly, my body responded to the environmental stimulus that I provided. When it notices that I  frequently assumed a forward flexed position, it modified itself so it could stay there. Actually, looking back, I was probably identifiable as a cyclist even off the bike because of my posture. It's evident, then, that stimuli can either help or hurt posture and performance. So, what do we do about it? Cross train! Cross training is a good way to avoid "getting stuck" in your sports position.

So, how do you cross train? Well, when cross training, choose activities that will challenge your body in positions and movements to which you are not accustomed. This will re-engage muscle functions your body hasn't performed lately. For example, I find swimming breast stroke an effective cross training activity because it asks the legs and arms to do something very different from the straight forward and backward movements of many common sports. Alternately, ice or inline skating can also offer lateral motion that many activities lack.

When it comes to musculoskeletal health the phrase - "use it or lose it" - does apply.

 Consider your sport and what movements will best counter your frequently assumed postures. For example, as a cyclist, the front of my body needed to be stretched and the back strengthened. Your postural goal is dynamic balance between the muscles of the front and back of the body and left to right. Balanced muscles create a balanced posture and ideal joint alignment. This translates to more strength and power in your sport. 

Posture Exercise Classes
If you're looking for something new to try, check out my class offerings.

It is the body you bring into your sport that determines success!

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