Poor posture

The hinge movement I'm referring to is that of hip flexion and the movement should occur without any movement in the spine whether at the lumbar, thoracic or cervical areas. So when we hinge the torso should be fixed and all the movement should occur at the hips. In the picture below Adam Scott has gone from a more flexed position through the lumbar and thoracic area with an extended cervical position to having a more neutral position.

I read a great Gray Cook quote courtesy of Bret Contreras and ties in well with the link I put up on Facebook the other week from Eric Cressey regarding some drills to help work on improving mobility. "When someone’s back hurts they don’t want to blame their lifestyle, fitness level, or daily patterns. Instead, they want to blame their back pain on starting the lawn mower last week, which, in reality, is probably just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Human beings live under the philosophy of, “I have a snowball and I have to throw it at someone.” No one wants to take responsibility."

It may be a bit redundant to say it but the abdominals are quite important to how we move but there you go they are. They allow for transference of force from the lower to upper body and vice versa so weak abdominal and lumbar muscles can reduce athletic performance and pain from simply carrying out normal daily activities. They keep the torso stable, try squatting with a heavy weight if you have weak abdominals or lumbar musculature and you will fold over as you try to rise out of the bottom position.

In this post we’ll be dealing with upper body issues as they relate to poor posture and as with the lower body there are again a couple of areas that can give us quick results., the thoracic spine and ribs and the big movers of the humerus the lat’s and pec’s. There are obviously other areas that need to be examined but these are a great starting point.

We see a lot of talk about having good posture and what to do to achieve it but what is good posture? It’s probably easier to think of it as how you would stand if you didn’t sit at a desk for 8 hours a day or hadn’t picked up any injuries from playing your chosen sport. You’re spine has natural curves that get disrupted if you don’t pay attention to how you are sitting and the effects of long periods of doing so even with good posture and what happens to how you move when you get injured. Your hips, knees, ankles, shoulders are all affected by the sitting for long periods and obviously can all be injured playing sport. If your pelvis if not constantly pulled forward and down by overly tight tissues will sit relatively level, your shoulder girdle would sit comfortably back if it wasn’t being pulled forward by your tight pec’s etc (this is simplifying it but you get the point) . All the need for holding yourself in “good posture” would be gone because it would happen on it’s own and a what you may find difficult to do at the moment would be happening without any conscious thought on your part because the imbalances you are trying to counter wouldn’t be there.

We all know the importance of getting our 5 portions of fruit and veg every day well this is my take  on the idea applied to some simple mobility/flexibilty work that we would all benefit form on a daily basis. Most people now have sedentary jobs and find themselves being in front of a computer either all day or a substantial part of  it. The effects of this sedentary lifestyle on the body are often create a more kyphotic posture, flattening the lumbar curve and exaggerating both the thoracic and cervical curves. The musculature of the back, as a generalisation, gets lengthened whilst that on the front gets shortened and the joints of the spine start to stiffen and lose their mobilty. Along with this the hips also stiffen and the glutes get over stretched and switch off. The hamstrings shorten and the quads lengthen and so on it goes through the body.

I posted a link on the facebook page a little while ago about the great  article on Katy Says regarding posture and the alignment of your pelvis. I thought it might  be good to expand here with regards to what I'm seeing/wanting to do with it. Often when talking to a new client about their posture they will feel that it's ok, that they don't slouch etc. Yet when you get away from thinking about slouching/hunched posture and look at how the shoulder/hip/knee line up it's quite obvious that it isn't fine at all, just as Katy points out in the article.