Unlock High Performance With a Better Posture
As a sports conditioning professional, I will share with you in this article some basics about how to unlock and improve high performance, by taking care of your posture.
Regardless of the style, dancing will take its toll on your postural alignment and hence on your performance.
Why is posture so important?
Because the body moves, it rotates and flexes optimally. It transfers the forces to and from the ground only when your postural alignment is optimal.
What are you losing by not having proper posture?
If you think you can afford to miss out performing at your best, give a second thought! First of all, you are subjecting your body to repetitive microtrauma. Slowly but surely it is eroding your body with every training session.
Most of us can get away with it for a while. Nevertheless, it’s like taking cash out from a maxed-out credit card. Also, when you lack optimal alignment, the recovery after practice takes place slower. So what I’m saying is that you could be optimizing your results, overall state of health and day to day level of stress by paying some attention to the foundation of performance. That would be optimal posture.
What are compensation patterns?
Dancing is beautifully designed to allow you to move with great efficiency. There is paradox though! By the time you get to that level of mastery where you move perfectly, you’ve accumulated so many compensation patterns!
Compensation patterns appear when something is off in your technique. For example, they could appear due to physical or mental fatigue during your training session. Nonetheless, your body manages, thanks to its intelligence, to still execute the movement. It sacrifices the correct and optimal recruitment patterns of muscles in order for you to perform a technique.
Each time you overuse a muscle (like in a compensation pattern), it gets trained. Thus is stronger than the one which should be balancing it. For example, your lumbar erectors are working harder when you need to hold your partner up. Not only that, but the muscle gets facilitated. That means it will be even easier to activate that muscle and use the compensation pattern the next time you perform the movement.
How to get rid of compensation patterns?
If you don’t address your current imbalances because you think you can still perform in spite of them, they will only get worse. Consider that in order to learn a new technique, to perform it well unconsciously, you need between 300 and 500 repetitions.
You can developed compensation patterns due to anything. For example during your day to day activities if you have forward head posture due to desk work or looking down on your phone. And there are many more examples.
If you have these patterns, it’s going to take over 3000 – 5000 good repetitions to unlearn the bad technique and learn the new one.
These are 3 key points which any professional athlete should know and implement in their practice:
1. Stretching needs
Stretching needs to be done in a scientific manner. They need to be done in the correct order on well-determined muscle groups to restore optimal alignment of the major joints. Like this, it will restore elastic properties to the fascia (a sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue) which binds everything in your body.
Also, if done correctly, it will generate energy due to the piezoelectric effect. Consequently, you will have more energy to invest in your training. Furthermore, you will waste less energy by keeping muscle tone high in certain facilitated muscles, like your lower back muscles.
In short, you need to identify and stretch the exact muscle groups in order optimize your posture and improve performance.
2. Breathing mechanics
Breathing mechanics play a huge role in activating certain muscle groups. Bear in mind that breathing is the number one factor in determining your posture. In fact, your body will sacrifice almost every other body part in order to keep the breathing going. You would be surprised how many elite athletes have improper breathing patterns. Performance greatly improves once you re-train the breathing mechanics.
In essence, exhalation is coupled with going into the fetal position, while inhalation is coupled with the extension or spreading out of the body. So by learning how to take in air correctly and tie it in with your specific moves, then you get more energy in. As a result, you’ll increase movement efficiency. And what makes every champ great is when they make it look easy!
3. Twisting the torso
Twisting your torso has a great effect on your digestive system. Whereas, a high volume of training can take its toll on the performance. It will also affect the health of your natural power plant – an engine or other apparatus which provides power for a machine. It also affects your endocrine system.
Training is catabolic, meaning it’s breaking down your tissue and depleting your energy. Twisting motions determine torso deformation. So by knowing when to include them, you will be able to better integrate your practice and recovery. Thus you will be able to keep your health optimal and your training efficient. Bear in mind that visceral health is vital to muscle function. That means, that the body will inhibit certain muscles in favor of keeping the organs going.
Try to implement all I’ve said!
If the above information seems like the tip of the iceberg, it is! However implementing this to your benefit can be easier than you might think. Even a 3 minute breathing exercise coupled with gentle mobilization of your lumbar spine in a twisting motion can have a great effect. It will lower the effects of stress on your body and improve energy levels. At the same time it will unlock the next level of performance for you.
You could be optimizing your results, overall state of health and day to day level of stress by paying some attention to the foundation of performance, your posture.
Also, if you are interested to find out more about posture, but also about nutrition, you can listen to my podcast here.
If you have any questions on how to improve posture, please leave us comments below.
Costin Glăvan is a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He teaches people how to be in shape, to improve their posture and overall change! He loves changing people’s lives for the better with his motivation and know-how. You can reach to him at [email protected] Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/CostinGlavan/ Website: www.costinglavan.ro