Seven Signs That Your Posture Needs a Makeover
By Carol Bucci
The quality of your posture can make a big difference in your life. It is the first thing I start correcting when personal training new clients. Good posture can make you look and feel younger, stronger and more confident; and can help improve your breathing, advance your sports performance, decrease your risk of injury and improve your biomechanical efficiency. And, over the course of your life, good posture can prevent painful physical strain in your joints.
These are telltale signs that you need to improve your posture:
- collapsed arches in your feet (Is your shoe size getting bigger?)
- an elevated hip or shoulder
- one side of the body rotates forward or back
- pelvis and hips tilt to the front, back or side
- rounded back
- drooping chest and shoulders
- head jutting forward
These are indications that your body has gotten locked into poor movement patterns for any of a number of reasons, including muscle imbalance, compensation for injuries, ergonomic problems or poor alignment during fitness and sports activities.
Changing Bad Posture Habits
Here are just a few quick tips of things that you can do to help improve your posture. Little changes can make big differences over time!
Vary Your Position. Counter the damaging effects of constant sitting by standing as much as possible. Standing in correct alignment requires much less muscular effort than sitting with proper form does. Try using a drafting table or stand up desk so you can stand when working. Stand up when you are watching television, opening mail or talking on the phone.
Change your head position when looking at your phone or tablet. Never lie down or lean back in a chair with your body flat and your head tilted forward looking at your device. This puts a great deal of strain on the neck muscles. Instead, sit up tall when using your device and put pillows on your lap to hold it closer to eye level. When standing, allow elbows to be tucked into sides and try to support the device at eye level using two hands.
Update Your Exercises for working the abdominals. Do more active stabilization training rather than just traditional torso curls and sit-ups, which focus almost exclusively on the trunk-flexing function of the obliques.
Carol Bucci is our certified personal trainer at Greater Rochester Chiropractic. She is nationally certified through ACSM, AFFA and the YMCA. She also has Kickboxing Certifications through AFAA, YMCA and Turbokick. She provides both individual and group personal training at her private facility at Greater Rochester Chiropractic.