Trainer Tip Tuesday and today I am talking about posture. I have shown in the largest photo proper posture: feet parallel, the knees not locked with a soft release in the knees, the hips aligned over the knees with the pelvic bones pointing forward like headlights, the core engaged (but not flexed). The shoulders over the hips with the scapula pulled softly back and down (like birds wings at rest) and the ear lobes over the shoulders.
The other photos demonstrate the most common of improper postures (postural dysfunction). Top left is lumbar lordosis or and arched lower back and hyper-extended spine. Next to that is "forward head" posture where the chin juts forward causing the shoulders to roll forward. The bottom left is a sway back, where there is a pronounced posterior pelvic tilt. Finally, thoracic kyphosis, or a hunched back.
Poor posture is often the result of muscular imbalance, but can also be the cause of imbalance. It is important to work in as balanced a manner as possible not solely focusing on one muscle group over another. Proper posture is vital for correct performance and is helpful for injury prevention. There are ways to help correct bad posture. If you are unsure of how, please don't hesitate to ask. Proper posture is dependent on a strong core. So absolutely begin there! (See my favorite core series and how to engage the core properly tutorials below)
Practice setting up your alignment. Breathe in that position for a few moments. Practice this daily. Make yourself aware of your posture. I like to advise my clients to set a "posture check alarm" to ring a few times every day. Conscious awareness will help you form a habit...and over time you won't need the alarm. Your body will begin to feel uncomfortable when you fall out of proper posture.
I hope this helps and if you have questions, please ask!
HOW TO ENGAGE THE CORE PROPERLY: