5 Ways Proper Posture Can Make You Into a Warrior
Ameer Rosic Wednesday March 26
2014 Read Full Article
Guest poster Theo Simon thinks posture is one of the most important parts of optimal health!
Good posture can promote the following health benefits:
• pain free life
• reduced injury
• increased flexibility
• increase circulation
• facilitated breathing
• reduced stress
• enhance physical performance
• more effective workouts
• boosts in self image, attitude & confidence
Before discussing good posture, let us consider what causes bad posture.
When we are born, our body structure is optimally positioned with ideal muscle lengths, joint
alignments and functional nervous system connections. Unfortunately, constant repetition of awkward
body positioning from daily life activities negatively effects our natural alignment. In this regard, I have
found the main culprit to be the seated position…
Our culture has imposed the seated position into our daily life making sedentary the new norm. Sitting
at desks, in planes, trains, automobiles, upon couches, in front of televisions, computers, use of toilets
or dining contribute to fostering awkward positions that facilitate unfavorable affects on body posture.
Common poor postural deviations leading to bad posture include:
• sway in lower back
• rounding of the mid back and shoulders
• forward head and neck
• feet pointed outward or inward
• knees facing in or out
• backward facing palms
• protruding stomach
Extensive research link sitting to a number of ill health effects- one of those being poor posture. The
seated position is detrimental to our posture because certain muscles are in a constant state of
contraction while opposing muscles remain dormant.
For example, if you sit in a chair for 8 hours a day certain muscles (the hip flexors, hip rotators, upper
abdominals, etc.) are being used. At the same time, opposing muscles (hip extensors, transverse
abdominis, lower trapezius, etc) remain dormant.
When you stand up after a 8 hour shift at your desk job, your neuromuscular connection does not return
to the proper relation. Instead, overused muscles will continue to be stimulated while the under active
muscles remain weak. Lack of function from the weak muscles will cause recruitment of other muscles
that are not solely responsible for the specific function. This muscle recruitment is known as muscle
compensation. Muscle compensations can cause a number of discomforts, aches, pains and injuries.
What is good posture?
Good posture, characterized by neutral spinal alignment, should be central to any fitness program.
When posture is at it’s most ideal state then muscles will function most efficiently. Posture is the
foundation of our structure and movement patterns. If our structure is strong and aligned then our
kinetic chain will also be strong and well connected. Our body functions integrate through a kinetic
chain of interrelated systems known as the human movement system.
The human movement system is composed of 3 interdependent
• Muscular system: muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.
• Nervous system: central nervous system (CNS), peripheral nervous system (PNS).
• Articular system: joints.
Achieving good posture requires balance of the muscular system
Imbalances within the muscles and tissues of the body result in an improper connection between the
nervous system (CNS and PNS). Constant stimulation of certain muscles will create misalignments of
tendons, ligaments, joints and bones. Faulty positioning can create pain, injuries or a number of medical
problems. For example, according to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is the single
leading disability, affecting roughly 31 million Americans and costing them at least $50 billion each year
on easily identified pains. This astounding number will only increase unless people become informed
and get the proper help to sustain good posture.
How do I improve my posture?
Correcting bad posture is not as simple as it may seem. Standing straighter, pinning your shoulders back
or being more aware of slouching will not fix a lifetime of poor body structure.
The following are 5 steps to start restructuring your body alignment:
1. Nutritious Diet
2. Stress Management Practice
3. Trigger Point Release Program
4. Effective Stretch Routine
5. Proper Corrective Exercise Regimen
Diet will also play a large role in managing your posture for optimal functioning. According to studies of
Weston A. Price, poor nutrition has been linked to physical degeneration. Processed foods containing
sugar, white flour, pasteurized milk and processed foods are filled with additives that can influence the
structure of your body. Following a diet that is outlined in Optimal Health Nation’s nutritional articles
will ensure your body is well-nourished and capable of functioning optimally. The diet should consist of
foods like nutrient-dense vegetables, low sugar fruits and organic grass fed meat.
Stress Management Practice
Stress spurs tension within our body even on a subconscious level. Managing stress with proper
breathing exercises will relax the muscles and nerves of the body. Stress and other physiological factors
can inhibit muscles from functioning properly causing a numerous aches and pains. Our jobs,
relationships and finances can generate chronic stress which can be very harmful to our health and body
Coping with stressful situations in healthy ways is crucial for eliminating the damaging effects it can have
on our bodies. Using breathing exercises will help prevent your sympathetic nervous system from over
working. Slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breaths stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system which
is responsible for releasing hormones that relax the body and mind. These breathing exercises should be
practiced daily for long-term effects.
Trigger Point Release Program
Attending to the tight, overused muscles associated with the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex is essential for
fixing muscular imbalance. Since the pelvic bone is the base for our spine it has heavy influence on our
body alignment. An misaligned pelvis is the result of tight shortened muscles and weak long muscles
ineffectively working to stabilize the pelvis. The remedy is to apply self-applied trigger point release
techniques to muscles that are tight. Trigger points, or small contraction knots in a muscle, are known to
cause a number of aches and pains by restricting the muscle from fully functioning. Using trigger point
release techniques consistently will help break apart the knots and mobilize the tissue.
Effective Stretch Routine
Once a consistent trigger point release program has been implemented, the muscles are more inclined
to effectively stretch and restore natural length. A muscle is more capable of stretching once knots have
been eliminated. For best results, hold a stretch for 60-90 seconds while the muscle is in a relaxed state.
Proper Corrective Exercise Regimen
Lastly, when flexibility has been improved, the opposing underused muscles need attention. Underused
muscles have become weak and long from dormancy. Attending to the dormant muscles through
corrective exercises will help engage the muscles and shorten them to the ideal length. Corrective
exercises can be performed to build a stronger neuromuscular connection by holding the muscle in a
constant state of contraction.
In summary, bad posture can negatively impact our overall health and
lead to numerous aches, pains and injuries.
Building a strong postural foundation is most important for improving physical performance, reducing
stress and boosting confidence. The 5 steps listed above should be practiced daily and may take weeks,
months and even years to achieve ideal posture depending on the individuals level of dysfunction. The
importance of posture must not be over looked as it provides many long-term health benefits for a
lifetime of pain-free living.
- How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek
- Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price
Ameer Rosic is obsessed with health. A Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Diagnostic
Practitioner and Functional Medicine Practitioner, Ameer has spent years empowering himself with
knowledge about optimal health, and now his passion is to share that with you! From interviews
with top health experts to fitness and nutritional advice and more, Ameer Rosic can help you live a
life of optimal health!
Discover more at www.ameerrosic.com.
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