So lets address something that directly effects you absolutely every single day for about 16 hours a day, your crappy posture!! I know what you are thinking, “I am sick and tired of hearing about my posture”. But believe me I’m right there with you, but you should also be sick of the pain and discomfort that you are feeling on a daily basis. I firmly believe that knowing how to properly align yourself not just for the gym but for life in general will not only improve your livelihood but others as well. I am going to try to take an informative yet simple approach to slowly correcting bad posture over time that you all can use in your own lives but also teach to others to help them at the same time. Like all of us know, all things important take time, but why not start right now.
I am going to state this disclaimer now, which is that I am not physician, physical therapist, or a chiropractor, so if you have questions or concerns please feel free to ask a professional! The first problem that we can attack right away is the HORRIBLE shoulder position that most people hang out in. Their shoulders are slouched so far forward that they literally look like the hunch back of Notre Dame… lets be honest you probably just thought of yourself didn’t you? I am not pointing the finger at you, I am in the same daily struggle, but a struggle entails a battle or an effort made against said struggle. Think about your day and how much of it you spend slouching your shoulders forward: texting, typing, driving, sitting, eating, using the bathroom, washing your hands (hopefully), I think you get the point. The majority of our day is spent just like this in some capacity. And yes I do realize that there are plenty of you that aren’t this bad but there is always room to improve. Now take a look at the musculature of the posterior shoulder and just imagine what those muscles look like on this man. We are taking these muscles and literally abusing them by hanging the weight of our upper body on them rather than properly using our skeleton to help with the load. And yet we wonder why our shoulders are so tight, always hurting, or seem to keep getting injured while exercising. Here is a test for your to show you how the shoulders don’t work too well in these conditions; roll your shoulders forward and without reorganizing your shoulder at all just try to raise your arm straight in front of you above your head, can you go all of the way up? More than likely no, but of course there are always anomalies. Our posterior shoulder muscles were not made to stretch all the way to the front of your body and then also reach full extension overhead. In my opinion everyone should be aware and just marvel at how incredible our bodies are and how we were created to adapt for survivability. Our body naturally finds ways to make things work whether correct or not to try to fulfill what the brain has in store for it. A prime example would be in the overhead squat you can watch someone start the squat fine but as soon as they start reaching parallel their arms start to bend and or their shoulders roll forward.
Now I know that my athletes aren’t trying to do this but since they can’t keep that external rotation in the shoulder it just tries to find another way. So moral of the story practice correct positioning throughout the day to counteract all the crappy positions we get ourselves into. Her is a video of a “reset” that you can perform for your shoulders any time that you notice you’re overly slouching which will probably add up to a significant amount of time. You need to be willing to make a positive change in your life as well as possibly get a strange look from a coworker or friend but you can always find sneakier ways to externally rotate those shoulders. The more you guys understand what is going on with your bodies the better your lives become!