Ever noticed what happens to your posture when you are tired? I definitely slump through my thoracic spine (upper back) and have tendency to round my shoulders. I have a large mirror on the wall in my room and sometimes at night I will catch a glimpse of my posture. If I’m tired out it’s not a pretty sight. Knowing what your bad habits are is key to improving your overall alignment. Bad posture will lead to pain, tightness and weakness. That niggling back pain, shoulder tension and neck ache…could well be due to your posture.
A couple of definitions:
Posture: the way in which your body is positioned when you are sitting or standing. Good posture require the least amount of muscle activity to keep an upright position.
Good Posture reduces stress and fatigue on the body so helps it work more effectively.
Alignment: the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts (as of a mechanical or electronic device) in relation to each other i.e. the body constantly works to try and maintain neutral.
Alignment takes into account the forces on the body and looks at how the body should be.
I know from my bad habits that I need to remind myself throughout the day and when I am doing Pilates to check my shoulder alignment and pull up through my thoracic spine.
Top Tip: Work out your weaknesses so you can become stronger. Give yourself time to stretch and iron out thoses niggles. 2 examples that I often see:
1. Rounded shoulders: Work on lifting through the ribcage (but not sticking it out too far) and sliding the shoulder blades down in your spine. Use exercises like chicken wings and try lying on a roller to release.
2. Slumped and rounded lower back? Think about coming into neutral pelvis at certain points throughout the day. Try some pelvic tilts to find neutral and to strengthen the core.