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Posture – Keeping Upright

Posted on May 10, 2016 · Posted in Clients, General, Personal, Uncategorized

Posture – Keeping Upright

It’s so important to maintain the correct posture. It makes you look and feel better, makes you feel more energetic and helps decompress the spine. With loss of posture we see loss of movement of the spine. Good posture allows the spine to move freely. 90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by movement in the spine (the brilliance of exercise). We lose muscle as we age, this loss of muscle not only leads to insulin and metabolism issues but also the loss of good posture. We need to strength train to help keep good posture and remember practice makes permanent. If you practice weights with poor posture, then poor posture is what becomes permanent. I notice when I discuss posture with people, their posture immediately improves. We are all aware we should be conscious of our posture, but life’s pace tires us and posture is forgotten. When you look at our day to day living it’s not surprising most of us suffer with poor posture, which can lead to fatigue, pain and immobility.

Poor posture manifests itself in forward head positioning. We have seven vertebrae in the neck (C1 – C7), which are mobile and form a curved shape, these support the head. If we develop forward head positioning, which is not always visible to the eye, these bones stiffen and lose their curvature. As a result the upper neck muscles shorten and tighten, we can get an increase in the curvature of the mid back or thoracic region and the muscles of this region weaken leading to rounded back syndrome. The head is damn heavy. For every inch of anterior head syndrome, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10lbs. Loss of the cervical curve stretches the spinal cord 5-7 cm and this can lead to disease. Now at this stage, the muscles are too weak to correct the rounded shoulder syndrome, as a result of these two changes the lumber curve can flatten (L1-L5), all as a result of forward head position. The end result is a forward head position, a rounded back and a loss of all curvature of the spine, leading to dysfunction.

Question: Have I forward head positioning?

Check yourself driving the car, have you upper back and head contact with the upper seat and headrest? If not you may have forward head positioning, which will carry through to your daily activities of living.

Who is likely to develop forward head position?

  • People who drive a lot.
  • People who spend long periods of time sitting at a desk or in front of a computer or TV.
  • Ladies who are pregnant, because of the change in the centre of gravity.
  • Breast feeding mums.
  • People who train their chest muscles all day and don’t balance it with back training.
  • Too many press ups.
  • People in the gym not keeping good form with their posture and in turn training their muscles to hold poor posture.
  • People working long hours.
  • Not stretching well post exercise

God damn it! – We are all prone

Let’s correct this. The good news is the body recognises good posture if practiced enough, it will come naturally.

 

Mistakes we can make in Correcting Posture

 

  • Pushing the shoulders back- this leads to you pushing your head forward. One can’t keep the shoulders braced back as fatigue and cramp would eventually set in.
  • Pushing your head back or your chin in- This can compress the neck and also flatten the cervical curve

 

Proper Technique on Correcting Posture  

 

A simple way of correcting posture is to breathe normally and lift your chest not your shoulders. Try and think of it as a skeletal correction more so than a muscular movement, pushing up from the mid back and lifting the chest upwards. Don’t push the hips forward.

 

Now where can I practice?

Little by little.

When you find yourself stopped at traffic lights, lift your chest.

When sitting eating dinner, lift your chest.

Standing at checkouts, lift your chest.

Walking, particularly up a hill or stairs, lift their chest.

In time and with practice it comes naturally.

Remember when strength training it is really important to keep a tall chest and good posture as you are training the muscles to hold your skeletal frame, if you are not aware of good posture when training you are training the muscles to hold poor posture.

 

Loss of good posture leads to long term muscle spasm, pain, disease, herniated discs, arthritis and pinched nerves.