The Importance of Proper Posture and Alignment
Today let’s talk about posture and the alignment of your head, neck, shoulders, and upper back. Remember they are team players; if one member is out of line the whole team suffers.
Quiz Your Posture
- Are you sitting tall? (At least as tall as me?)
- Are your shoulders back and down? Chest open?
- What about your abs? Are they in? Nice and firm?
- Last, but not least, is your head in line with your spine? Ears over your shoulders?
The answer I was looking for was YES to all my questions.
- Do you tilt your head to the side?
- Do you tend to drop your head forward or down?
- Does your head protrude forward?
- Are your shoulders up to your ears?
- Are your shoulders and/or upper back rounding forward? Slouching?
The answer I was looking for here was NO to all my questions.
How to Improve Your Posture
Maybe you are somewhere in between. Okay, let’s work on a few things. For example, perhaps in class, (seated or standing,) you strain to see yourself in the mirror. That may lead you to the side head tilt. Now you’re adding weights to that. Yikes! Perhaps you start to look at your hair…now what has happened to your posture? Now that we’re at home perhaps take a minute to close your eyes and visualize your skeletal system. How does it look? Let’s peek at the vertebrae. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Is your skull sitting nicely on top? Or is it 6 inches forward? Do you see a fairly nice long line? Or is it more curved?
The Effects of Poor Posture
Every inch forward your head protrudes and places 10 pounds of pressure on your neck and shoulders. That means if your head is out of alignment by 2 inches you now have 20 pounds of unwanted and unnecessary pressure on your neck and shoulders. Chin tilted down is again 10 pounds of pressure on your neck and shoulders per inch. Daily activities such as using our phones, computers, and reading may cause us to get into the head forward/down pattern. Did you know looking down at your phone or texting puts about 60 pounds of strain on your neck and spine? Perhaps you can spend a few moments a day focusing on proper posture. Make it a habit!
Get Help with Your Posture and Alignment
Do you need help with your posture and alignment? Has it been a while since you had your Smart Start? Consider scheduling an updated Smart Start to determine your total body alignment, movement patterns, strengths, and weaknesses, and what would be appropriate for YOU and your own personal needs.