WOW, 2020 really took a strange turn for us all. With the majority of us now in social isolation, it is easy to feel bored, lonely and stressed. This seamlessly carries over to your posture.
Stand up straight, don’t slouch, elbows off the table. We have all heard this about a million times, but do we actually listen to it? Have a look at your posture right now.
Is your head poked forward? Are your shoulders rounded? Does your lower back have its natural curvature or is it kind of just lost into your butt?
If you said yes to one or more of those, try sitting up straight – does it require extra energy to keep you in ‘good’ posture or does it feel uncomfortable? Well, if you said yes to those too, chances are your posture isn’t the greatest.
But don’t worry, this could be due to a few things and likewise, there are several that you can do to fix it! If you work at a computer, all day you are more susceptible to rounded shoulders and a poke neck. If you are a trade or do a lot of manual lifting, again hello rounded shoulders, are you on your feet all day? This may lead to lordosis (or a poked out bum). Bottom line, all of them although lifestyle influenced are generally caused from a muscular imbalance, weakness or tightness. The most common culprit – weak core. Not your ‘6 pack’ that you can see, your actual core, the muscles underneath this. These (also known as your transverse abdominals) are made up of 3 main muscle groups and are responsible for stability and, posture!
Here’s a few little things you can do now to start to fix it (although I recommend a proper workout and stretching regime to get you properly sorted).
- Get your hips sorted. Think of your pelvis like a bowl of water. Hold your hips (around your pelvic bone) while standing normally, would the water tip forward or out the back? Play around with moving your hips forward and back to bring them into a natural alignment (so the water stays in the bowl). This is where you should me positioned!
- Neck niggles. You can do this at your desk, on the couch, or standing against a wall. From your natural (probably poked) position, retract your chin back toward the wall behind you. Before you give yourself a double chin and after your giving yourself neck pain from flopping forward, that’s where your neck lives. Feel the pressure relieve already?
- Chest out! Not what you think. Roll your shoulders back as if you were to come to a final position of squeezing a pencil between your scapula’s.
- Engage your core. As soon as you tense your stomach muscles your body automatically gets that little bit straighter. You don’t need to walk around tensing, but this will give you a good idea of where you should be.
Like I said, tight muscles can cause postural abnormalities, as can weak muscles. You should be able to feel what needs to be done, i.e. if your lower back hurts and you feel your bum is pulled to a ‘pushed out’ position, chances are you need to strengthen your core. Shoulders rolling forward without you knowing? Weak back muscles and/or tight chest muscles may be holding you back (or, you know, forward). The list goes on.
Bottom line. Posture is important, it allows for proper movement with the least possible chance of injury. Better posture also encourages up to hold our head high (literally) and can lead to a better mood. Stay tuned in this space, I’ll be popping up posts, photos and tips to get us through these crazy times, together.
Stay safe, tribe.