The Brains Role In Posture: A Neurological Understanding for Coaches

brain science neuro mentorship neurology posture training Jan 25, 2024
Have you ever found yourself frustrated as a coach, tirelessly working on improving your clients' posture or even your own, only to see minimal or temporary results?
The quest for lasting posture change in the fitness and physical therapy industries has been a common struggle.

The Dancer's Advantage:
Dancers, especially ballerinas, are renowned for their impeccable posture. But have you ever wondered why?
This was the exact question I asked myself, so I asked Dr. Google how the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) trains its dancers to achieve good posture and a reflexive and sustainable one. ABT's programs focus on across-the-floor combinations, center barre, jumps, turns, and TheraBand sequences to improve posture, flexibility, balance, and mindful movement."
If we pulled this apart in the brain, this is applied to neurology in an athlete form.

My Neurological Revelation:
My frustration with the fleeting nature of my clientele posture improvement was put to rest when I discovered applied neurology. At Next Level Neuro, we firmly believe that "Everything above the neck affects everything below the neck."
Applied neurology teaches us that posture is a reflexive function controlled by the cerebellum and is crucial for our safety as we move in various ways.

The Cerebellum: A Brief Understanding Of Posture
The cerebellum takes center stage in the intricate control center of body movements. It receives signals from sensory systems, the spinal cord, and various brain regions, blending all motor actions.
This control center plays a pivotal role in coordinating voluntary movements – from maintaining posture and balance to precise speech – resulting in the harmonious rhythm of muscle activity.
However, an inactive cerebellum, triggered by factors like a loss of movement, poor sitting habits, or compromised eyesight, can disrupt this control center. The consequences extend beyond mere inefficiency; it can bring the performance to a halt.
Beyond its role in motor actions, the cerebellum emerges as the leader in posture and balance. The brain communicates through intricate connections to relay information about the body's position, gravity, and surroundings.
This data is the key to adjusting muscle tone and ensuring stability during various activities such as standing, walking, or dancing.
The cerebellum guides us through the intricacies of spatial awareness.
The brain's signals traverse these connections, providing a continuous dialogue about your body's orientation to its environment.
Now, think about my question above: why? Why do dancers have excellent posture?
Dancers engage in complex movements daily – twisting, turning, balancing, jumping – stimulating the brain areas responsible for reflexive posture—their perfect posture results from actively training the brain to feel safe during dynamic movements.

What's Missing From The Fitness and Coacing Industry:
The fitness industry emphasizes posture training that involves methods of conscious effort to correct body alignment. It often overlooks the role of the eyes and inner ears in maintaining balance and certainly the engagement of the cerebellum.
Our visual systems are overstimulated, and the vestibular system (inner ear) is under-stimulated, leading the brain to signal a need to "slow down" or "I feel unsafe to move in my environment."
The vestibular system is the key to reflexively influencing extensor muscles responsible for posture. For ballerinas and gymnasts, a highly adapted vestibular-reflexive system is vital for maintaining balance, posture, and spatial awareness.

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