Friday, March 1, 2013

Free Workout Friday: Improving Your Posture

What does posture mean to you?

I hope when I say "posture" you sit up straight, (almost as if reprimanded) and think about it. 

Image from (lines added by 365fitt)

Good and healthy posture is one of THE most important health goals you can have, because good posture is directly related to a healthy spine and a healthy spine is important for overall strength and balance.  I love the picture because it demonstrates quite a few things.  We know what looks right and what looks wrong, but lets go further:

  • In the image on the left, notice how her back is rounded, her abdominals and chest are "sunken" and her knees are forward.  This example is most common and shows an overly stretched out back and a lack of strength, mainly the scapula (shoulder blades).  The concaveness of the abdominals and chest indicate a shortening of the muscles in this area.  The forward bend of the knees is an attempt by the body to "balance" and in so doing, puts pressure on the knees (forward position).  There is also a tightening or shortening of the hamstrings (back of the thigh).  When muscles are "tight", they pull on the surrounding muscles, in this case, they tug gently on the lower back (lumbar) muscles, pulling them out of place and leading to low back pain.  The general prescription for this type of posture includes:
    • Strengthening of the shoulder blades and supporting muscles
    • Stretching of the abdominals
    • Stretching of the chest/shoulders
    • Stretching of the hamstrings
  • In the image on the right, notice how the hips are thrust forward and a majority of her weight is in front of the line.  Technically speaking this is called kyphosis lordosis, and is a rounding of the thoracic vertebrae.  Specific to this image, it shows a shortening or tightness in the lower back muscles a overly stretched upper back/shoulder, and a weak front shoulder/pectoral area.  The general prescription for this type of posture includes:
    • Strengthening of the shoulder blades and upper back and supporting muscles
    • Strengthening of the abdominals/pelvis area
    • Stretching of the upper back
    • Stretching of the chest/shoulders

This week's Free Workout Friday is for Postural Strengthening and Stretching.   It's a basic exercise routine for anyone.  Remember that your spinal health is an important part of your physical well being.  If you are currently experiencing pain, you should see your doctor or physical therapist for specific recommendations.

Living 365fitt with good posture,
Coach Kathy

365fitt is about training for the event called LIFE, focusing on physical, nutritional and emotional wellness through lifestyle adaptations.  Kathy is available for personal training and wellness consultations and corporate wellness.  365fitt invites you to participate in a Healthy Active Living trip to incredible destinations.  Please visit 365fitt for more information.  Live 365fitt!

1 comment:

  1. Great topic. Good posture is one of the most understated parts of overall health, yet so few people have good posture. This machine has worked for me: