Dr. Tim Brown is a renowned sports medicine expert and innovator with utility patents, 35 years of experience, and first-hand knowledge of injury-related frustrations. He revolutionized the field in the 1980s with his SPRT (Specific Proprioceptive Response Technique) approach and is now Medical Director for the World Surf League and Sports Medicine and Performance Consultant for Hurley and RedBull. His IntelliSkin technology helps athletes improve performance and recover from injury. His mantra, "Take care of your temple," emphasizes the importance of caring for one's body.
The most common injury in surfing is lacerations caused by the reef bottom, fins, board edge and even the nose. Transcript: "What is the most common injury in surfing? Well, I think you'd be surprised to know that it's not a sprained back or a sprained knee or ankle or even a shoulder. It's actually lacerations. We get cut a lot in surfing. If it's not the reef bottom or rock bottom, then it may be your fins or the edge of your board or even sometimes, unfortunately, the nose. So cuts and lacerations is the most common injury in surfing."
Athletes from various sports share common behavior in terms of movement, with areas that lack movement inhibiting normal range of motion and therefore putting stress on joints and muscles. The two most common areas are the front of the ankle (plantar flexion) and the hips, as well as the rib cage and thoracic spine. These imbalances disconnect the brain from the nervous system to the muscle, leading to injury problems. Transcript: "Hey Pat, thanks for your question, which is since I've seen so many athletes from so many different professional sports. Are there any common behaviors that stand out between them and dancers and emphatic? Yes, no matter what sport and athlete comes from, we tend to have similar problems with regards to areas that lack movement. And those areas that lack movement, also inhibit normal range of motion and therefore, put stress on joints muscles. And So, the common area is that these athletes tend to share with others. NBA NFL MLB PGA, WSL, doesn't really matter. These athletes all have similar balances in the front of the ankle. So their inability to bring their toes towards their knees and flex forward on that ankle. That's called plantar flexion, and then the inability to have full range of motion of the hips that's crucial because those hip muscles are so big. Big and so important to support our knees and our backs and allow for proper movement set in such movements is like they hinge squat, Etc. So those two areas are critical and then the rib cage and the thoracic spine. So your middle back and the ribs that are attached to it. Most athletes have limited Motion in those areas and that inhibits the ability to move. Normally, and therefore, you're going to put stress on the joints and that's when those athletes tend to break. So it's relatively predict. We have these imbalances and the imbalances disconnect the brain from the nervous system to the muscle. We have all kinds of injury problems. So that's my story today."
I recommend a 24/7 awareness of your posture, as well as engaging in activities that strengthen the muscles in the back, open up overused muscles, and stretch the inner body. Additionally, focus on flexing the ankles, moving the hips in different directions, and keeping the upper back and rib cage loose. Transcript: "Hi, Michael question is, do I recommend any training for poor posture? And the answer is absolutely. And it's a kind of a 24/7 bubble of posture that I recommend, that means being really conscious of what you're doing every day in every position that you're in. Also posture has a whole bunch to do with movement to. So, as you move, you also want to be aligned. So that's a different part of Consciousness, but I love to Posture work with breath work because they seem to go hand-in-hand and they feed each other. We tend to really work over work. The front of our bodies, we call them the mirror muscles because that's what you see when you look in the mirror. And so we tend to focus on those muscles, but they already get too much work. Anyways, so we need to open the overused muscles and then tone the muscles that don't get you. So the muscles in the back of our body and I'm speaking in very general terms here are usually weakest and predictable. Mmm. So work on, strengthening your back from the back of your heels to all the way to the back of your neck and then opening up and stretching the inside of your body as well as. And that means like inner legs Etc. Underneath the arms, your lats, your rib cage. That's critical. The three most important places to keep loose the front of your ankle. So flexing forward at the ankles, your hips. You want to be moving those hips. In all different directions and then your upper chest. Like, excuse me, your upper back your thoracic spine and your rib cage, critical to function. Alright. I hope that helps a little bit. There's plenty more to talk about. So if you've got more questions, let's ask."
Surfers have their own coaches and trainers. A focus is put on alignment, breathing, mobility, and stability. Once these are established, surfers can then start a strengthening program. Transcript: "Dr. Brian Cunningham. Thanks for the question. What other types of training do surfers? Do besides surf on a weekly basis? Well, back when I started working with Surfers. It was just surfing. That's all they did. They paddled maybe they swam body served excetera. So they just stayed in the water to do their training. Unfortunately, with the Advent of higher-level Maneuvers and more size and the waves more power in the waves, and obviously a plethora. Injuries Surfers. Now have their own coaches, their own trainers. Certainly on the professional level on the world. Surf tour, almost, everybody has a team around them. One of the things that we promote though is kind of an order of training. We don't get them into strict training right away. We're really interested in in five things. So, first alignment, their posture second, teaching them how to diaphragmatic libri. So breath is so important, obviously. Not only for just performance as an athlete but for long hold Downs. When we're surfing in big waves and you get held down for a long time. Breath work is certainly critical, not only for survival, but just for confidence being out in those conditions. Thirdly, it's Mobility. We look at having mobile hips, mobile ankles, mobile, thoracic spine, and ribcage. Those are areas of critical Mobility so that it protects their ankles knees, low backs. Next shoulders, so that's critical as well. And then we look for stability. Then that's connecting the subsystems. We connect the muscle to the nervous system to the brain. That's critical. That's what creates stability or what we call Dynamic support of the joint. So you have to have your nervous system keyed into your muscular system, so that you can react in good time and having muscles that are balanced versus muscles that are imbalanced, is critical. So, So if we have someone that's got a classical anterior chain imbalance meaning that they're very strong in front of their body, very weak in the back of their body. Not only do they lose coordination strength endurance, but they also increase their chances of being injured, and slowly, and much slower recovery. So once they get stable, then we can get into a strengthening program, but we're very methodical about adding load."
The keys to great posture are standing tall with the back of the head as the tallest part of the body, not sitting or sitting minimally, alignment, body awareness, and keeping joints such as the ankle, hips, and middle back and ribs mobile. Transcript: "What are the keys to having great posture? Well, obviously it's always having the attitude of Standing Tall really important that the back of your head. The back of your skull is the tallest part of your body and what that does is it helps us to think about elongating our spine and every situation another great key to having great posture. Is not sitting or sitting as minimally as possible, sitting is ruinous, to The Human Condition. We were built to move, not sit. Even when we're standing at your new standing desk. You must move. You must go back and forth on your feet to create what we call the physiological pump and that means enhancing circulation through the body. The other thing is alignment, you know, looking at your body in the mirror, maybe, when it's time for Shower or bath get in front of that mirror and looking to check the height of your shoulders. The chest, the hips, do the Knees line up, our the kneecaps lining up and pointing in the same direction what this talks about is awareness, body awareness is really very very important because when we're sitting at a computer for hours on end, we desensitized to our body positions and our body is a thing of adaptation. It loves to adapt to any scenario. So, even working in this position all day long, your body will try and adapt to that. How it adapts to it, is making good posture, almost impossible, because your muscles will stiffen up and shortened to adapt to this new position. So Mobility is key. The most important joints to keep your mobility in our, the ankle, the hips, and the middle back and ribs. If you keep those areas mobile, it's much much easier to maintain and attain great posture."
James Lynch suggests people to get off chairs and sit on the floor instead, as it is much better for their hips. He also suggests doing a 9090 position which helps you name your body up and condition yourself for Jiu-Jitsu, surfing, and other sports/activities. Transcript: "Okay. James Lynch. Thanks for the question. What are some exercises and stretches that might open the hips? It's a great question because all of us has hit Have Hips. Number one and number two, they're surrounded by the biggest muscle groups in the body, the strongest, and most powerful. And they also tend to get very short and I'm sitting in a regular chair today just to demonstrate an example of how they get short. If I turn to the side, you can see the profile here. My hips are in a flexed position your body. Number is all about adapting to what you do. It thinks you're trying to shorten your hip flexors every time you sit. So the body and answer will actually literally physiologically shorten those fibers because it doesn't want you to have to go through. Lengthening them all the time. When in fact, as Surfers are as athletes. We need the lengthen, those hip flexors, not only for power and control of our core, but also to protect our spine, and also our hip flexors are attached to. The diaphragm are one of our main ones are Are psoas muscle is attached to the diaphragm, so it's really important for breathing as well. So I'm going to get out of this chair right now and show you an alternative to sitting in a chair that I use a lot. And what we do is we just get one of these meditation, cushions and put it on the floor. Now, my floor is a little different. I have a Jiu-Jitsu mat underneath my rug here so that allows me well I should say it the floor becomes way more attractive when its cushioned so I don't have to sit in chairs anymore. I can sit on the rug I can sit on this meditation cushion, I can be opening my hips while I'm relaxing or while I'm resting or reading or watching TV or whatever I'm doing so, A really kind of a nice little option for you sitting is to be a floor. Dweller, get off those chairs. Furnitures, killing us. Okay, the next thing I want to do is just show you how I look at the hips when I'm looking at an athlete I'm hoping you can see this. I have my legs at called a 9090 position coach from gymnastic AA, natural fog, Romano created it and it's just an incredible system for you. Name your body up and also for conditioning, as well as for training for Jiu-Jitsu and fortunately training for surfing. It works great too. So this is the diagnostic position that I get my athletes in and I obviously often"