Saturday, 9 February 2013

Basic Technique is Key

At this time of year its common for people to start a new exercise regime or sport. Excitement and enthusiasm abounds and many of us want to hit the training with intensity! This is natural and you are to be commended as you have made a conscious decision to achieve your goals. Whether you are looking to lose weight, take on your first triathlon or increase your strength its only human to go for it.
You want results and you want them YESTERDAY!

Totally understand where your coming from BUT when you start any new physical activity its imperative that you fully understand the following:-

A - What you are doing.

B- How you are supposed to do it.

C- Possibly most important of all WHY you are doing it!

Getting the basics down has to be high on your list of priorities. Learning safe and effective technique may take a little while to begin with but once you have them sorted it will help you to reduce your risk of injury and in most cases increase performance as your body adapts to the training stimulus you have undertaken.

There are several ways you can learn the basics and these can vary depending on your personality and your budget. Some people prefer one to one training with a Personal Trainer others like the group environment which is usually a cheaper option. Then you have the home workout crowd who stick on the DVD player and  get the job done.
All 3 options are viable routes to hitting your personal goals but just make sure you get somebody qualified to check your  basic technique first.

Whoever you use to go over the basics with you should be able to get the teaching points across with a mixture of verbal and non-verbal cues.

So don't forget when you go for your next workout stay focused on what you are doing, how your doing it and why!
Be safe / stay active

Monday, 23 April 2012

Posture - Types of Posture - Factors Effecting Posture - Importance of Correct Posture

So for my first blog Posture seemed a good place to start from as it effects all of us in one way or another.
You have probably heard the phrases "don't slouch" or "stand up tall - shoulders back" at least once in your life. Whether it was your parents at the dinner table or a teacher at school we have all been observed at some point sitting or standing in an awkward position. What I am really talking about is of course your POSTURE!

Types of Posture

A - Ideal or Optimal Posture
This posture type is shown in the picture above as A. This is where the gravitational forces are spread equally throughout the body allowing maximum movement efficiency and minimal wear and tear on the body.

B - Kyphotic Posture.
This is an exaggerated curvature in the thoracic region, giving a hunched over look.

B - Lordotic Posture - also shown above as B
This involves an exaggerated curve in the lumbar spine and can give the appearance of a deeper than normal hollow of the lower back.

C - Flat Back 
In this Posture the lumbar curve is reduced hence the "flat" appearance to the lower back.

D - Sway Back
Here the hip joint is pushed forward of the dotted line (plumb line) you see running through each skeleton.

Factors that Effect Your Posture

There are many  factors effecting your posture, some of them more obvious than others. So lets take a look at a few of them.

WORK - Yes! I'm sure most of you had thought of this one already! If you do a job that involves prolonged spells of the same static position such as driving, working on the checkout or using a computer all day then this can start to effect your posture over the long term.

More and more teenagers are having to seek medical advice for back pain and muscle strains. Sadly this is all too often down to lack of activity combined with a large amount of time playing video games sat in prolonged poor postural positions. Don't get me wrong video games seem fine BUT there has to been some weight bearing physical activity going on on a daily basis for their future health.

High heels, no heels, flip flops, hand bags and rucksacks all impose imbalances on various muscle groups around the body and can shift your centre of gravity which in turn puts unwanted pressure on joints and muscles alike.

I love sport with Rugby and Tennis being my favourites. Different sports have focus on different elements of fitness. When you compare the two I have just mentioned it is easy to see that tennis (and lots of other racket sports) can make your muscles overdeveloped in your hitting (dominant) arm and shoulder. In Rugby more and more players both Pro' and amateur are starting to take a holistic approach to their training with core strength and flexibility being introduced to their training regimes in order to aid recovery and reduce the risk of injury.

The Importance of Correct Posture

Lots of people know that poor posture can contribute to wear and tear on the joints and muscles of the body but it can also have an impact on the function of your inner organs. One example of this is the effect of bad posture on the diaphragm . This is the muscle that assists in our breathing and that is why breathing correctly in Pilates is linked to execution of the movements we perform. Better posture means better holding of your body and this helps muscle function more efficiently.

Correct Posture can also give out the signal that you are a self-confident person. So walk tall stay proud!

Look after yourself, stay flexible.
Best Wishes Jim