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Create a Posture Practice

Fit for the 21st Century

Trunk Stability in Elite Athletes

Why All Training and All Fitness is not the Same

Research continues to validate the concepts underlying the StrongPosture® rehab protocols.

A recent article, “Sports-related testing protocols are required to reveal trunk stability adaptations in high-level athletes (Gait & Posture 2016)”, looked at the differing effects of core training for athletes engaged in different sports.

Their findings:

Elite athletes of different sports have different relative strengths of different muscles. This likely explains part of why Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan played mediocre baseball. In addition to having basketball player’s neurologic reflexes to jump, his muscles literally were trained to work differently than the precision required to hit a baseball with a bat.

Balance and Stability: Judo vs. Kayaking

  • “ Sports with large balance demands induces specific trunk stability adaptations”
    * Judo practitioners showed better trunk responses against lateral and posterior loading.
    * Kayakers showed better trunk balance control while sitting on an unstable seat
  • THEIR CONCLUSION: “Sport specific trunk stability adaptations are not revealed trough nonspecific tests.”

StrongPosture® Explanation:
“The body gets better at doing whatever you teach it to do” 4th Posture Principle, Stand Taller-Live Longer.

There’s more to motion than muscle, but muscle is what physically drives the bone from point A to point B. Drilling down, on a cell and tissue level:

  • Muscle function depends on the contraction of the muscle fibers within the muscle.
  • Each individual muscle fiber (aka muscle cell) contracts in response to a nerve impulse.
  • Muscle fibers contract fully, or not at all.
  • Each sports training creates unique patterns of stabilization and control, which recruits unique populations of muscle fibers throughout the whole body, in all 4 PostureZones.

StrongPosture® Corollary: Personal postural distortions in response to injury and habits (i.e. tech-neck) is a common cause of “poor form”, and requires focused training towards objective functional symmetry to avoid compounding postural distortions with sport specific trunk stability adaptations.

Clinical: When assessing athletes for recurring injuries, look for patterns of asymmetry in their posture picture AND correlate with gait AND the activity in question. The key issue is often where the functional compensation and structural adaptation(s) of static postural balance and dynamic motion meet.

Barbado, D., Barbado, L. C., Elvira, J. L., Dieën, J. H., & Vera-Garcia, F. J. (2016). Sports-related testing protocols are required to reveal trunk stability adaptations in high-level athletes. Gait & Posture, 49, 90-96. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.06.027
Shumway-Cook A, Woollacott MH. Motor Control: Translating Research into Clinical Practice, 4th ed: Lippincott; 2012.
Weiniger, S, Stand Taller Live Longer, BodyZone Press, 2008.


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