Millions of sports injuries occur every year in the United States among athletes of all levels and all ages. While it’s impossible to eliminate all of these injuries, it’s important for athletes to do all they can to reduce their risks, so they can stay active and healthy.
A leading sports medicine specialist in Sugar Land and Houston, Texas, J. Michael Bennett, MD, PA, helps patients avoid injuries with preventive strategies and lifestyle changes, including optimizing their posture. In this post, learn how your posture plays a role in injury prevention and your athletic performance, too.
Posture and sports
Most of us know that, in everyday life, good posture is important for keeping our spines healthy and preventing neck and back pain. But in sports, practicing good posture is important for lots of other reasons, too.
Every sport has its own “form,” and nailing that form is essential for performing your best. Good form begins with good posture, regardless of what sport you play.
If you slouch, slump, or let your spine and limbs go out of alignment, it makes sense that your form will also suffer. Think about swinging a bat or a racket or throwing a ball; each of these depends on precise coordination among your joints and muscles, and good posture facilitates that. It’s the same with running, swimming, climbing, and other activities. When you start with good posture, good form and good technique are a lot easier to achieve.
One more benefit: Good posture and proper form make it easier to concentrate on other aspects of your game, so you can perform at your best.
Maintaining good posture is also important for preventing injuries during practice, training, and competition. When your body is aligned, that means less strain on your muscles and joints and less risk of developing both acute and chronic pain. Plus, good posture (and good form) can also help reduce your risks of falls and other sports injuries, meaning more time enjoying your sport instead of sitting on the sidelines.
Poor posture means extra strain on your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. All that strain quickly leads to fatigue, which means you wind up getting tired a lot sooner than you want.
Poor posture can also affect your lungs and how well you breathe. Slouching and slumping can make it harder for your lungs to get the air they need to supply your muscles with enough oxygen and nutrients. Since good breathing is important for all sorts of physical activity, it makes sense that when your lungs are affected, your endurance can suffer, too.
Plenty of sports demand not only coordination but balance, too. Good posture aligns your spine and your limbs to help you balance and coordinate movements more effectively. On the other hand, poor posture can throw off your balance, negatively affecting your performance and even increasing your risk of injuries.
Taken together, all these benefits combine to improve your performance, too. Proper posture aligns your joints, making it easier for energy to be “translated” into efficient movement, agility, and speed. With good posture, you can run faster, throw farther, pivot more quickly, and jump higher.
Enjoying your sport
Good posture offers lots of physical benefits for athletes of all levels, but it offers emotional benefits, too. That's because good posture helps you play better, compete more effectively, and focus on the other aspects of the game, so you can truly enjoy being an athlete.
Get the most from your sport
Good posture is just one way you can improve your game and avoid injuries. To learn what else you can do to get the most from your performance, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Bennett today.