Raise your hand if you have every experienced any of the following :
-upper back pain or lower back pain
Ok well now that we ALL have our hands raised, its safe to say that we
all experience some type of discomfort in our bodies at some point in
our lives. Pain as it relates to exercise is sent to our brain by nerves
from our muscles.YOUR JOINTS DO NOT HAVE NERVES IN THEM. They are
articular cartilage which makes the surface of the joints slide on
each other to allow joints to move smoothly thus it has no ability to
send signals to your brain.
The pain you feel in your joints is
not due to the joint itself or the health of the joint. It is due to
the tissues that support the muscle or are supposed to be supporting the
joint. In movement, force is put into these supporting tissues. With
that force the tissues are able to dictate what movement is needed to be
performed. Think of muscles as your body’s shock absorbers. If they are
not working properly, you will experience some "painful" movements and
not as smooth glide in the tissues and muscles.
Now to fix the
issues that we have which how your body absorbs the pressure of movement
depends on a few basic factors that you can learn to practice and adapt
into your lifestyle for better performance in and out of the gym.
Position by definition is defined as what angles are moving or holding
our limbs ?? This means that when I put my limb at a different angle
than you do, I am going to use muscles differently than you will, even
though we have the same bones and the same muscles.s humans,
anatomically we are all generally the same. However, the musculoskeletal
system is designed to work most efficiently in one position for
absorbing or creating force in any movement. This is why emphasis on
correct lifting with consistent and proper form is so crucial. Form
should look the same every time, and should be based on an understand
bio-mechanics of the body.
Here's the problem, position doesn't
start at the gym. No it starts in your life, your work, and how you
stand. Our brains are constantly learning from the information being
sent from our muscles. They are learning what length and tension muscles
should be held at to support us and allow us to do what we need to do,
and also learning where it should deposit scar tissue as a protective
means, keeping force away from tissues and neurologically blocking
communication with areas of muscle.
So for example, if your
constantly hunching over a desk at a computer for 9 or more hours, then
going home to sit on the couch for the night time, chances are your
posture/position is suffering. Your chest is rolled forward and your
back is hunched which causes an imbalance in the length of the muscles.
This will now lead to issues in the gym with overhead squat, handstand
pushup, pullup, pushup, press, or any upper body exercise. The
foundation of your positioning due to hours of bad posture is now being
compromised by your efforts in the gym.
So this happens!!!
Your brain believes that shoulders rolled forward, neck forward, chest
shortened and upper back over-stretched is the normal position it should
maintain. No that your body feels misinformed your muscles become
overly fatigued in areas or simply cannot keep up with the demands of
our workout. The result: PAIN and RESTRICTED MOVEMENT.
The same goes for your pelvis and the angle at which you stand.
As a general rule, the more right angles and straight lines we can keep
when standing/sitting/moving/lifting. There are two positions to
practice to yield the best results of better posture:
1.) Neutral Pelvis Position
2.)Elevated Sternum Position
KEYS TO KEEPING A NEUTRAL PELVIS:
-Stand with your feet hip width apart, feet parallel with each other
and equal pressure between balls of feet and heels as well as between
insides and outsides of feet.
-Keep a very slight bend in your knees.
-Use your hamstrings to tilt your pelvis so that your pubic bone is in
line vertically with your sternum. (note, this should not involve much
forward or backward motion of the hips, mostly tilting.)
-This should make you feel as if you are standing very tall and upright.
-The same concepts can be kept when sitting or lying down.
KEYS TO KEEPING AN ELEVATED STERNUM:
-Engage your lats (latissimus dorsi) to lengthen your pecs (pectoralis major) and your traps (trapezius).
-This muscular action should not move the spine, it should move the scapula.
-An elevated sternum position does NOT involve arching the back.
-If you stand with your back against a wall, pulling your shoulder
blades back and down to flatten them to the wall will accomplish
elevating the sternum.
I hope by reading this you understand
how important it is to be aware of your body positioning. Always keep a
tight core when sitting or standing. Pull your shoulders back and
slightly stick your chest out. Practice keeping neutral pelvis positions
when standing. And as always in the gym practice good form for ALL