How To Get Back In
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
| Muscles that Weaken:
| Shoulder & Scapular
|| Gluteals & Buttocks
| Muscles that Tighten:
|| Upper Cervical & Neck
|| Hamstrings & Psoas
| Joints that Strain
|| 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
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
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.
-look for level shoulders
-head and chin in midline
-look for level hip bones
-looking down, is one hip forward or back?
-look for knee alignment over forefoot
How to Get Back in Shape - Correct Your Standing Posture
Start your new standing posture with this exercise from the feet up:
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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
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
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
5. Head - Chin
tuck brings your head and neck into alignment over your shoulders.
To start getting back in shape, here are some good resources to help you
understand and improve your postural alignment:
If you are ready to get back in shape and haven't already signed in for our
Free How To Get In Shape "Get Started" guide, sign in
Your e-mail privacy is secure with
Thank you, Your How to Get Back