December 13th, 2017
The Postural Perspective: Improve Your Posture
This article is the first in a five-part series on posture by Evolve Trainer Brent Bishop.
Let’s face it: Sitting for long hours has become the norm. Whether you’re driving in rush hour traffic or spending long hours in front of the computer, staying seated for so much of the day can wreak havoc on your posture.
As we tackle those day-to-day office demands from our desk chairs, we expose our bodies to a number of bad habits. When we lean forward or strain our necks, we force our spine into a state of excessive flexion. Similarly, slouching for hours on end puts us in an unhealthy position of prolonged internal rotation. Hip flexors become tight and shortened. Shoulders contort, rounding forward, while the muscles along our backside become weakened. All of this puts further pressure on our joints and contorts our form.
If you want to alleviate problems like back pain while improving overall health, it’s imperative that you take a postural approach to conditioning. Too often, people place an over-emphasis on training the front of the body in order to look good. I like to call this the ‘Mirror Athlete’ approach: training only what you see in the mirror. That attitude will only exacerbate the negative effects our busy lives have on our posture.
Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, make a point of training your posterior muscle chain: your back, rear shoulders, glutes, and the back of your legs. Shifting your focus to include those muscle groups will help prevent chronic pain and promote muscular balance.
With all that in mind, the squat is one of the best exercises to start with. Here’s a quick-fire postural playlist for all levels that focuses on strengthening the glutes and pelvic region.
Choose your level and follow these five exercises by fellow Evolve trainer Jana Webb to reap the powerful benefits of postural conditioning. As always, mod up or mod down when needed.
For more great tips on postural conditioning, check out Part Two of Brent Bishop’s series on posture.