If you've seen the times Mary Cain has run, you quickly realize that she has the potential to set not only every middle to long distance American record but maybe even challenge the world records. Alberto Salazar says she has...
“As much talent as any young athlete I’ve ever seen in running in my life.”
With their long ponytails and soft bodies, racing numbers pinned to their hips, none of the girls looked like much — but Cain, a freshman, looked like less. She wore hot pink shorts and a black sports bra, and her shoulders slumped with the impatient awkwardness of being 15.
An obsessive about form, Salazar said that Cain’s lower-body mechanics were excellent, good enough to make her the best in the world, but that her upper body needed work. In particular, if she wanted to reach her potential, she needed to keep her left elbow closer to her body, swing it straight, front to back, instead of out and across her torso. He referred to the elbow as her “chicken wing.”
The dominant philosophy now is that girls, like all other runners, should train to become very strong by lifting heavy weights.
Lebron James's normal posture is one with his feet turned out, knees rotated outward, shoulders and head rounded forward, and he has hip and shoulder imbalances.
Michael Phelps has one of the worst postures in swimming: posterior pelvis, excessively flexed thoracic spine, collapsed chest, and his shoulders and head are rounded forward.
Tiger Woods has had strong hip and shoulder imbalances for years leading to his injuries. He is usually seen standing on one leg or the other, rarely squarely on both feet and hips.
Peyton Manning's dropped left shoulder causes his head and neck to shift to the right. That along with his rounded shoulders and forward head have lead to his neck issues.
- Tiger Woods: knee, achilles tendon, lower back
- Michael Phelps: back
- Lebron James: lower back, knee, elbow
- Felix Hernandez: back, elbow
- Peyton Manning: knee, neck
All these athletes, including Mary Cain, can correct their postural imbalances with specific posture exercises that restore balance, function, and symmetry to their bodies. Improved posture will lead to more efficient movement, improved biomechanics, increased performance, and decreased chance of injury.
I do believe Mary Cain has the ability to break every American middle and long distance record and set a world record some day, but she has to stay injury free and rise to her potential, and that's all riding on her shoulders.
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