365 Ways #145–Reverse performance training

#145--Postural Correction Exercises should be included in an athlete’s program in the late competitive season. Executed properly, this training phase will prevent loss of performance secondary to altered structural alignment, changes in length/tension relationships, and abnormal joint forces. For most athletes, the movements prescribed will be ones which counter the flexion patterns involved in their particular sports. Swimmers with lots of internal shoulder rotation will need external shoulder rotation exercises. The quad/hip flexor dominant patterns in cycling and running will necessitate development of the hip extensors, specifically the glutes. And athletes with preferential recruitment/facilitation of one side of the body compared to the other (i.e. tennis, baseball, etc) will want to add specific exercises which target their non-dominant side and/or direction of rotation.

Of course, flexibility training and other forms of body work must be included, indeed prioritized, in any successful corrective exercise program. Focus on the muscle groups most used (i.e. abused) during the sport. Do this before the activity with a dynamic stretching protocol to ensure the athlete doesn't train in a position of poor posture, further ingraining this faulty position into the neuromuscular system. And do static stretching after to down regulate the neuromuscular system and "teach" the body optimal length/tension relationships. Failure to do so will result in a sub-optimal relationships between the athlete and his/her body.

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