As an ex-professional ballet dancer, exceptional posture was a must. Now as a TruBe trainer, one of the most common complaints I hear from my clients is that they have poor posture. But what does this actually mean and how do we rectify it?
What is poor posture?
Posture is the relationship between the skeleton, muscle and other tissues of the body as it tries to stay upright against gravity. It can be as important to good health as proper nutrition, exercise, and a good night’s sleep. Bad posture occurs when certain muscles are activated too much and other muscle groups are under used, usually caused by sedentary lifestyles.
How do we get poor posture?
The largest part of most people’s daily life is spent working in the office which means we are spending most of our time sat at a desk. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can induce poor posture, causing rounded shoulders, a hunched upper back and a curved lower back.
Why is this bad for me?
If poor posture isn’t addressed it will only get worse and likely lead to chronic pain. Rounded shoulders can lead to shoulder impingments, hunched backs to neck pain and curved lower backs to chronic back, hip and knee pain. If left alone, surgery is the only option to resolve these problems.
How can I stop it?
There are some little tricks that we can look to incorporate into our daily lives that will help with your posture:
- Use your standing time wisely. Check your stance whilst you’re brushing your teeth, cooking your dinner or even waiting for the Tube
- Concentrate on standing as upright as possible. Maintain a natural curve in the lower spine and open your chest by pulling your shoulder blades together.
- Stand-up every half hour at work and take a short walk around the office to help promote blood flow and prevent the tightening of muscles
- There are many apps that remind you to stand-up, such as the Apple Watch. You will be surprised how much these can help.
To improve your posture even faster and reduce the chances of developing bad posture, here are some exercises you should and shouldn’t be doing:
- Overhead squats
- Lunging whilst reaching back and over your head
- Try yoga, pilates or Ballet fit (Try a session with TruBe!)
- Mobilise joints in 3 dimension
- Avoid crunches
- Avoid seated exercise machines
- Avoid lengthy cycling or spinning sessions
Matt Williams – London Personal Trainer & TruBe Master Ballet Trainer