Posture in Sports: Why It Matters and How to Improve It
With the rise of technology, incorrect posture is becoming more and more of a problem. Our screen-attached population settles into their chairs for longer periods of time and their muscles grow increasingly weak, making it difficult for many of us to complete simple tasks. But for those of us who thrive in an active lifestyle—whether that’s through diving, skateboarding or hiking—posture takes on an even more important role. It may be time to pay special attention to standing up straight.
Why It Matters
Aside from the simple fact that slouching can cause long-term pain because of constricted blood vessels and nerves, your posture can hugely affect your performance and endurance during active sports. Research shows that slouching causes unnatural compression to your internal organs and weakens essential systems like breathing capacity and circulation.
This means that simply having good posture can do wonders for athletes. Skaters will be able to get more pop, freedivers can stay under longer and gym rats can push themselves a little harder, all because they don’t slouch. It also keeps the pressure on your joints to a minimum, so you can make sure you’re staying active well into old age.
How to Improve It
The most straightforward way to improve your posture is to be aware of it and correct it when you notice you’re slouching. But this takes time because your body has become accustomed to its usual position. To take extra initiative to correct your posture, here are a few things you can do:
- Purchase a posture corrector and wear it for short periods of time throughout the day. Be sure to give your muscles a break by removing it in intervals.
- Pull your shoulders back into correct alignment. Have someone use athletic tape to tape an X across your back from your shoulders to your hips. Attach the top legs of the X by placing tape from shoulder to shoulder. Wear this throughout the day.
- Wear shoes with extra arch support and ample padding.
- Build your core muscles. Although it may seem like your incorrect posture stems from problems in your back, your abdominal muscles also play a huge role in keeping your spine in line.
- Take up yoga. This popular fitness practice does wonders for your body’s alignment. It also helps build muscle and flexibility, which are vital components to standing up straight.
If you’re someone who enjoys being outside and wants to make the most of your sport, improving your posture is a simple and productive way to maximize performance. With these easy, everyday tasks, you can enhance your enjoyment and experience by making sure your body is at its best.
- Lifestyle Staff