Posture is a key element to creating and achieving an aesthetic and well functioning body that we train so hard in the gym for. As aspiring or qualified personal trainers, we must always be aware of posture in the gym with our clients and ourselves, so that we are able to perform exercises correctly therefore pushing ourselves towards our goals.
As part of our Personal Training education, we learn what posture is and what exercises to use to help adjust and maintain correct posture. We learn the basics of correct posture, how many of us know what incorrect posture looks like and how to treat it? This is why we study Sports Massage Therapy.
We want to introduce you to some common postural deviations that a Sports Massage Therapist is taught to notice, understand and treat. Sports Massage Therapy is a key way we can further ourselves as personal trainers so we can offer a complete service to our clients.
The most common postural deviation is called Hyperkyphosis or Upper Crossed Syndrome. It simply means hyperkyphotic spinal position (where the spines normal curved position is comprised of the thoracic region being flexed) is combined with protracted shoulders and a forward poking head. This means that your thoracic region of your back in overactive leaving a rounding of the shoulders. This can be caused by many lifestyle factors as well as incorrect training, something we don’t always notice as personal trainers.
Another common postural deviation is Hyperlordosis or Lower Crossed Syndrome. This simply means that the person has an anterior pelvic tilt (where your pelvis is tipped to the floor making the Glutes appear tilted upwards) which can therefore feel like a tightening of the hamstrings. With the stretch on the rectus abdominis due to the anterior pelvic tilt, we can see the body compensate by lifting the origin of the ischium therefore its can contribute towards the hamstring feeling tight.
Our last common postural deviation that we are taking a peek at is Slumped Posture. Many of you will have heard of this one and may even suffer from it yourselves. This type of posture is most noticeable when sitting. Slumped posture is a combination of hyperkyphosis (as discussed above) and hypolordosis (an exaggerated lumbar curvature in the spine) however when looking at a client with slumped posture you will see no second curvature, like the body is returning to the fetal position. We can define the characteristics of this postural deviation as a visual lack of tone in the muscle area as the body attempts to relax the muscles and relies on the skeletal system to take the strain.
These postural deviations can affect our clients posture causing over and under active muscles, increased stress on joints, increased risks of aches and pains and increased risk of injury etc. So our bodies look for ways to compensate these postural deviations by using synergists rather than prime movers to create certain movements and in the long term affect our gym mobility. This is where Sports Massage Therapy comes in. It allows us to have a positive influence on these dysfunctions or injuries and help clients outlook and overall well being improve. As a Sports Massage Therapist, you can assist, help correct and improve a client’s muscles. You will aid their movement, increase their flexibility, relieve their tightness and assist in their muscle deviations through a variation of massage techniques.
If you are a personal trainer looking to give your clients the complete package of wellbeing, Sports Massage Therapy is your next stage of education. This course allows you to treat your client with massage and tailor your training program exercises in the gym to suit your client to a more advanced level.