Even if you have no intention of ever running a 100 meter dash, you stand to gain a great deal by trying some of the exercises of world class sprinters. You might think track exercises would be strenuous, but they’re not. Many of the exercises require no running at all. Instead, they focus on refining the way the athlete moves. They are repetitive exercises that emphasize posture, body control and core strength. It’s like finishing school for athletes.
First off let’s be clear that contrary to what you might think, keeping your shoulders back is not the most important part of good posture for sports or any other application. The most important thing you need to understand is that perfect posture actually begins at the base of your spine. There between your hips is the largest of all the bones in your spine. It is actually 4 bones fused together and contrary to what you might think, this bone actually curves forward. It is called the sacrum and by using the muscles surrounding your hips you can adjust its angle to set the pitch and balance of your entire body.
To correctly position this primary posture bone all you need to remember is “Suck and Tuck”. Suck in your stomach and tuck your rear end in underneath your hips. Next are your shoulders. Keep your shoulders back, but also in a low and relaxed position. You don’t want your shoulders up around your ears. You want them to be back and relaxed. Always remember “Back and Relaxed”. It’s kind of like getting ready to have your picture in your bathing suit. You want to look good so you “Suck and Tuck” through your lower abdomen, then shoulders are “Back and Relaxed and there you go, Bob’s your uncle Fanny’s your aunt, you look 10 pounds lighter and 5 years younger. Always remember before and most importantly during track exercises, “Suck and Tuck” and “Back and Relaxed”.
The next thing to understand is that practicing entry level track exercise can even be done inside your house and they give you a dynamic way to develop great posture and core strength. Whether you are an elite athlete or just someone interested in good health, practicing these type of simple speed and agility exercises consistently over time will lead to better results.
Please check back for new posts descibing the beginner track exercises, but for now, give the “Suck and Tuck”, “Back and Relaxed” posture a try next time your go for a run or pose for a picture and let me know how it goes.