Posture is Key for Speed

By Diane Vives, M.S., C.S.C.S., N.S.C.A.-C.P.T., F.M.S. – September 1, 2016
Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

When you see someone who moves very athletically, and you observe them getting ready to jump, sprint or perform even a speed squat it’s evident they work with an efficient posture. They have fluid positions during the movement and continue with proper form by finishing it with a good posture. In order to create this posture, they must have good awareness of their torso position and be able to resist unwanted movement. This is key to developing your best mechanics for any and all of these types of dynamic and locomotive activities. In these following exercises, you can develop the functional strength while increasing that positional awareness. We start in a supported position on your back, move to a suspended position for a higher level challenge, and then finally use that functional strength and position awareness in a vertically stacked position to make sure you can own that posture in a more functional movement that is challenged with a load.

Keep reading to try this workout!


1/ Dead Bug Variation

Purpose: Focus on setting a neutral position with your pelvis and your rib cage and then maintain that static motor control as you challenge it with an upper body movement.

• Start lying on your back and then reach your fingers and soles of your feet toward the ceiling so that your arms and legs are perpendicular with the ground.
• Slow and controlled lower your opposite arm and opposite leg so that the are just above the ground.
• Make sure nothing in the torso position changes and then return to the start position.
• The arm and leg remaining in start position should also not move while the reaching limbs are in motion.

Tweak down: Bend the knees to shorten the lower body lever arm and reduce the intensity.

Keep reading for the next move!


2/ Plank Diagonals

Purpose: Focus on static motor control and maintaining torso and pelvic position during the opposing limb movement.

• Start in a plank position on your elbows with feet at hip-width apart with toes pulled toward shins.
• Using slow controlled movement, lift the opposing arm and leg just off the ground. Make sure not to lift higher than shoulders and hips so that you do not collapse your torso or hip position.
• Also be conscious of maintaining head and neck in line with torso.

Tweak down: Just lift one limb at a time to challenge the plank position.

Keep reading for the next move!


3/ Farmer’s Walk with One Load

Purpose: Focus on setting and maintaining a natural and neutral posture with the rib cage stacked over the pelvis as well as maintaining hip, shoulder and ear alignment.

• Start standing in tall posture with the body properly stacked.
• Take short steps with a consistent pace, completing a figure-8 pattern around cones that are approximately 5-10 yards apart.
• If you begin to fatigue and lose posture or position at any time, stop that set at that point. If you begin to lose your grip, stop at that point.
• Complete as many trips around the cones as possible while maintaining perfect posture and consistent steps up to a total of 10 trips max.
• Weight in sandbag should be challenging and approximately 25-35 percent of your body weight.
• Make sure you are breathing naturally and can hold a conversation during this exercise.



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