Last year, when the NBA was huddling together at Disney World ahead of restarting the interrupted 2019/2020 season, RJ Barrett, had plans of his own. The Knicks’ third-overall pick in the 2019 draft, teamed up with skills trainer Drew Hanlen in a bid to improve his balance, footwork, follow-through, and posture. Although athletes have always known that posture contributes to their overall health and wellbeing, it is often the topic of very opinionated and heated discussions. If it wasn’t for the posture corrections implemented by Hanlen, the chances are good that Barrett would not have gone from being a glorified benchwarmer to one of the hottest deep threats on the basketball court in less than a year.
Yes, your posture affects your performance
Whether on the basketball court like Barrett or in any other field, athletes are constantly in motion, switching from one position to the next at almost breakneck speed. By having a good posture, athletes are able to perform very intricate moves, maintain a high energy level, and vary their speeds at the drop of a hat – with great precision and a low risk of injury. A good posture makes every movement more effective. When an athlete has poor posture, on the other hand, more effort has to be put behind a single movement, resulting in a swift energy drain. The more aware athletes, coaches, personal trainers, and sports therapists are of the importance of posture, the better a chance an athlete will have to perform at their peak.
Don’t only focus on your main muscle groups
As an athlete, you undoubtedly know what each of the major muscle groups in the body is used for and how to give them a proper workout. When it comes to enhancing your posture to benefit your athletic performance, however, it is vital to not neglect the smaller muscles in the body either. The muscles in the neck and face are, for instance, often overlooked when it comes to full-body workouts, despite the big role they play in optimizing head and spine alignment. If a traditional workout does not make provision for these and other important muscles, effective at-home exercises can compensate for it. Chin tucks are a simple exercise that can boost posture by strengthening the muscles in the neck, face and back. When performed on a regular basis, these exercises can go a long way in boosting posture both on and off the field or court.
Poor posture has worrisome long-term effects
Poor posture is not fastidious, and it can have a severe long-term impact on your health regardless, of whether you work a nine-to-five office job or are a competitive athlete. In addition to being detrimental to your appearance, enduring bad posture can also result in compromised circulation and muscle pain brought on by added stress that is placed on smaller muscle groups. Other long-term effects of an unfavorable posture include heightened cortisol levels, which can lead to bouts of anxiety and stress, and reduced lung function, both of which can hinder athletic performance considerably. If you don’t make the necessary corrections to your posture, your sporting career and health can suffer as a result of it.
Understanding the importance of good posture and knowing how to improve it can go a long way in boosting athletic ability. Even if you do not have notable posture concerns like RJ Barrett did, you will undoubtedly benefit from posture-boosting exercises.