It’s important to first observe, then examine, and finally fix what is necessary.
While we’ve discussed the integral role right posturing plays in fitness, and also helped you determine if your posture is wrong in the first of our two part series, we now talk about how you can make corrections, once you have identified the problems.
Maurice Williams, a personal fitness trainer, corrective exercise specialist and fitness educator with Move Well Fit Academy says, “Your body posture should look like the military persona standing at attention”. Head pointing straight ahead, ears aligned with shoulders, shoulders pulled back, stomach tucked or pulled in, belt line straight around the waist, and knees and feet facing straight ahead. The guide to effortless poise simply starts with:
Sitting Right: Do not sit on your buttocks or the base of the spine, try to sit on the bones right at the bottom of the pelvis. “Sit with your feet shoulder-length apart, with your heels even with the width of your hips. Keep your legs at 90 degrees at the knees and the hips. Crossing your legs makes your pelvis imbalanced. You should have a small curve at the bottom of your back (not the middle). Slide your shoulders back without extending your mid-back and tuck your chin so that your head is on your body,” says Vivian.
Standing Right: Place feet about shoulder-width apart, keep your weight on the balls of your feet, shoulders squared, and head back and up. When standing for long periods of time, ensure that your weight is evenly balanced between both feet, and distributed equally between the heel and the ball of the foot.
Walking Right: Walking is an extension of standing with good posture. Keep your head up, shoulders back, chest out, and eyes straight ahead.
Lifting & Bending Right: “When you are lifting objects, make a wide stance and bend from your knees and your hips versus leaning over from your low back,” says Vivian Eisenstadt, a physical therapist, personal trainer, orthopedic and postural specialist.
“After we observe our posture and make those corrections, then we should work to make sure that our bodies will adapt to that position. This is going to require us to do certain exercises. I recommend things such as single balance exercises, core exercises, and integrated exercises that incorporate them both,” says Maurice.
Work It Out With Vivian
Pec Stretch In The Doorway: Stand in a doorway with one foot through the doorway and your forearms on the door frame. Move your forearms to different levels on the doorway and slowly lean through the doorway, feeling the stretch on the front of your shoulders. Return to standing position by using your front leg to push you back. Change the angle of the stretch by moving your forearms up or down from your first position and repeat stretch. Find all the different angles that your shoulders are tight and lean into the tight angles.
Piriformis Stretch: Sit up straight and pull one leg up, resting your ankle on your opposite knee. Make sure your leg is parallel to the floor. Slowly bring your chest forward until you feel your hips begin to stretch. Make sure your back remains straight through the whole stretch. Stay in that position for two to three minutes; then slowly raise your body back up. Once you have finished one leg, move on to the other and repeat.
With that in mind, we conclude our educational series, but for those who missed the preface where we taught you how to ID your posture problems, it’s just a click away. Stand tall, walk a tight rope, and sit tight. Enough said.