Your posture is the result of lifestyle habits, patterns and positions you hold your body in during the things you do every day. Working to improve your posture can improve your health and immediately appear taller, thinner and more confident.
I will share with you how you can quickly improve your appearance, however, long term, proactive postural improvements will take work, but it is well worth it! If you choose to do nothing, imbalances will eventually develop into conditions that will cause you pain.
Lose the Tummy Pooch
From an aesthetic point of view, an “anterior pelvic tilt” posture, doesn't look good, as this posture leads to an exaggerated low back arch making you look like you have a belly. Anterior pelvic tilt is common in people who sit a lot (that's pretty much all of us). We've sat in school for 12 years and if you went on to college and/or are at a computer for work you have sat a lot in your lifetime. This condition is also evident in people who resistance train the front of their legs more than the backside.
Tight Quads/Hip Flexors - If your quadriceps are stronger than your abs, they will pull the front of your pelvis down, shortening your front hip flexors.
Weak Hamstrings/Glutes/Abdominals - If the hamstring and glutes are not strong enough to hold the back of the pelvis down, the low back overcompensates, pulling the pelvis up and the hip flexors take up the load of what the hamstrings and glutes are supposed to be doing, making them that much more tight.
Other areas of your body try to compensate - For the strain on the low back, causing misalignment in the spine and other joints such as in the feet, ankles, and knees, or cause a forward head posture, placing a tremendous amount of strain on the upper back/shoulders.
Immediately make your waist look smaller by tilting your pelvis backwards and contracting your abs and glutes.
Proactive Long Term Approach:
- Strengthen your core, glutes and hamstrings
- Loosen your quadriceps and hip flexors.
- FOAM ROLL -Targeting these same tight muscles
- AVOID SITTING FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME - sitting shortens the quads and elongates the hamstrings/glutes putting them in a "weakened" position.
- BALANCE YOUR TRAINING - Many people over emphasize their quads and don't spend as much time working the opposing muscle group on the backside hamstrings/glutes. If you do not know which exercises would target these areas, consult a Personal Trainer to help you find a few that will work, they would be happy to assist you.
Narrow Shoulders, Droopy Chest?
A hunched/slouched forward posture rounds your back and pulls your shoulders and head forward making your shoulders appear narrow, your chest look droopy and your middle look wider. In addition, this position causes a more forward head position adding more strain to your spinal column/nerves and upper back muscles leading to neck pain and even headaches.
Pull your shoulders back and lift your chest up to make your shoulders look wider in relation to your waist, and create the illusion of a narrow torso.
Proactive Long Term Approach:
- Stretch the tight front muscles (Pectoralis/upper trapezius)
- Strengthen the neck flexors/rhomboids and serratus anterior
Postural imbalances can negatively affect the health and function of the spine and surrounding areas. If these simple tricks presented do not help with your postural imbalances, there may be underlying structural problems that need to be addressed. If you have held your body in a poor position for hours on end, chances are your joints have lost their normal motion and position which can eventually lead to pain, dysfunction and impaired health. Fortunately, these fixated joints respond nicely to chiropractic adjustments, which allows movement within the joints to return.
If you are not familiar with Chiropractic, it is the science and art of locating imbalances, problems in the spine and reducing their impact on the nervous system. Chiropractors analyze posture and spinal problems that may be at the root of poor posture, spinal curvatures and movement or alignment dysfunction.
I hope this information was useful in increasing your awareness to these problems that can wreak havoc on your body if left untreated. You will find that focusing on achieving postural balance will help you feel better, breathe easier, stand up straighter and eliminate pain caused by these imbalances.
If you find that your postural issues are not resolving and/or are causing you pain and discomfort, I would be happy to help isolate the root cause of your problem.
As a wife and mother of two active little boys, Dr. Taglio understands that life is busy and can easily get out of balance. She knows how important healthy habits are in maintaining a healthy family. She is committed to addressing the whole body and takes a multi-pronged approach to improving the function of the nervous system, by removing nerve interference through chiropractic, addressing nutritional components and incorporating neuromuscular re-education to maintain spinal health and stability. She has made it her mission to help people not only feel great, but also help them reach their highest potential, in whatever their endeavors are. She has a love for children and their healing through chiropractic and nutrition.