One of the main reasons to exercise is for functionality, and the goal should be for efficiency. Efficiency is gained through the correct movement of the body, from correct muscle activation and joint range of movement to joint alignment and the balance between the left and right side of the body.
The following postural cues can help with the initial set up of the body before and during exercise. This awareness is both visual and physical. If you or a client has an issue, first you must "see" what is wrong before you can correct and "feel" how it should be.
1. Feet and ankle position - position feet hip to shoulder width apart with toes facing forward and the insteps parallel. This will train and ensure an even weight and impact distribution for the foot and ankle joint.
2. Knee position - position the knees to follow the line of your 2nd and 3rd toes with a slight bend at the knee joint. This will train and ensure a smooth tracking line for your knee cap which decreases pressure at the knee joint.
3. Hip position - a slight pelvic tilt back or tuck under. This neutral position will open up the lower back/lumbar vertebrae which relieves pain or discomfort and in time trains the subconscious activation of your abdominals.
4. Shoulder position - pull your shoulders back and then squeeze down. This will activate your thoracic muscles and stretch your chest and front of your shoulders, which tend to be very tight on a daily basis due to work posture or even confidence levels.
5. Head position - drawing the base of your head back towards your spine with a slight chin tuck. This keeps the cervical spine in a more neutral position decreasing strain and tension around the neck and upper trapezius/shoulders.
Apply these cues as much as you can on a daily basis to improve your overall body alignment and balance. Like anything which needs correction, being conscious and aware of the issue is the only way to go. So good luck, take your time with it and enjoy your more functional and efficient body.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.