The next few posts are based on what I learned at a weekend seminar with Mike Roberton. Mike is the president of IFAST and one the top performance coaches anywhere.
If there’s one thing I really enjoy about what I do it’s that the job is so dynamic. And I don’t necessarily mean this in the sense of running, jumping and bounding etc but more in the sense that the information is contantly being refined and new discoveries are being made. For example in last week’s posts I wrote about things you should avoid doing in the gym. These weren’t hard and fast rules that every knows as soon as they step foot in a gym.
Instead these were things that had to be learned through education, through trial and error and sometimes unfortunately by injury. And there were a few things in those posts that I’m sure you were guilty of doing and now hopefully were aware to not do them anymore and the reasons why. As I admitted in the last post I was guilty of making all of the mistakes at some point in my training and later in my coaching career.
But now and I know better. And so do you.
But there is a small but key difference here that is vital to your health and performance. And that difference is body awareness.
What I mean by body awareness is understanding what your body is doing, why it is doing it and how to correct it. Whew! That’s kind of a tall order, Chris! How can you expect that of us?
Well, you’re right. Because if I said to you that are contantly weight bearing on your right leg and shifting away from your left would you know this? Maybe if you stopped to think about it you would. But let’s go a step further.
Would you know which muscles you’re favouring when you shift in this way? Or which ones you are shifting away from? Another way of looking at that would be to try and answer the question ‘which muscles do you need to engage and activate to pick up their share of the weight bearing load and which ones do you need tone down to bring yourself back into alignmnet?’
Ok now that gets a whole lot more complicated, doesn’t it? And if you have access to me I can point these things out and help you correct them.
But what about if we don’t see each that often. How do you go about correcting these dificiencies?
Well it starts with an assessment to figure out where you’re out of alignment. From there it’s a matter of teaching you how to find a neutral body position. Toes pointed straight ahead. Normal arches under the feet. Knees pointed straight ahead. The belt line of the pants parallel with the floor. Slight curve in the low back. Shoulders over the hips and ears over the shoulders. There are other descriptions for proper posture as well but you get the point.
One way Mike described it this weekend was as ‘joints stacked on top of each other’. We want to always strive for maintaining this optimal alignment and posture. In the next post I’m going to go into some more detail as to how you can monitor and check your own body position.
Have a great week,
Chris okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’