What do the 3 pictures above of totally different sports have in common? POSTURE.
What would happen to the archer if she were slouched over? She would not be able to align her structure and have a stable shooting platform.
The full power of the karate kick would turn into a harmless wobbly top.
The sprinter would not have an effective stride - a waste of his incredible muscle power.
A large majority of athletic events and real life tasks require proper posture in order to be successful. The problem with this is that “posture” is a general term, and every health professional has a different idea on how to improve posture.
Many healthcare providers say that in order to regain and maintain proper posture you need to strengthen weak muscle groups (usually the rhomboids and other back muscles). We believe that this is true, but it’s only a small part of a bigger picture. You could do row exercises until your blue in the face, but if you don’t have a stable frame then you run the risk of overexertion and injury.
Others believe that the trick is to stretch tight muscles and fascia. Again, this is true and can help, but it’s still only a piece of the big picture.
What’s the deal then? What’s the best way to regain and maintain proper posture? The key is to remember that it all starts from the INSIDE - OUT. Start with the inside, the frame, the foundation, and then work your way out. Just like the building contractor who starts with a solid frame and level foundation, you must restore normal spinal structure (your frame and your foundation) BEFORE you worry about weak muscles or tight fascia. What would happen if a contractor build big, beautiful walls on an uneven foundation? That’s right, over time they’d crack or collapse. So thinking along those same lines, what do you think would happen if you work to strengthen your muscles without having proper spinal alignment. It should make sense that it may not be as effective and may even lead to further muscle imbalance.
So while we do recommend a strengthening and stretching routine to maximize performance, it will not be nearly as effective and may even result in further imbalance if you do not have a stable frame to support the rest of your body. The bones in your spine should stack one on top of the other, no different than a stack of blocks. If for whatever reason one or more of those segments shifts, it leads to instability and premature wear and tear.
Let us show you how to develop and maintain normal spinal structure so that you perform optimally and maintain muscle balance leading to perfect posture!
Dr. Jason Yakimishyn is a chiropractor focusing on NeuroStructural Correction. He is the co-owner of Foundation Chiropractic Co., located in Oakville, Ontario.