Our bodies are a machine that carries our soul, just as a car is the machine that we use, on a daily basis, to get from A to B. Posture is therefore imperative to the biomechanics of the body to be in good working order.
Posture is the way in which a person holds their body when either standing or sitting. To have good posture is the aim of the game. ‘Good’ posture is achieved when all of your body parts are aligned in their neutral position, so that all joints, ligaments and muscles move freely. And are therefore highly efficient.
So often in my line of work as a Personal Trainer and Sports Therapist I see many people with a slumped upper back (thoracic spine), with forward dropped shoulders. This type of poor posture will accelerate the risk of shoulder tendon impingement, especially during overhead activities. With forward dropped shoulders, the posterior posture muscles will weaken resulting in increased strain making it harder for you to bring the body back into an upright position. With this in mind and many other cases I have seen of poor posture it is important reader to ascertain if you would benefit from working on your own posture.
If so, here are my 6 steps to good posture, to help you to better your machine. This in turn will decrease your risk of injury and to enhance your life:
- Strengthen your core– Your core is the corset that holds your entire body upright. It consists of your abdominals, obliques and back muscles.
- Keep your knees soft– When standing with straight legs, the hyperflexion of your legs will cause an anterior (forward) tilt of the pelvis. This will ultimately put more pressure on the muscles of your lumbar spine to cause long term chronic dysfunction.
- Keep your shoulders back– make a conscious effort when sitting to roll your shoulder and maintain the position of your shoulders in the downward roll position (when your ears are furthest away from your shoulders)
- Take breaks from your daily posture– If you tend to sit all day at the desk, get up from time to time and walk around. When taking a few laps around your desk/working space, move your arms and roll both your shoulders and hips in a circular motion. Once seated, put your legs up from time to time, keep your back straight and relax those shoulders! If you tend to stand a lot during your working day, make sure that
- Sit up straight to better your posture– Imagine that there is a rope holding you up, from the top of your head to the ceiling. At first your spine muscles may be sore as unaccustomed to this choice of posture. However, the benefits long term will be sure to outweigh the discomfort.
- Balance a book on your head– for a fun way to help realign your posture take a book and place it on your head. Try to keep your head and neck straight, whilst looking ahead and not down. This is a good technique to avoid dropping shoulders. Try to balance the book on your head whilst walking around. The same technique was used years ago to teach young ladies how to walk.
In summary, remember that better posture is vital for your health and to avoid back pain in the long term. If you would like further help with understanding why your posture is important in keeping you fit and well, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org