Elite athletes require intense exercise and colorful nutrition, daily.
High-grade, aerobic exercise requires endurance, which is the result of efficient metabolism.
Intense anaerobic exercise provides strength.
In order to perform at such a high level, flexibility and freedom of movement is mandatory.
To improve performance a program including glycogen maintenance, proper hydration and resistance and flexibility exercises is advised.
Flexibility is linked to recovery from prior exercise.
To support recovery, a selection of botanical anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and proteoglycans, combined with proper hydration and rest is advised
In addition, a series of postural exercises have been invented that help athletes recover and prevent further injury.
These exercise protocols support the natural posture of the body.
Their goal is to restore the natural curvature of the body.
During the course of an athlete’s life the ability to maintain proper posture becomes compromised. Athletes compensate causing structural imbalance.
The goal of a biomechanical exercise program is to reverse that process using the core energy of the body to correct the muscles of the skeleton.
These programs are common in fitness circles and include Pilates, Yoga, Alexander Technique, Core Performance, Scientific Core Conditioning, Functional Therapy, Egoscue Method, Rolfing Structural Integration and Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT).
The most important exercises they have designed are those that strengthen both the large as well as the small stabilizing muscles of the abdomen and back. The purpose of core training is to strengthen the muscle groups that stabilize the skeleton, the platform from which an athlete’s arms and legs move.
Good athletes prepare their bodies by eliminating their weakest links and reinforcing their core or power center.
These exercises have changed the way trainer’s train. Enlightened trainers have learned how to use physical therapy and kinesiology to heal. They have become Healers.
The Pilates Method was developed by Joseph Pilates, who as a child, suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever.
To correct the physical effects these diseases produced, Pilates created a regimen of exercises to strengthened and elongated muscles for the purpose of returning them to normal function..
During World War I, he altered a hospital bed to create a prototype exercise table where patients could begin their recovery while exercising on their backs. This invention would evolve into the Trapeze Table, one of the main components of his method of exercise. He also invented the Universal Reformer, a device equipped with straps and springs to provide resistance.
The primary purpose of the Pilates Method is to experience the sensation and movement from the inside out. His exercises are a series of sequential and carefully performed core movements, each designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles involved. Carried out correctly, these movements increases tone, flexibility, postural alignment, coordination and endurance.
All athletes will improve performance using this method.
The Athlete’s Diet is based on exercise and considers the only good exercise is one that is performed correctly.
Exercise regimens like yoga, Pilates and Alexander techniques require expert teachers. Other exercise programs require trainers to assure correct posture while exercising.
Programs that use exercise precisely to correct posture are reversing the imbalances caused by incorrect posture. The inactivity of certain muscles, cause a cascade of events that result in the sagging of an athlete’s body under the force of gravity. These biomechanical exercise programs have opened up a new direction in healing and pain management. The exercises they devise, stimulate muscles that have been inactive and caused the skeleton to misalign itself.
Programs that use natural posture and breathing techniques to strengthen the body can prevent injury and heal those that exist.
Programs, developed by Chek, Santana, Egoscue and Verstegen, have revolutionized the concept of functional exercise. They use exercise as a method to promote good, healthy posture. They use exercise to realign the skeleton by stretching it back into position. This, they accomplish, by functional exercises.
Functional exercises are a series of gentle stretches, functional stretches. These exercises, together with isometrics stimulate inactive muscles. Once muscle function is restored, they return the body back to its upright position. This restores joint mobility and range of motion.
By correcting muscle imbalances, these exercises improve health. These exercise are recommended for their healing potential and because they help athletes build muscle and prevent injury. Athletes as they age, allow certain muscle groups to become inactive. Exercise can return the body to its correct posture by stimulating inactive muscles.
The Alexander Technique
F. Matthias Alexander was an Australian actor and teacher who developed a method of vocal training for singers at the start of the twentieth century. Alexander focused on breathing and ways to have the mechanism function more effectively. Because of this focus on breathing Alexander’s students improved their respiration. Alexander discovered that breathing and vocalization are linked just as all body functions are linked. Good habits promote good function bad habits cause dysfunction.
The Alexander Technique is a method that has been used for over a century. What began as an improvement in voice modulation became a methodology to re-education the body and eliminate bad habits.
Alexander created a method for learning how to consciously change bad habits of coordination. Coordination according to Alexander, includes movement, posture, breathing and tension. Alexander believed that the mind and body, operated as an integrated entity. Alexander believed that habits, whether physical or mental in nature, were all combinations of both.
He observed how habits of excessive tension and inefficient coordination affect emotions and thought. Alexander evolved his technique from a method of vocal training into a method of breathing re-education and then into a comprehensive technique of psychophysical coordination.
The Alexander Technique does not depend on exercise like Egoscue or spiritual healing like yoga. It does not depend on the manipulations of the body or manual healing techniques like Rolfing. Alexander technique views the body as a set of pressure points to be individually stimulated. A teacher is required to guide a student through proper movement. This includes using proper tension and postural patterns. In this way, the student thinks about the active movement and uses their unconscious intelligence to effectively change their bad habits.
Early in the twentieth century, a pioneer in the field of movement exercise, Ida Rolf, PhD, invented a methodology to restore length to the skeleton.
Rolfe believed that chronic shortening of the body was the result of strains, injuries and bad habits. These events produced compensatory adjustments including the misalignment of bones and joints. Rolfe believed that the body was best organized when it was perfectly vertical and able to withstand the force of gravity.
After many years of trial and error, Dr. Rolf created a ten-session sequence of soft tissue manipulations that patients could use to realign the hard tissues of skeleton and thereby improve its function.
These soft tissue manipulations were designed to free the body from compensations to better supports the skeleton to withstand the effect of gravity. Dr. Rolfe theorized that the use of fingertips, knuckles and elbows when applied to soft tissue would release the inherent tensions of misalignment and returns the body to its natural balance.
Rolfing or Structural Integration as it is called, is practiced throughout the United States. All types of people, including athletes, use Structural Integration.
It is a non-pharmaceutical way to relieve chronic pain or correct a limited range of motion and flexibility in a digit or limb.
The pain can originate in the back, neck, shoulder or knee and can be caused by a host of reasons including repetitive strain injuries, poor coordination, imbalance or the aftereffects of an unhealed injury.
Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT)™.
Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) is a program of exercises designed to correct body alignment. This is done in anticipation and preparation for exercise. All exercise.
MAT exercises support the weakest link in the body. This allows the link to function more efficiently while minimizing pain. Muscle weakness, as opposed to muscle tightness limits the joint’s range of motion.
Muscle tightness is a consequence of muscle weakness. Muscle weakness causes the surrounding muscles to remain contracted in an attempt to support and protect the affected joint. This tightens the muscle and causes a strain on the joint.
These programs strengthen the weak muscles to remove the instability. When the protective contractions that the tight muscle experienced are removed, the joint’s range of motion is increased. These muscle-activated exercises thus result in an increase in range of motion, as well as increased stability.
These programs depend on an increased mobility and joint stability for their success. It is the foundation behind improving joint function and minimizing arthritis. These therapy and exercise procedures provide an approach to achieve proper skeletal function.
Peter Egoscue discovered an important role that muscles play in controlling posture. By strengthening these muscles, athletes improve their health. Egoscue exercises or e-cycersises as he calls them, are self-healing exercises.
In response to a wound incurred in Vietnam, he developed a method to restore posture. Egoscue realized that the absence of movement caused imbalances in the body.
The Egoscue method stresses the return to proper musculoskeletal function. Egoscue achieves this through a series of exercise that strengthen and improve the alignment of the skeleton. Egoscue’s postural exercises are part of a highly effective training program that minimizes the risk of injury.
Egoscue created a series of low-impact exercises to stimulate inactive muscles to realign the bones of the skeleton. These exercises are simple but require a long time to perform. In addition they are needed on a daily basis. None of the positions are difficult to maintain, they just need to be maintained for a half an hour or more.
Egoscue’s method is a true form of preventative medicine and highly recommended by The Athlete’s Diet.
Core performance is an innovative method to improve hea