REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
My studies were focused on posture this week. Such an interesting topic. It is so important. It is the foundation to which person’s training should be built upon, and yet it is often dismissed. I’ve had 6 personal trainers in my life and not one ever thoroughly evaluated my posture. Trust me, it is not because it was so perfect that it didn’t need evaluation.
Most people approach a personal trainer because they want to tone up, lose weight, or improve their fitness and/or physique. Proper training should begin with proper alignment of the body, or posture. Because every movement should begin with proper posture, it is a good idea for trainers to evaluate every client’s posture before starting them on a workout program. Without proper posture, a client will not be able to perform a movement with good form and is therefore more susceptible injury.
Sometimes, poor posture can be corrected through training. Correctible postural deviations are those caused by repetitive movements (muscular pattern overload), habitually poor posture, side dominance, lack of joint stability, lack of joint mobility, and imbalanced strength-training programs. Some postural deviations cannot be corrected through training. These include congenital conditions (scoliosis), some pathologies (rheumatoid arthritis), structural deviations, and trauma (surgery, injury, etc…).
Proper posture supports proper, efficient movement. Neural activity of the muscles works best when there is proper postural alignment. The joints are better able to move and function when properly aligned. Imagine a machine that is put together on a tilt. It’s ability to function would be impaired. Think of your body as a machine. It needs to be in proper position to function at it’s best.
Many, many people suffer from poor posture. Unfortunately, it’s a result of living in our modern world. Desk jobs are so prevalent, and yet they are so bad for a person’s posture. It is wise for a personal trainer to straighten it before strengthening it. Just because someone wants a beautiful house, walls are not built before a solid foundation is laid.
Of course, typically people are not perfectly symmetrical. The personal trainer should be evaluating clients, looking for obvious deviations. Obvious deviations should be addressed. Imagine a person who’s ankle rolls inward. The deviation in the ankle impacts the knee joint, which impacts the hip joint, and so on…
Maybe you have a trainer maybe you don’t. If you’re like me, you’ve had a few trainers, but not one ever thoroughly evaluated your posture. No worries. There are things you can do on your own to improve your posture. The first step is to recognize when there is a problem. For example, back pain after starting a new job or buying a new car. Perhaps you experience back pain after sitting at a desk all week long, and it’s not as bad on the weekends when you’re not. Sometimes, the pain goes from the neck, down the back, and through to the extremities. Often the pain will come and go.
If you do sit at a desk all day for work, be mindful of your sitting posture. Uncross your legs. Sit up straight. People tend to curl their shoulders forward when they sit for long periods of time. Avoid setting your head forward. Your ears should be over your shoulders, not in front. When I do my Yoga With Adriene videos, she uses the expression “Head over heart, heart over pelvis.” Take a break from sitting whenever possible. If you’re able to stand up, walk around, or even stretch for just 2 minutes, every half hour, your body will thank you.
Try to keep an awareness of your posture at all times. Perhaps you’re standing in line at the store. Take mental notes of your postural position, and try to make improvements. Trainer or no trainer, get some exercise, all the while maintaining a mindfulness of your posture. Invest in good supportive footwear. Relax. Proper posture is not meant to be stiff and clenched.
Here’s my challenge to you this week: Keep a mindfulness of your posture, and without clenching up, maintaining a relaxed state of being, try to make improvements.