The Alexander Technique for Sports & Fitness

Whether you want it to be stronger, faster, or more efficient – your body knows what it needs to do.

As a swimmer I spent many years and a lot of money working on “correct technique”- that which would make me a more efficient, powerful and, ultimately, a faster machine. However, through the Alexander Technique, I’ve come to understand that I had it all wrong.

What was slowing me down was my own tension. It was me getting in the way of what my body already knew how to do. I was a victim of the sportsman’s biggest downfall – I tried to “work” through everything. Work my technique, work my weaknesses, work my skills, work harder, work, work, work! When all I needed to do was stop, and start being aware of my body.

As I gained awareness of my body, I began to recognise where my tension lay. Awareness allowed me to recognise and release that tension; and to permit my body to do what it already knew.

At its simplest level it works like this: try to run a marathon P.B whilst flexing your traps, try to swing a golf club while flexing every muscle in your core, try shoot a basket whilst pushing your chin as far forward as possible, or try swim your fastest 100m freestyle without using your lats – I can guarantee you’ll never produce your best result. And yet, these sorts of habits are evident in just about every athlete the world over.

So where can we witness Alexander Technique in athletes today?  Watch a tension free Roger Federer cruise through his career without injury. Watch footage of Michael Jordan, and admire how his entire body follows the direction of his head. Watch Michael Phelps streamline without sinking in to his lower back. Or ask how Haile Gebrselassie is still breaking marathon world records at the age of 40, and is yet to sustain serious injury.

My belief is this: whether you’re a weekend warrior, a professional athlete, or a state/national institute – if you’re not utilising the Alexander Technique, you’re an idiot.

Your body knows how to do it best. The Alexander Technique simply gets you out of the way.

Jordon Marcus Kelly.

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