form. Body building competitions require their participants to face many extremes in order to be the best of the best. But even the most rigorous of training may not be enough to perform at the top if posture is not taken into consideration.
Certainly, a balanced posture exudes confidence and excellent physical form, two elements upon which an overall score is calculated. But the benefit of strong posture begins in training, both for injury prevention and achieving balance in muscle development.
“Proper posture of the body creates equilibrium, without which, physique training can lead to the shortening of muscles and ligament injury,” says Dr. Kenneth Bryan, personal trainer and chiropractor to one of Brazil’s body building champions (pictured left). “If you are unable to access the full range of motion in the kinetic chain, you cannot take advantage of the proper mechanics that allow you to train at your peak. When a fitness competitor comes to the clinic for adjustments or posture rehab, I give him that advantage.”
Tyler Tsujimoto agrees that posture exercise is crucial to training safely and effectively. He is a personal trainer and StrongPosture® coach to several body sculptors on local, regional, and national level. The StrongPosture® model outlined by posture expert, Dr. Steven Weiniger, asserts that by strengthening balance, alignment, and motion, one can utilize his body with increased range of motion, fluidity of movement, and, therefore, perform with greater efficiency and reduced risk of injury.
“I am a huge fan of the pelvic tuck and have implemented it with my bodybuilding clients in multiple ways,” he says. “You build a much stronger core foundation by focusing on posture. The stronger your foundation, the more receptive your muscles are in your extremities. This makes muscles easier to sculpt and train them how you want them to appear.”
In addition to preventing injury and improving training capacity, posture plays a critical role in stage presentation. With good posture, you appear taller, leaner, and can move more gracefully.
Posture is a big factor in bodybuilder performance, ability to hold poses and overall endurance.
“When a competitor is locked up and can’t maintain an appropriate posture, he accentuates these differences when he poses – or fails to maintain a pose,” says Dr. Bryan. “Furthermore, judges look for dynamic movement patterns with contraction. The more flexibility you have under these contractive positions, the better the judges will react. You can’t get any more basic than that – posture is the gateway to the physical realm.”
While body builders succeed through the supervision and training of the nutritionists, personal trainers, and posing coaches, focused training on posture exercise to prevent injury and enhance performance is just now beginning to gain momentum in the sport. Because of his success in working with body builders on their posture, Tsujimoto hopes that posture will become a greater focus in that niche.
“Posture greatly impacts everything about this sport,” he says. “When your body moves more efficiently with less wasted effort, everything becomes more enjoyable. The amount of time and effort that you need to do your lifting and cardio becomes less burdensome because you move with less pain. Self confidence is enhanced with a stronger posture in everyday life, but it really comes out on stage. There is a lightness to the individuals that have stronger postures – they have more fun, they move and flow from one pose into another more effortlessly. Functionally, posture strengthening exercises are beneficial to training and endurance. Aesthetically, with proper posture and greater control of your body’s movement, you’ll get much better scores.”
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Dr. Kenneth Bryan is a chiropractor and certified personal trainer practicing in Cuiabá, Brazil. http://www.quiropraxiacuiaba.com/
Mr. Tyler Tsujimoto is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist in Midvale, UT. http://www.newstarfitnessnutrition.com/