If you don’t have good posture, whether inside or outside the gym, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to unlock the full potential of your workout.
In this blog, we’ll outline how adopting the correct posture can absolutely transform your workout, delivering more results with less effort.
What Posture is
When you think about it, what is posture, anyway?
When most people think of posture, they tend to think about injunctions to stand up straight with their shoulders back. They think of a way of holding their bodies that makes them look better and feel more confident.
But posture is more than that.
There’s a way of thinking about posture that actually can deliver more than just a positive body carriage, a way of thinking that can transform your workout and deliver more and better results.
At bottom, posture is about efficiency. When you have good posture, you end up doing things with less effort.
This might seem counterintuitive. After all, adopting a good posture, for most of us, takes a lot of effort.
But it’s true.
Think about it this way. When we have bad posture, we actually spend quite a lot of energy just moving around. For instance, when we carry our heads forward, we place a lot of extra weight on our neck and upper spine.
When we stand up straight, all our weight is supported by our entire body, from spine to foot. When we have good posture, our muscles are free to engage with the activity at hand.
What Good Posture does for Your Exercise Routine
As Rob Williams, Kinesiologist and Posture Specialist at SportsMedBC states, ‘“the body functions best when it’s segments are in a balanced, neutral alignment. The nerves are unobstructed, the blood flows more efficiently, and the muscles work to their full potential.”
When you have good posture, you’re able to isolate and use your muscles to their maximum potential. Every movement and exercise will isolate the function and capabilities of each muscle.
Adopting a good posture during your workout will also help you prevent injury. So many injuries occur from not having good form when executing any movement. Improper posture targets the wrong muscle groups. This can increase the likelihood of strains and sprains while delivering minimal results.
Researchers at Elite Sports Clubs estimate that The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System's (NEISS) 526,350 recorded exercise-related injuries in the US in 2017 partly resulted from poor posture while exercising.
AWS Watson, a researcher at the Sports Injuries Research Centre at the University of Limerick, also postulates that poor posture and body mechanics are a direct cause of sports-related injury.
There are serious effects that can come from not maintaining good posture during your workout, including:
Poor joint alignment
Increased shear forces on the spine
Compression of discs and joints
Reduced lung capacity from compression
Reduced blood flow, leading to fatigue
Let’s take an example.
Let’s say you’re doing some deadlifts. You go to pick up the bar, but your posture is off. You’re probably:
Standing with your head jutting out
Projecting your shoulders forward
In this case, because of your posture, you’re more likely to place a lot of pressure on your knees, neck, and lower back, when your goal should be to target muscle groups in the legs and the core. Not only are you not properly isolating the muscles, you’re putting unneeded stress on your joints, which can lead to serious health complications later on.
Having good posture during your exercise routine, however, will ensure that your neck and back are straight, allowing you to push through the ground to isolate your legs and core.
This principle applies to everything you do. Whether you’re stretching, running, weightlifting or sparring, good posture can help you achieve your body’s maximum potential.
How to Get Good Posture
There are loads of ways for you to improve your posture. Bad posture can come from all sorts of areas of your life.
For instance, it could come from poorly developed muscles in your core and back that keep you upright. Develop your muscles with these exercises in order to give yourself the base muscle capacity. Here 10 Ways to Easily Improve Your Posture.
Your posture could also be affected by your work. Many of us work in offices all day long, and this can do a number on our backs. Make sure you’re arranging your workspaces so that you don’t develop bad posture. Here is the list of exercises to improve your posture.
However, some people need a little extra support. After all, it can be difficult, even if you have the most well-developed back and core muscles, to maintain a good posture all the time when at the gym. For those of you who have trouble keeping your back straight, there are athletic posture brace options that will keep your body in an optimal posture, no matter what activity you’re doing.
We all know that form is the basis for amazing athletic training and achievement, and maintaining good form when exercising is one of the hardest things you can master. However, once mastered, you will be able to get an optimal workout that will work every single muscle group as efficiently as possible.