It should be easy, yet we have made it too complicated, so now, easy seems challenging.
Many clients are when they ask, 'what is good posture?'
This question usually follows a session when we have been working on body position during exercise, and the cues we have been using seem to feel good in their body and are counterintuitive to what they have been told their whole lives.
Do you remember being told to stand up straight, pull your shoulders back, lift your chest, pull your abs in, squeeze your glutes, or something similar?
Many of us have become very good at any or all of the above. So good that we use these same cues when exercising, standing, sitting, driving, etc.
So what is the problem with this type of posture?
There are a few things, and some of them are pretty big!
These postures make it hard to breathe.
Don't believe us?
Give it a try. Lift your chest, pull your shoulder back, squeeze your glutes and try to take a breath. Now let that all relax and take a breath. The latter is much easier because there is more space for the breath. When we squeeze all these muscles, there is less room for the diaphragm muscle to move and help draw breath into our lungs.
2. These postures take a lot of energy.
When you assume these postures, you use a lot of large muscles like the abdominals, glutes, lats, erectors, and more.
So what is good posture?
Optimal posture should be sustainable and efficient.
If you struggle with back, hip, neck or shoulder discomfort and know you tend towards these postures above, we encourage you to stop using them.
That is harder than it sounds. Initially, clients report feeling as though they are slouching or leaning too far forward when they start changing their posture.
Try these lighter, less energy-taking cues for posture:
Our posture is a sum of habits for good or bad.
And we all know habits can be hard to break.
Stay consistent, and don't be too hard on yourself.
To stay consistent, we recommend either a timer to reset your posture or, each time you get up from your chair or move to a new activity, use that time to set your softer posture.
As a former butt squeezer, shoulder puller backer, ab puller inner and chest lifter, the effort is worth it to breathe better, have more energy, and move more freely through my joints.
Have questions about changing your posture to be more efficient and sustainable? Or how to use these cues during everyday life or exercise?
Reach out. We can help.