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The Pain Free Athlete: Improve Your Posture Through Better Muscle Function

on May 1, 2013 - 8:47am

Jessica Kisiel

The Pain Free Athlete
Column by JESSICA KISIEL
 
Improve Your Posture Through Better Muscle Function

Have you noticed changes in your skeletal structure when looking in the mirror or viewing pictures of yourself?

Rounded shoulders? Increased or decreased arch in the lower back? One hip or shoulder higher than the other?

These postural changes may be due to loss of function in your muscles. Remember mom's words, “sit up straight!” Go ahead – adjust your body into a better position now. What changes did you make to achieve this enhanced posture?

Did you increase the arch in your lower back to move the shoulders backwards without changing the curve in your upper back? Perhaps you leaned your upper body back behind your hips? If your rib cage remains perpendicular to the floor you likely achieved the posture using your muscles as designed. If your rib cage is pointing upward, there is a good chance you used a compensatory movement in your spine and pelvis to achieve your straightened posture.

Our brain, through the nervous system, directs the muscles to move the bones. If the muscles are too tight or weak, however, they will not be able to respond appropriately to preform the requested action and compensatory movements may occur.

Additionally, the deep postural muscles are generally not under our conscious control. Changing the position of your vertebrae or the arrangement of how the upper arm bone is situated in the shoulder joint has a limited response to mental commands.

Form follows function! Good posture (form) is the result of an balanced skeleton. The position of the bones is dictated by the muscles that hold them. To achieve a strong, aligned skeleton the muscles must be at the correct length and tension preforming the appropriate movements. When correct muscle function is gained, your form/posture will naturally improve.

Posture Fitness Class

Learn proper muscle engagment to improve your postural alignment in Jessica's Posture Fitness class offered Wednesdays, 11:15 a.m. to noon at Blue Sky Pilates. For more information, vist http://www.thepfathlete.com/training/functional-fitness-classes .

Jessica Kisiel M.S., is a Sports Alignment Coach helping athletes of all levels and ages eliminate pain and recover from injury enabling them to return to participation in their favorite activities. She conducts individual posture alignment therapy, sports coaching, group exercise classes and sports technique lessons and clinics. Contact her at 505.412.3132 or jessica@thepfathlete.com.

 


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