Optimizing Daily Functional Movement & Performance Training
Whether you are (or are working toward) moving and feeling healthier or trying to increase your performance as an athlete, you should consider your posture and how it effects the execution of your biomechanics, physiology and mental health.
Optimal posture allows for optimal movement, which places minimal stress and strain on supporting structures and maximizes biomechanical efficiency. This reinforces musculoskeletal balance and optimizes postural stability which helps stabilize your center of gravity and protect the body from injury.
Postural length/tension muscular deviations may be caused from repetitive motion from both everyday use and athletic training. For example, whether you sit all day or run repetitively you may suffer from tight hip flexors. If constantly left in the shortened tight position (and not lengthened back to its optimal position) the muscle will begin to shorten and feel like it’s tugging and pulling which decreases the range of motion in the joint and possible other joints and may result in pain.
A strong muscle is one that can lengthen to its full capacity and shorten = POWER & STRENGTH!!! When a muscle is left in a chronic shortened position it may test strong or weak. In the case of athletic performance, it usually tests strong, meaning it is conditioned and strong within the range it can access, but eventually the range will decrease and power will be lost if full range of motion is not being used. As you lengthen the muscle and fascia, the newfound range needs to be trained for strength and muscle coordination in the functional movement patterns – push, pull, hinge, lung, squat and gait.
Proprioceptively, when you gain new range of motion in joints and flexibility in muscles, the brain senses change and adapts by sending neural messages to the freed area. Circulation will increase in these areas though the pumping action of the functional movement patterns. To further stimulate linking the brain and body, I include movement in all planes of motion. Your body is multi-dimensional and so you should be moving in multiple planes – frontal, sagittal and transverse planes and include using the body/brain in supine, prone, and side lying positions. This helps build neural pathways, increase proprioception and balance.
The physiology of breathing is important to everyone whether you are an athlete or desk sitter. It is by far the most prominent postural disfunction I see in my practice. When posture is less than ideal the ribs/chest drop down and the head falls forward off the spine. Try to take a deep breath here – not so easy. Now sit up straight, feel your head come back on top of your spine and take a deep breath – feel how much more air you can take into your lungs.
The forward head posture doesn’t allow for optimal lung utilization and the dropped rib cage compresses the stomach, liver and pancreas, may contribute to gastric reflux and thereby alter your optimal physiology negatively. Also note that when you feel well mentally you feel like you’ve got your game face on, and can face almost anything. When you feel less than perfect, everything is less than perfect all around you. Your thoughts drive your physiology, so stay positive and think positive – no stinkin thinking!
Remember your intention or goal should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Goals are personal and there are 8 bio motor abilities that should be rated from most important to least for you to develop a program that will have a positive outcome. They are STRENGTH, BALANCE, FLEXIBILITY, COORDINATION, AGILITY, POWER, SPEED, and ENDURANCE.
For more information feel free to contact me at email@example.com, or call 519-716-0578.
Susan Nash B.S., B.A.
Integrated Movement Specialist
Holistic Lifestyle & Mindset Coach
Fascial Stretch Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor