Why Your Posture Is Important*

Tuesday, 28 March 2017, By Kevin Gallagher

Lifting For a Good Posture!

Stand up tall, sit up straight, shoulders back!

 All the things we tell our kids and were told when we were younger. Yet somehow we stop doing as adults. In the car or on the train or bus to work, how often do you catch yourself sitting hunched over with rounded shoulders?

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for a jeopardised lifestyle, and will affect 80% of adults at some point in their life.

Our skeletal muscles are made up of 2 different types, static (type 1) and phasic (type 2).

The static muscles are generally deeper 'postural muscles' and are very fatigue resistant and hold us in an upright position without much effort. They are also involved in sensing what position your body is in by providing feedback to the brain.

However, when we have poor posture; Phasic muscles are used instead of the correct postural muscles and the brain doesn't get the right feedback.

Phasic muscles fatigue much quicker and are generally used for movements and exercise, but when they are being used instead of postural muscles it causes fatigue and results in pain and discomfort.

Proper engagement of core muscles and including posterior strengthening exercises in every workout program is KEY.

Exercises like Bar Pull-Ups, all variations of Seated Rows, Lat Pulldowns, Chin Ups, Squats and Deadlifts are all vital to an improved posture.

Strengthening posterior chain muscles (back muscles) counteracts the rounded shoulder posture also known as Kyphosis which is very common e.g. office worker.

In particular, muscles in the mid-thoracic region (between the shoulder blades) of the spine which become weak with a rounded shoulder or kyphotic posture.

Making small adjustments during the day at your desk or in the car is also important. A good posture shouldn't feel uncomfortable, in fact it's the opposite. Below are some very simple tips to avoiding the uncomfortable nagging back pain:

  • Sitting properly in your chair, at the right height is a very easy place to start.
  • Stand up every 20-30 minutes or go and grab a drink of water
  • Alternate between your chair and a Swiss Ball 3-4 times a day if you can
  • Keep in mind the 3 natural curves of a healthy spine while sitting down, and adjust your desk as best you can

 

There are 3 types of back curvatures we hope to avoid;

  • Kyphosis (rounded shoulders) office worker
  • Lordosis (couch potato, slouching) non-mover, sedentary lifestyle
  • Scoliosis (S bend) Injury, poor hip alignment at an early age

 

These can all be prevented through adhering to a structured weights program long term.

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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