Exercise and Body Posture

man stretching at the desk

Modern living has left quite an impact on the human posture, not only in the gym where the effects of bad posture are obvious and in the plain sight, but also in general. There are many reasons to it, from a sedentary life, unsuitable working environment, lack of any physical activity, poor education on the subject and the importance of maintaining a healthy posture and the impact posture has on general health.

 Now, the posture thing when dealing with iron and strength training is the first and the most important factor. If you do not think about your body and the correct posture prior to heavy lifts or any kind of exercise you’re endangering your progress and your body. Only with the right stance will the muscles respond the way they should, and will begin to form the body right. This way the benefits will show in as little time possible, and for people suffering from problems with the neck, spine, lower back, that alone can be a great relief of their often painful troubles.

Proper posture is something you should definitely think about. Now, what it means is trying to keep the body in the perfect position relative to the weights you’re pulling or pushing.  Arch in the neck and upper back area, arching in the lower back, is simply not the way to go. There are some particular exercises where you can see the lower back arch, but for a good reason and not without a thought behind it.

Easy fix to a common problem of posture would be to keep the shoulder blades firmly together, shoulders locked in position, slightly pulled down, chin up all the way. Also, the feet should always be shoulder-width apart, with the knees slightly bent, to compensate for the pressure on the lower back. This, along with the contracted abdominal muscles and glutes will protect you from injuries, while still keeping the form intact.

Another important factor in the posture story is the correct breathing. How you may ask? Correct breathing technique will create the right tension in your body, will keep your lungs full and all of the muscles pumped up for the lift. If you’re doing it wrong your effort will be reduced, leaving the body in imbalance and in a weak state, especially if the weight goes away from the body. Some researches showed 20 % less strength when the breath is not following the move. You’ll be weakened in the mid-body area, your spine will not be backed up right, and you’ll be risking an injury.

woman overlooking the sea

The gym is the best way to go if you have posture issues. When the muscles start to respond to the right training, done in the strict and right form, you can expect your body to return to the natural and positive posture. Normally, this approach won’t help much if the spine is already damaged, where a person can have some form of injury on the spinal vertebras, or where the pressure lies on the spinal cord, but it can help a lot with the painful sensations that can arise from these common problems.  Beware of forcing weights do, always stay on the safe side and work your way up the ladder with basic weight progression. The spine and excessive weights are not particularly fond of each other.

Another way to go for the posture troubles is by doing some specific bodyweight exercises, usually prescribed by orthopedists, with more therapeutic value to the body. Usually, it involves light stretching movements, planks, back extensions on the floor, and others. There are also great yoga programs that can do a lot, light pilates moves also, but adjusted to suit your specific needs and symptoms.

NOTE

Eastern medicine has one interesting claim – they treat the spine as a highway of health for the rest of the body. This approach actually makes sense. All of the neural impulses come in and out of our brain and go through the spinal cord to our whole body. Instantly there is a complicated communication between the brain and our organs, tissues, bones… What happens when somewhere on the way this information encounter a roadblock? The nerves will try to avoid the block, will form different paths, but the information that goes through will be delayed and corrupted. And that makes all the other important organs to function poorly.  As we age the problem gets worse, to the point it can cause numerous symptoms and troubles that reflect other health conditions. These symptoms can vary a lot, from a typical heart attack symptoms to pain in the belly, dizziness, and many more.

So, for the functional and healthy life, the health of the spine is a necessity. That’s what makes the posture a very important factor one should definitely consider and think about. Also, the kids need to know why they should maintain a healthy posture and what it means for their future life, to really develop into a strong and healthy individual.

yoga stance