You have probably often heard someone say: ‘Stand up straight’ ‘You are slouching’, we do it without realising it and it is a hard habit to get out of. But when someone tells you to straighten up, are they just being annoying or is this a justifiable statement and will this actually help you?
Daily life and routines are unfortunately not working in our favour to help us stand upright. Computers, long hours sitting behind a desk and looking down at our phones are just a few main causes of why we are hunched forwards and we don’t notice we are doing it until pain occurs or someone makes the remark that we are hunched forwards.
So, do your hunched-over shoulders matter? Should we care? Should we be listening to that voice that tells us to sit up straight, to stand taller?
YES!!! But why?
How do you spend most of your day? In what position do you spend the most consecutive hours? Let's take office workers as an example. If you are spending 8 hours sitting behind a desk slouched forwards with shortened hip flexors, when you get up, your body will not automatically realign. You will keep the rounded shoulders and your hip extensors will be too tight to properly extend to their full range of motion.
However, the body is smart you won’t stand up and look all wonky, the body will compensate and find a way to readapt. Your ribs may flare forwards and your lower back may arch more to compensate for the lack of extension so that it seems you are upright.
Your glutes, that are the main players in keeping you from collapsing to the ground from the pull of gravity, have been chilling out all day squashed into a chair, so when it is time to get up and go, they may still be snoozing…. The body being clever, it will activate other muscles around to get you to stand up. When you set out to train, your body is still compensating and will keep compensating as you train.
The officer worker is one example of many, can you relate? This pattern can lead to lower back pain, tight hamstrings, tight hips, pain in your neck, maybe even tingling down your arms and knee pain… the list goes on depending on how you were holding yourself. Have you had any of these discomforts? Do they irritate you during exercise? Does it stop you from training sometimes?
The body can adapt for you. But this is not a long-term solution for a pain-free healthy active life.
How you inhabit your day for the majority of your time is how you will train, exercise and move. This leads to compensation which can lead to discomfort and injuries long term.
Your body has a center of gravity which helps you balance with minimum effort. When your body isn’t in an ‘optimal’ position and you create postural deviations within your body, compensatory efforts to maintain your body in balance will accrue, resulting in muscular stress and strains and resulting in discomfort and pain.
So check: How you are spending most of your day? Let me know in the comments below! If you would like more information on the topic, I have a free Workshop that you can watch.
What helps to get a better posture? You have to work your core and your glutes to hold yourself strong and tall, there is no escaping that. You must take the time to realign your body before any activity. This is why the LYT yoga method is so clever and good for you. We always take the time at the beginning of class to realign, reset and prep those big muscle groups, to set the stage for optimal movement and balance.
Join me on the posture challenge starting on the 1st of February. 10 classes over 2 weeks to start working on your posture. 15-to-20-minute pre-recorded classes for you to enjoy in your own time.
Who is with me ?