How important is posture when exercising?
It may not always be obvious but good posture is one of the most important issues when it comes to the functioning of your body as you age.Without practicing good posture throughout your earlier years your back will bend forward giving you a hunchback in the worst cases and putting pressure on your organs, your shoulders will round forward making your head droop and creates a restriction in the chest cage making it impossible to fill the lungs completely with air. Lastly your pelvis will either rotate forward or backward making walking and sitting up straight a burden and giving your extreme back pain.
Practicing good posture is not only for future benefits but having good posture makes one feel energetic. The reason for this is because when your body is not in good posture your muscles has to work harder to keep your trunk erect. The same goes for exercise – you can exert much more power, lift heavier and prevent injury when you have a good posture.
Studies have also confirmed that having good posture is directly linked to feeling more confident, and again this is linked to feeling good and young because it’s easy to move around.
Do I have bad posture? How would I know?
To find out if you have bad posture you can do the wall test. Stand with your back against a wall as you would normally stand up straight. You will have good posture when your heels, back of your calves, upper back and head comfortably touch the wall. When you have to strain to do this then you possibly have deviations in your posture.
Another test you can do which would be more accurate and tell you a bit more is the string test. Tape a piece of string to the ceiling and let it hang down until it almost touches the floor. You can put a small weight at the end of the string to keep it straight. Stand next to the string aligning your shoulder next to the string and have someone take a photo. To have good posture the string should “slice” your body with a line running through your ear, down the middle of your shoulder, middle of your pelvis, knees and feet. You can use the same string test to perform a frontal test and see if your body is swaying to one side or the other.
Types of posture deviation?
Like we all different body shape, our spine is also little different from others. Although you’ve probably been told before to “stand up straight”, your backbone is not perfectly straight. Nobody’s is. A normal spine has front to back curves, curving out at the top, and in at the bottom. But if the spine curves too much, or if it curves from side to side, that’s not normal. It can cause serious problems.
If the spine curves out too much at the top, into a humped or rounded shape, it’s called “kyphosis”. If it curves in too much at the bottom, it’s called “lordosis“. If it curves from side to side, it’s called “scoliosis”.
Scoliosis – lateral curvature of the spine
The spine of a person with scoliosis, seen from the back, may take the shape of a letter S, or a tall, skinny letter C. Besides bending from side to side, it will also twist, or”rotate”, towards the front of the body. That pulls the ribs out of place, making one side of the back higher than the other. It may even change the shape of the breastbone.
- Neuromuscular (myopathic)
- Congenital scoliosis
Kyphosis – an increase in the posterior curvature of the thoracic spine
When an individual has an overstretched curving of the thoracic vertebrae bone, then the condition is described as kyphosis or Kelso’s hunchback. There is however a degree of allowance for the stretch or curving that is considered normal. When this goes beyond a certain limit past the threshold then this is a pathological indication that the spine is experiencing an abnormal process.
- Postural kyphosis
- Congenital kyphosis
- Sheuermann’s kyphosis
- Degenerative kyphosis
Lordosis – an increase in the anterior curvature of the lumbar spine
Lordosis is defined as an excessive inward curve of the spine. It differs from the spine’s normal curves in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions, which are, to a degree, either kyphotic (near the neck) or lordotic (closer towards the low back). The spine’s natural curves position the head more than the pelvis and work as shock absorbers to distribute mechanical stress throughout movement.You must truly understand this in lordosis treatment.
Major reasons for lordosis are imbalances in muscle strength and length. Most of the time pregnancy also caused for hyperlordosis. However, among children vitamin D deficiency can also cause for developing lordosis. A Lordosis treatment should give more importance for abdominal muscles in order to maintain a neutral spine position.
Lordosis of the spine often cause for pain in the leg joints. However, by following a good posture exercise you avoid the effects of swayback. If you are an employee and as a part of work if you have to sit for a long time then you should be very careful. It is worth knowing that curing lordosis needs standing more than sitting. When you stand, it can cause for stretching the muscles in the lower body and thereby reduce the pressure upon it. if you have to sit a long time, it is suggested to take a break frequently so that you can stand and stretch. Moreover, exercise is very useful to cure lordosis. Therefore it is very important that both physical exercise as well as medical practice is essential in the lordosis treatment.