By Vince DiSaia
The importance of proper posture is something most of us hear all the time. However, most people think that good posture is only important to prevent pain from excessive sitting, long hours at work, or high levels of stress. While this is true, posture plays a much more significant role in athletic performance.
Our bodies are designed to work in specific ways. Joints and muscles were made to perform specific actions not only individually, but also in conjunction with one another. This symphony of movement allows us to run, throw a ball, and jump without much thought. However, we know that each one of these skills can be improved upon which can make us better athletes. Performing any athletic movement efficiently while maximizing power output requires our bodies to be in a good position. Stuart McGill, PhD, the foremost expert in spine biomechanics, says is perfectly when he wrote in his book,
“No athlete can exert strength if their joints or body position are unstable or the projection of the external force is misdirected.”
This position which allows athletes to deliver properly guided force is what we consider ‘proper posture’. If athletes are unable to achieve or maintain good posture during sport then three things ultimately happen:
- Injury risk increases
- Power output is decreased
- Movements become inefficient
This is the major reason why posture is always important to emphasize not only in our daily lives, but also in sport. The benefits go far beyond just avoiding pain and carry on into actually enhancing performance. Proper posture essentially creates a stable and strong platform from which our arms and legs can create and deliver force. Maximize the stability in this platform and you increase the amount of power that you can create and translate into sport performance.