Before I studied fitness and nutrition, I began my physical transformation as a Mom wanting to take back her body after having 2 kids so I joined Lifetime Fitness. I was given a complimentary personal training session with my new membership which I immediately signed up for. The session started with us (Shelly, the Personal Trainer and I) chatting for a few minutes about my current nutrition, fitness level, and goals before she had me head over to the weight section of the gym.
When we got there, she asked me to stand in a relaxed position with my hands straight down by my side while she slowly began circling me. She then had me put my hands straight up over my head and squat 5 times while she continued circling and intensely studying my body. At this point I was a little confused but thought who was I to question an expert, so I said nothing. Next she took me over to a cable machine where I did 5 standing chest presses and 5 standing rows while she again intensely studied me.
When she was done, she wrote a few things on her clipboard and finally began filling me in…..she was looking at my MY POSTURE!! Something I had never given a second thought to. My goal was to lose weight, I hadn’t considered posture as a factor, but I WAS A MESS! I learned that I had rolled in shoulders, winged shoulder blades, a slightly tilted pelvis and one shoulder that was completely higher than the other (caused by carrying around my babies primarily on one side of my body).
I went on to realize that a physical transformation meant more that just weight loss and that correcting my posture would be essential in order for me to look and feel my best.
I also learned I was no exception to the rule and in fact many people have less than ideal posture and a lot of times body aches and pains can be corrected with better muscle and joint alignment.
It’s so easy to slip into bad habits considering the amount of time we spend doing things that can cause bad posture. Think about the position of your body while you’re scrolling through your phone, driving in your car or sitting at your desk working on the computer. Usually your head is jutting forward with your shoulders rolled in and when you’re sitting your pelvis is most likely tilted, all leading to some pretty serious muscle imbalances.
The 2 most common posture problems are…
upper cross syndrome – forward head position, rolled in shoulders, and winged shoulder blades. THIS WAS ME!
lower cross syndrome – excessive curve in the low back and hips that tilt down.
The next time you get out of the shower check yourself in the mirror.
Where does your posture stack up?
How Do You Fix Posture?
Stretching the tight muscles and strengthening the weak ones will help to fix muscle imbalances and correct posture. Here is a quick posture fix routine for the most common offenders.
Posture Correcting Stretch & Strength Routine
chest opener stretch (hold each side for 30 second, repeat 2 times)
wall slides (15-20 reps, repeat 2 time)
hip flexor stretch (hold each side for 30 seconds, repeat 2 times)
birddog (15-20 reps, repeat 2 time)
glute bridge (15-20 reps, repeat 2 time)
lying floor taps (15-20 reps, repeat 2 time)