Ski Fitness – Part 1: Posture and Breathing

Welcome!

What we’re going to talk about today is one of the most foundational skills, I guess we’ll call it that, to any activity, you’re going to do. And that is being able to maintain the position that you want, that you desire to maintain, regardless of what’s going on. We call that bracing, and the foundation of bracing is posture. Also dialed into that is breathing, so we’re going to look at all those three things today. 

This is going to be a very high-level overview!

But again it’s foundational to any type of sports activity or physical pursuit you’re going to be doing. Maintain the desired position, breathe effectively and overcome the forces that are happening.

So we’re going to do that in a couple of different ways. I’m going to teach you proper posture. I’m going to teach you how to breathe while bracing, and we’re going to look at a common exercise such as the plank, and I’ll show you that toward the end of this video.

All right, the posture.

Now, a lot of people when they see proper posture they stand up straight which is great. We want to try and stand as tall as we can, but a lot of people go like this.

Typically we spend a lot of time at a computer. We’re like this. Then, we stand tall. But without over exaggerating! A lot of people actually pull the rib cage down. and get them into proper alignment. So, if we do a straight line from the ceiling down your plumb line it’s going to go through the earlobe, this little poop on your shoulder, your hip just behind your kneecap, and just in front of your ankle.

So all those should be aligned. If our butt’s sticking out, or hips are swaying forward, we want to align those parts, and again this is a very simple process but I’m not going to get too detailed about the specific alignment details. 

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The next part is breathing.

Now, when we breathe you might think of yoga breathing for example. And it’s nice and relaxed: three seconds in, three seconds out, and your belly rises and falls and you’re literally lying on the ground relaxing. 

That’s awesome for relaxing. However, when we’re doing something active we need some activation through our core to be able to maintain that position otherwise we just slump and gravity takes its toll.

If we’re carrying something, we’re doing something, it pulls us out of position so we have to be able to maintain our posture and breathe our foreign pelvis.

And the best way to do that is when you stand up tall, put your hand in your belly, and just cough. As soon as you do that you’re going to feel that your pelvic pulls into position and the core muscles activate which is great. 

What we’re feeling now is some good tension through the body!

But not over or excessive, we’re not like this, just enough to hold us in the position. We can still move freely. Now when you breathe the tendency is to relax your core.

Maintain that posture, brace, and then breathe into what I call the propane canister. Think of the propane from your bbq. The canister is the same height or the same size whether it’s full or whether it’s empty. 

So, you’re going to set the canister and then you’re going to breathe in there. The first third of your breath fills the canister.

The second third of it starts to increase the pressure in that canister and you might feel the pressure spread around to the low back. Some people say breathe into your kidneys. If we keep breathing in for a full deep breath, the third phase is our rib cage expanding because the lungs are expanding. It stretches the rib cage but we’re still maintaining that tension through the core. 

The “stress breathing”.

A lot of people, the first thing they do is go and they breathe through the chest. And, their chest rises and falls, their shoulders come up and we call it “stress breathing”. And, your body treats that very differently. So, up tall, set your canister, breath into the canister.

When you exhale there’s still tension there, and you maintain your position. That is a good practice thing to do. You can practice standing, you can practice laying down. I’m going to show you how you can practice doing one of the most common exercises – plank.

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