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How To Get Back In Shape

Standing Posture

                     

 Assess  Standing Posture    Correct Standing Posture   Key Points to Remember 

Why does better Standing Posture help you get Back in Shape?

Good Standing Posture is crucial to getting back in shape. Poor postural alignment puts stress on your joints and ligaments. Over time, postural alignment problems cause muscle imbalances which lead to muscle tightness, weakness, tension and joint stress that can lead to pain, disc disease and arthritis. 

If you add exercises to muscles and joints that are unbalanced, you can actually cause more problems. So start to get back in shape with good posture.

Below are some muscles and joints that are affected by poor sitting and standing posture:

 Muscles that Weaken:

 Abdominals

 Shoulder & Scapular  Gluteals & Buttocks
 Muscles that Tighten:  Pectorals  Upper Cervical & Neck  Hamstrings & Psoas
 Joints that Strain  Spine  Shoulders  Hips and Knees

You can see that your standing posture affects your entire musculo-skeletal system. Besides the pain and dysfunction poor posture causes in your muscles, joints, and nerves, it can also cause dysfunction of your vital internal organs. 

Poor sitting and standing posture limits the room that your lungs have to expand. This compromises your respiration, reducing your oxygen intake. You will greatly enhance any exercise program that you do simply by improving your posture so that you can breathe better.

Good sitting and standing posture gives your diaphragm room to expand. And the movement of your diaphragm creates more mobility of your internal organs, which helps them function optimally. Try a diaphragmatic breathing exercise.

 Dynamic Alignment

Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery

 Posture 

Posture, Get It Straight! Two Disc Set

 Egoscue Book

The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion: Revolutionary Program That Lets You Rediscover the Body's Power to Rejuvenate It

Egosque DVDs

Egoscue: Pain Free Workout Series Vol. 1 and 2 (2 DVD Set)

Assess your Standing Posture 

Take a look at your standing posture in the mirror or on your web cam. Look for any asymmetry at the shoulders, your pelvis or knees. Also check to see if your arms are equidistant from your torso. Look down to see if one hip is more forward than the other.

Shoulders

-look for level shoulders

-head and chin in midline

 Level Shoulders

Pelvis

-look for level hip bones

-looking down, is one hip forward or back?

 Pelvis

Knees

-look for knee alignment over forefoot

 Knees

How to Get Back in Shape - Correct Your Standing Posture Exercise

Start your new standing posture with this exercise from the feet up: 

 Feet

To see if your weight is evenly distributed on both feet shift your weight side to side until you feel you have your weight equally balanced on both feet.

- Now, shift your weight forward until you feel the weight on the balls of your feet. Then shift your weight back toward your heels, noticing any changes in your leg, pelvis and back muscle tension.

- Continue shifting back and forth and stop when you feel that your weight is evenly distributed between the ball and the heel of your foot.

- If your arches are touching the floor at this point, you will want to do some arch strengthening exercises.

 Knees

 

If your arches or ankles roll in, your knees will roll in as well.

-Look down to align your knees over your forefoot. The knees should also have a slight bend.

- Avoid locking the knees straight called hyperextension.

Hips & Pelvis

 

Think of your pelvis as a large salad bowl full of salad. Place your hands on your hip bones.

- If you tip the front of the bowl down, causing a swayed back, you will have salad (or your abdominal contents) spill out forward.

- Instead, keep the bowl level with the contents supported securely inside the bowl.

 

Torso

 

Next imagine that from your pelvis to the top of your head is a long balloon.

-As you breathe in, the balloon expands and your spine elongates.

-Allow your shoulder blades to drop back and down as your spine gently extends your head upwards. This step is especially beneficial for better health of your spine and the organs of your torso, because it reduces the compression on them.

 Head & Neck

 

To align your head on your neck, try this next little movement.

- Gently bring your head slightly back so that you elongate the little muscles at the base of your skull that attach the back of your head to your neck.

-To get the right feel of the backward glide (not tilt) imagine that your chin is sitting on a shelf just in front of you. Then just slide your chin back an inch to the edge of the shelf without lifting it off. It is a gentle movement without tilting your head up or down.

- If you do it gently enough, you will feel a little stretch between the back of your head and your neck. This is where tension builds up creating headache pain.



These subtle movements may take some practice for you to be able to feel their alignments. Once properly aligned, you will feel a "spring" in your joints, minimizing the feel of gravity.

For better standing posture, begin at the feet and work your way up. As you can see (or feel), this is not your standard military type posture. It is a more relaxed postural alignment, and it eliminates slumping, rounded shoulders and a protruding abdomen. Practice better standing posture anytime that you find yourself having to wait in line.

Remember these Key Points for better Standing Posture:

1.  Feet - Even weight distribution between left and right, as well as between the ball and the heel of the foot.

2.  Knees - Pointing forward over your forefoot, unlocked

3.  Pelvis - Neutral spine half way between a full arch and a fully rounded low back.

4.  Shoulders - Rolling the thumbs out guides the lower tips of your shoulder blades back and down as it lifts your chest up off of your abdomen and slightly forward.

5.  Head - Chin tuck brings your head and neck into alignment over your shoulders.

 Standing Posture

To start getting back in shape, here are some good resources to help you understand and improve your postural alignment:

 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot (Remember When It Didn't Hurt)  Posture, Get It Straight! Look Ten Years Younger, Ten Pounds Thinner and Feel Better Than Ever  The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion: Revolutionary Program That Lets You Rediscover the Body's Power to Rejuvenate It  Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery

 

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