Nov 30

Tip of the Month – November 2019

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Coach Monika Says…

Assessing Bad Posture to Avoid Lower Back Pain

Bad posture and lower back pain were discussed in the October Newsletter. Here is the follow-up so you can check and/or assess your athletes’ core and back strength. Coaches can also incorporate these into Warm-up, Cool-down exercises, and/or Conditioning program. They should definitely do so if athletes are showing signs of ‘poor posture’ and/or complain about lower back problems.

Test Your Athletes and Yourself 

Equipment: Mat or Floor

1. Back to Wall Exercise     

Source: The Kalos Exercise Collection; Developing physical literacy for children and youth through FUN, fitness, and fundamentals; Ballet for Athletes: Modified exercises for cross-training

Specific Exercise Focus:

  • Body and head awareness (body position and movement, positional alignment, body incline in supine, head centered, arm extension on floor, legs bent, feet flat and forward) 
  • Balance and control (weight distribution, head, shoulders, back, extended arms)

Start Position: Assume upright standing position against the wall, feet slightly apart, heels against the baseboard, back and head against the wall, face forward, arms extended at sides by body

Action: Assume Start position, tighten the core, bend knees so thighs are at a 90-degree angle, partner checks for ‘hallow’ of the back against the wall [space between back and wall – measuring stick between back and wall – stick hand between space]

If ‘hallow’ exists – push back and head  ‘flush’ against the wall, hold 8 counts, 15 repetitions, and relax

Finish: Stand upright, arms relaxed at sides by the body, and relax 

2. Horizontal Plank

*Testing core strength


Specific Exercise Focus:

  • Strength (body position and movement, spine/core, hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, ankles, feet, prolonged held position)
  • Flexibility, suppleness (body position and movement, trunk, hips, pelvis, groin, front of thighs, lower part of legs, feet)

Start Position: Assume prone position on the floor (face down), legs extended, feet together on toes, head aligned with back and looking at floor, bent forearms, hands/palms flat on the floor, fingers forward, back aligned

Action: Assume Start position, tighten the core, pushing with hands against floor, elevate body to horizontal position above floor, shoulder to heel alignment, head centered, maintain positional alignment, hold 8 counts, lower body to floor, 8 repetitions, and relax 

Finish: Prone position, legs extended, feet together, arms extended out in front of body on floor, and relax 

Note: Exercises can be used as part of Warm-up, Cool-down and/or Conditioning program


Das Neue (2019, #38, September 14). Unser Rücken geht zum TÜF (our back goes to TÜF*], p. 50. Hamburg, Germany: Bauer Vertriebs KG. Das Neue. 

Schloder, M.E. (2018). The Kalos Exercise Collection. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: www.coachingbest.com

Schloder, M.E. (2017). Developing physical literacy through FUN, fitness, and fundamentals. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: www.coachingbest.com

Schloder, M.E. (2016). Ballet for athletes: Modified exercises for cross-training. Calgary, AB, Canada: Arête Sports. Website: www.coachingbest.com

*TÜF is the German TÜVs = Technischer Überwachungsverein [Technical Inspection Association] are German businesses that provide inspection and product certification services

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