New Rules of Posture
If you’re not thinking about your posture, you should be! Posture is one of the most neglected aspects of health, yet it has a number of implications for fitness that you may not be aware of.
For starters, poor posture can result in some muscles compensating for others when they shouldn’t be. This can lead to unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints, which can restrict movement and overall fitness. Poor posture also affects your ability to perform everyday tasks, limiting your range of motion and in some cases, leading to soreness after exercise and potential injury.
Although posture plays such a big role in health and fitness, we live in a world that’s constantly challenging good posture. Whether it’s lying on the couch to watch TV or slouching at our computer desks, many of us neglect good posture – and trust me, we pay the price.
If you want to know how to get posture right, keep reading. I’m offering up 5 rules of good posture to get you feeling healthy, strong, and aligned!
5 Rules of Good Posture
1. Roll Your Shoulders Back – Start at the top and get your shoulder posture right. You want to make sure that you’re never tensing up your shoulders and pulling them forward. Instead, your shoulders should be relaxed and rolled back and downward. If you’re bad at this, it may feel like you’re puffing out your chest a bit at first. That’s okay – this is actually an important step to getting your posture right.
2. Tilt Your Pelvis Forward – Next, you need to think a lot about the posture of your pelvic area. What you want to do is tilt your pelvis forward and downward. As you do this, you should be engaging your abs and core muscles. The biggest factor you need to worry about here is your lower back. As you tilt forward and down, you should be squeezing your lower back inward. Combined with the shoulder roll, you should find your back is now straight and aligned.
3. Wear the Right Shoes – Shoes play a major role in posture, and they can literally be the determining factor in posture success or failure. High heels are probably the worst shoes for your posture, causing a lot of unnecessary strain and pressure in your legs and back. Flat shoes aren’t so great either, as they lack support. You want to get shoes that have good arch support and have a heel of no more than one inch in height. This will help keep you aligned and balanced.
4. Learn How to Sit Properly – You might have good posture down when walking, but many people neglect their posture the most when they sit. Start thinking about good posture while you’re sitting, keeping your lower back and core muscles tight and engaged. Slouching is one of the worst ways you can sit!
5…and Sleep Properly! – The way you sleep also has a huge impact on your posture. When you hit the sheets, you should be thinking about alignment and support for your entire body. Always go for a firm mattress for adequate support, and keep only a slight bend in your knees as you sleep on your side. If you like to sleep on your back, an easy trick for ensuring good posture is to place a pillow under your knees. Lastly, make sure you pillows aren’t so high that your neck is out of alignment with your back!
Dealing with Injuries and Strains
The 2 complaints I hear most from clients are by far shoulder and back pain. For the best relief and conditioning, check out my Shoulder Pain Workout here. You can also take a look at these Stretches for Lower Back Pain if that’s your problem area. But whatever you do, get your posture right!
Have any questions or feedback about my new rules of posture and keeping things straight? Please leave a comment below…