2014, Volume 10, Issue 1

Postural patterns and adaptations in judo athletes

Wagner Castropil1, Carla Arnoni1

1Instituto Vita, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Author for correspondence: Wagner Castropil; Instituto Vita, Sao Paulo, Brazil; email: castropil[at]institutovita.com.br

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Background and Study Aim: Regular practice results in physiological and postural adaptations that may correlate with a higher incidence of injuries in some sports. The postural adaptations in judo are not well understood. The aim of this study was the common posture patterns and misalignments of high-level judo athletes.
Material and Methods: The postures of 50 judo athletes (23 men and 27 women) were evaluated using a posture grid and plumb line. Full analysis was performed on 37 subjects (19 women and 18 men). This posture analysis method was chosen because it is accessible and can be easily applied by health professionals supporting athletes in the field.
Results: Only one athlete did not have any misalignment. The most common postural patterns observed were flat foot (80%), shoulder lateral asymmetry (70%), winged scapula (54%), and forward head posture (58%), all of which are likely to be related to the repetitive movements and sustained positions that are specific to judo.
Conclusions: This study provides the first complete description of postural patterns in judo athletes. Understanding the unique postural patterns and adaptations in judo will help improve training protocols to enhance performance while preventing injuries.

Key words: injuries, injury prevention, martial arts