Posture Part IV: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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If you are reading Part IV of this Posture series, I assume you have dabbled in the first three parts.  So what have we learned so far?

  • Posture is defined as the characteristic or prescribed way of bearing one’s body under the constant of gravity
  • Posture develops with habits, regardless of good or bad
  • Bad posture and ugly posture will always put stress on our “Blue Print”.
  • A bad “Blue Print” creates muscle imbalances, compensation, mechanical breakdown, and disease
  • Posture in motion is called acture. If you have bad or ugly posture and put it into acture you will experience aches, pains, and even injuries.
  • Being aware of your postural tendencies and taking the steps to correct poor habits will increase your health, wellness, and vitality.

 

OK, so now what do you do when the Doctor says “You need to start exercising”?  Well what is exercising?  Most of us assume that we start by getting on a treadmill 3-5 times a week.  The problem with treadmill work is you have been told that you need to start exercising.  Chances are you are someone who is falling into the category of bad or ugly posture.  In the big scheme of health, wellness, and vitality you would be causing stress on the ankle, knee, and hip joints, and compressing your spine.

Maybe your heart was pumping a little more than it typically does so the circulation has improved.  But, now you are back to the Doctors office for a bum knee, sciatica like symptoms, or a stress fracture in your ankle.  Pain medications and physical therapy are your new prescriptions, along with the Doctor’s orders to take time away from exercising.

Now you are back to square one, except you are masking your postural mechanical breakdowns that resulted in pain by taking medications.  You begin to create new motor patterns that avoid the aches and pains.  This is called sensory motor amnesia.  Humans are great at compensating our motor patterns to avoid pain, but the problem is that those patterns are inefficient and are ultimately going to create bigger problems for you in the future.

Exercise in general needs to be understood, viewed, and presented as; learning how to move efficiently through full ranges of motion.  Accomplishing such workouts will tax and stress the body correctly.  With the proper workout plan, you will improve mobility and stability of your joints.  You will gain core stability, core strength, and core endurance.  Consequently, you will increase overall strength of your entire “Blue Print”, and develop the conditioning of the cardiopulmonary system…. all at the same time.  Treadmill work will take care of creating the stimulus for a physiological adaptation to occur but sacrifices the biomechanical adaptations that are needed to improve posture, decrease pain, and enhance performance.

I could continue to ramble about this subject.  However, letting you absorb what I am saying will open your mind a little bit on how important exercise prescription really is.  YOU should be doing a workout geared to your needs rather than your goals.  In doing so, if your needs are focusing to meet the goals, and your personal goals will be accomplishing.

Absolutes to focus on that will satisfy “exercise” and improve posture should be structured around proper movement patterns.  These include: hip hinging, glute activation, ankle mobility, quieting the mind, breathing techniques, hand/eye coordination, spinal stabilization, joint mobilization, mind/body connection, unilateral and bilateral strength training, cardiopulmonary/conditioning (using methods that do not sacrifice the proper movement patterns), and tissue work (SMR).

Beyond the absolutes, you might ask yourself, what exercises do I need?  Or, what should I be doing?  Perhaps you are curious as to what exercises you should not be doing… Well, true exercise prescription is an art form.  The prescriber must first conduct a full evaluation, assessment, and get background information of the health records, previous injuries, job description, nutrition and hydration patterns, current “exercise”, and day-to-day postural habits of play, relax, sleep, transportation, etc…..  This is not easy for either party.  That is why in Part III I mentioned the Postural Puzzle.

Nobody will ever be totally balanced.  No one person can dominate any of these negative seeming issues.  But what we all can do is take the steps to undo our day through the proper corrective exercise modalities. We can also learn and become more aware of the impact of some things that we habitually do on a day to day basis.  Tendencies we did not realize have such an impact on our health, wellness, and vitality.

Part IV of this blog series is important in regards to truly being conscious and serious about the impact of posture on our health, wellness, and vitality. My overall goal is to educate the masses.  If we truly care about changing ourselves and collectively becoming a healthier society, than sometimes we need to take responsibility for our own actions.  This is not an easy feat.

Through the blogs to come I will challenge you, as well as show you methods, tricks, and tips on how to become more aware of the habits, changes, and efforts to begin to overcome them.  I am always ready to learn and know that I myself will benefit on this journey.  So, I ask YOU the reader to please join me in bettering ‘self’.  For us, for the people we care about, the people we do not know, and for the generations of youth to come.

We must team up together to truly succeed at changing our unhealthy ways.  But, I believe it starts with understanding how posture plays a huge role in our overall health, wellness and vitality.  Specifically how important small a mindful change has a huge impact on creating good habits.

I am wrapping this blog series up with Part V.  I will also make sure to show you a few things you can do to quickly and easily change some bad habits in your postural tendencies.  Next, I will give you some ideas on what to add or eliminate from your workout routines even for those who have yet to start an “exercise routine”.  Finally, I will present to you the correct way to start in my opinion as an exercise physiologist.  It is all easier than you might think… Be well folks, and thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Ethan Plante
Ethan Plante

Ethan's primary role is educating P-Knotters. His favorite P-Knot Move is the Grab and Pull in the hamstrings from a deficit using a UniSphere.

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