There are those
who have characterized posture as "the
constant struggle to remain erect against
the force of gravity." Aristotle
saw Homo Sapiens as a "mass
of matter". Ida Rolf saw us as an "energy
field". In both viewpoints, the greater
and more overpowering force is that of
gravity. It is our constant goal, however
momentary, to push away from this incessant
force and fly, unencumbered from the
earth's force field. To run. To glide.
Your posture has
a lot to do with how easily you move.
There are three factors
for maintaining balanced posture which
you should be aware of:
2. soft tissue integrity
3. neurological control
Studies show that
when these three factors are in harmony with
each other, there occurs what is known as "intrinsic
equilibrium" or "tensional
Your skeletal system contributes to your
size and shape. Problems can develop
when there is asymmetry of shape or changes
in joint function, reducing mobility
and creating motion fixations (stiffness
and decreased range of motion).
Soft tissue integrity
is what holds you together and allows
you to move. If
there is a shortening or weakening of
the connective tissues (muscles, fascia,
tendons and ligaments), then your posture
is altered and function is impaired.
With neurological control, you have a
complex alliance of several neurological
factors, including reflexes, pain, learned
behaviors and acquired habits. Add to
this a history of injuries, occupational
stresses and psychological makeup, and
it is any wonder you can function normally.
Another postural factor
you must be aware of is the influence
of your spinal curves. The four normal
curves of your spine create a biomechanical
advantage for shock absorption. Studies
have shown that "optimal balance
of these physiologic curves creates effortless,
non-fatiguing posture that is painless
to the individual." Walking,
standing, jumping, twisting; anything
we do in an upright position will be
more efficient and allow for greater
endurance in all endeavors.
Finally, as a golfer,
you must consider the forces you create
in your spine and joints with each swing.
The wear and tear on your joints is only
magnified when there is imbalance or restriction.
Strategies abound on how to prevent injuries
and improve performance, but certain principles
remain constant: maintain a properly aligned
spine, stay flexible with daily stretching
of all muscle groups, make sure you are
adequately hydrated and eat appropriately.
Watch your posture, particularly during
the mundane actions like sitting, lifting,
and bending. The influences that affect
your golf game do not end at the 18th hole.
They are with you 24 hours a day. Your performance
will benefit, however, if you consider your
posture and your habits away from the golf
course, as an integral part of your training