Role of Posture in Athletic Performance

by Jsantos, December 5, 2013

Role of Posture in Athletic Performance

Sports Medicine Naples

At our orthopedic practice in Naples, we are aware and want to make sure athletes get the information they need in order to prevent injuries and perform efficiently. A great percentage of our patients are athletes and we definitively know how important it is to have the proper tools to avoid uncomfortable situations. If you have any questions or want to talk to us, please feel free to always contact us.

Posture and Athletic Performance

Most people have some alignment deviation. As a result, the body does not work at maximum efficiency. It is analogous to a machine. When a machine is properly aligned, the working parts act efficiently. The machine will last much longer than one that is out of alignment. In a misaligned machine, wear and tear on the bearing increases, and stress and strain on the working parts produce general depreciation.

Since our bodies are like machines, when optimal performance is desired, it is essential that you pay attention to the alignment of your body parts. The balance of the muscles acting on any joint or body part affects proper maintenance of alignment.

Faulty posture indicates a shift of the body segment in relation to the other segments. In addition, there is a shifting of joint positions in relation to the normal gravitational line. Under optimal conditions, all body segments are lined up properly so that undue stress does not fall on any particular joint. When there is misalignment, stress is placed on particular joints. For example, if your shoulder drop forward, your head goes back and your pelvis rotates to the rear. If you constantly lean to one side, your pelvis tilts sideways and your spine curves to the opposite side, sloping one shoulder. Therefore, if you assume and maintain an out of line position, your body must adjust the controlling ligaments and muscles. In other words, in one body part is out of alignment, another body part must likewise get out of alignment to balance it. Keep in mind that approximately 75% to 80% of the work of the muscles is involved merely to obtain and maintain joint stability for good joint stability.

A high development of the agonist-antagonist function is essential to the development of coordinated, skilled movement, since antagonists control the speed, range and force of the action of the agonists. This is true of the main muscles involved and of all the stabilizers of the joints that are activated. This includes the stabilizer muscles that hold the joint of the non-moving part in place to allow movement at the other end of the muscle. There must be a good balance between the opposing muscles.

When you have faulty posture, the normal length of the opposing muscles is changed so that if one is shortened, its opponent must be streched or lengthened. Therefore, any skill that you execute is affected by the performance of these muscles. When there is faulty posture, movement is abnormal.

For example, if you have round shoulders, you may have adaptive shortening of the pectorals major and the serratus anterior, as well as tight anterior shoulder joint ligaments. The opposing muscles, the mid-lower trapezius and rhomboids are overstretched. Thus the scapulae will not only swing apart but also rotate, resulting in the lowering of the tips of the shoulders. Consequently, the more muscle mass that is developed, the greater the force is applied to the joint. Because of this, the stress on the joint increases and the imbalance is increased even more.

The key to having a well-aligned and balanced body is to proportionally develop the muscles (agonists) on one side of the joint with the muscles on the othe side of the joint (antagonists). Only in this way will the muscles keep you joints in the natural state and not allow any deviations to occur. Not only will you feel better when you have this development, you will also perform more efficiently.



Orthopedic Corner | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201  Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119

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