31 Oct Plan for your Body Type
Playing the odds is a great way to mitigate injury when you are unsure of your body position. Although an evaluation with a therapist is the smartest move, since they can assess your strength, flexibility and range of motion to give you a more specific plan, we can still make basic generalities.
People generally come in two postures. Flat spine or curved spine. If you stand sideways in a mirror with your lower back exposed it either looks like a straight line down (flat spine) or it looks like a C-shape (curved spine). Your spinal shape is mostly genetic.
Sure, we have fancy terms for all of this but you only need to know the below:
A Flat spine:
Your back looks more like a 2×4, straight up and down over your pelvis. The vertebrae are more in a line, like a group of stacked blocks.
The most common injuries for this type of posture can be minimized by addressing the following (not in order of importance)
Back extension and rotation range of motion
Back body stretching (combined low back flexion, hamstring and calf stretching)
This is because a flat spine is not anatomically efficient for absorbing shock. Lack of a nice rounded lower spine can cause, first and foremost, back pain, among other things. These stretches and range of motions will help lessen the pressures of the muscles on a flat back.
A Curved spine:
Your back looks more like a c-shape
The most common injuries for this type of posture can be minimized by addressing the following:
hip flexor / rectus femoris stretching
Both groups need specific knee and hip stability incorporating core strength.
In fact the foam roller and calf stretcher are two of the most important items you can own as a runner
Although a C-shaped curve is more advantageous, it also has its downsides. ITB tendonitis, runners knee, Achilles and calf issues…these are just some of the injuries more prevalent with a pronounced curve.
Your previous injury pattern is also essential in deciding on a stretching, strengthening and range of motion plan to mitigate injury and to develop speed and strength.
When a therapist has all of this information they can come up with a more efficient warm-up and stretching routine to keep you from injury and to enhance strength.