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 RoutineAs 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:
- Overuse injuries
- 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
- Standing with your head jutting out
- Projecting your shoulders forward