Good Health requires Good Habits. Posture is a priority habit. Posture establishes the framework upon which everything else is built. If the walls of a house are not aligned properly, it’s hard to fit everything else into place. The same it true with our bodies. As our posture begins to collapse, everything else eventually collapses with it.
We all have our little annoyances in life. Those “fingernails on the chalkboard” that drive us crazy. Bad posture does it to me. Ack!!! I can walk into a gym and detect bad posture across the room the way mothers detect a bad diaper. That’s it! Yes. Bad posture stinks like a loaded diaper! It’s painful to see. When I see someone slouching, I want to jump through the air, put them into a headlock, pile-drive them into the carpet and force them to beg their spine for forgiveness. But, we live in America – home of the free, land of the lawyers!
Therefore, instead of violence, we blog.
I’ll do my best to outline good posture here. Assume the standing position and let’s go through each component starting with your feet.
Stand on Two Tripods. We stand on two, natural tripods. Each foot has essentially three points of contact – the heel, the ball of your foot (behind the big toe) and the outer point (behind the little toe). Your weight should be evenly distributed across the three points of each tripod. We tend to rest back on their heels, forward on the balls of our feet or roll our feet out. Adjusting your stance will make you more grounded and enhance your balance.
Soft Knees. Don’t lock your knees; especially during exercise. Locking your knees places too much load on your low back. Unlocking, or softening, your knees will transfer a portion of your weight to your leg muscles (quadriceps). It’s also better for the cartilage (menisci) in your knee joints.
Level Hips. Place both hands on your hips and imagine your holding a bucket of water. The “bucket” should be level. It is most common for the “bucket” to be tipping forward (anterior pelvic tilt), especially for individuals with weak abdominal muscles and excess weight. This ultimately fatigues the lower back. To level your hips, gently tighten your abdominal muscles and gluteal muscles at the same time. You should feel a stretch sensation in your low back.
Proud Chest. Elevating your chest makes your spine more erect. It also enhances your presence and confidence.
Shoulders back. This goes along with lifting the chest. Imagine you have a softball between your shoulder blades. Slightly squeeze your shoulder blades together as if you’re grabbing that ball.
Head High. This is the most common problem area, especially for individuals who spend long hours on computers. The top of your spine is directly behind your ears. Imagine the top of your spine is a seal’s nose and your head is a ball. Try to balance your head (ball) on top of your spine (seal’s nose). To do this, you will have to shift your head way back. Your head is in the right position if you feel like you’ve got your nose in the air. While it feels a bit stuck up, you will actually look very natural and confident.
Review each of the bold print bullets I just llisted and adjust your body accordingly. Posture is a habit. Like all habits, it takes several weeks to change out the old for the new. Posture is especially critical while you’re training. If you train with poor posture, you are reinforcing poor posture. When you train with good posture, you are reinforcing and creating a positive habit.
Stand Tall, Suck It In and SUCK IT UP!
Portland Oregon Physical Trainer | Fitness Workout Program | Fitness Workout Routines | Hillsboro Exercise Motivation