If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time you are well aware by now that I love posture. In fact I’m a bit of a self described posture nerd. Posture is a big deal. It’s a big deal not just for the musculoskeletal health benefits (less pain, better function) but also for athletic benefits. Using proper form, and having the strength to hold it, in the gym on the field will help you to lift heavier and generate more power. If that’s not good enough for you, we’ve covered in the past in this very blog how great posture has a powerful effect on the way you are perceived by others in social situations. Strong posture simply helps you to present as stronger and more confident. This counts whether you are trying to impress that hot gal or guy you just met, are presenting well at a job interview, or are trying to avoid getting mugged (for real, check out my past post on “how to not get mugged on account of the way you walk”). As a fun social experiment today, do some people watching. Look at those people who you perceive as being the most powerful, strongest, most attractive – chances are they are all holding strong posture characterised by the features outlined below.
Posture is a whole body challenge! It includes but upper and lower body engagement and control. Most of all, great posture is a skill, and mastering a skill requires repetition until habit is formed. As Aristotle famously said, “Excellence is not a singular act but a habit, we are what we do repeatedly”. Are you a posture nerd? Show it by repeatedly practicing these key habits!
1. Chin tuck – Feel how you are postitioning your chin, is it poking out or tucked in? Keep it slightly tucked, you’ll feel like you are giving yourself a double-chin but trust me it’s not.
2. Shoulderblade tuck – Find the bottom tip of your shoulderblade and tuck it into the chest wall. Another common cue for this movement is to point your underarms forward.
3. Rib and pelvis tuck (trunk control) – Keep your spine in neutral position. You have two “levers” that are easy to control when doing this. Try flareing and tucking your ribs, most people flare out, tucked tends to keep spine neutral. Try tucking and extending your pelvis (pelvic thrusting), most people are extended with their butt poking back, tuck into spine neutral.
4. Avoid the duckie foot! – Align your feet forward facing and parallel, out rotated feet are the bane of good posture and also contribute to both flat feet and many common knee injuries! This practice extends into your walk as well as standing posture!
5. Hips out-rotated – An easy way to do this is to align your knees over those parallel and forward feet. You’ll notice your butt engages to place the hip in position to execute this action.
Execute the above 5 cues and you’ll look better, feel better and be perceived as better by those around you. Let’s bring posture Back! #postureNerd!