Stick Figures are YOUR Body…
Like this drawing, they are not straight lines. They are not simple. They are unique. Just like you. Your position is your posture and directly reflects your potential to produce movement that is functional.
- Good Posture = Good Potential
- Bad Posture = Decreased Potential
WHY? Everything radiates from the core, which is our center of balance in relation to GRAVITY, to the extremities such as the legs or arms. Notice the dot in the hips and how things begin to look like a target. Hopefully we can begin to realize the importance of POSTURE! Look at the pelvic (hip) from the side! There is NOT much room for error. Being aware of where you’re shifting your weight during movement is one of the best skills one can develop. It directly affects posture.
We Can do Anything…Until We Can’t
In 2013, I got to see what I really looked like as a stick figure. I was experienced some unexplainable lower body problems that didn’t have any logical explanations. There is an odd mentality when it comes to Western Medicine v Eastern and I was extremely skeptical of Chiropractic care. “My posture is FINE. I’ve been working out for over a decade.” I convinced myself I was fine for years. The pain came with the territory I reasoned with myself.
I was a ticking time bomb. I caved after YEARs of convincing myself my posture was fine. The picture on the left was my first visit. I immediately knew something was wrong with my posture when I was standing for the x-ray…the doctor chuckled and remarked, “wow, your belly button is inline with your left eye and what YOU think is normal posture, really looks like this….”. I laughed when he made his contorted position of my current posture. The body can truly put up with abuse!
Too bad I wan’t taught about Midline Stabilization and it’s importance in the Central Nervous System. Too bad I wasn’t taught about the importance of mobility and it’s direct impact on posture and performance. If there’s not a straight path from the brain to the muscles what else could happen but inefficiency in the Neuromuscular System? Experience is a wonderful teacher and hopefully you can learn from my ignorance.
The photo on the right is his 6 week consultation that all of his clients went through. INCREDIBLE right? I felt the difference. The pains that I accepted as a ‘forever’ thing were now slowly circling down the drain. I felt like their was hope. I had to go twice a week for an entire year to get back to ‘normal’, which is pain free and ‘good enough’ posture. I still go weekly and love talking exercise with the Chiropractor.
It’s the cheapest maintenance one can possibly do to maintain a very high quality of life and enjoy high performance of exercise with the simple fact of if the posture is improved so is the ability to produce quality movement. Posture is everything.
Understanding Posture = Understanding Pictures
Anatomy is filled with funny sounding words that are quickly forgotten. What matters is understanding what impacts posture and figuring out what we can do about it. Let’s break what affects posture down in a practical and functional manner:
- Head Position – Influences your pelvic position and is why we have you keep your ‘eyes on target’ during a movement
- C = Cervical Spine. There are 7 DIFFERENT bones stacked on top of one another forming, or should be forming a natural ‘C’ curve as seen in the 1st picture. The nerves that run through these bones influence everything neuromuscular going on in the ARMS. Weird arm problems? How’s your head position during most of the day?
- T = Thoracic Spine. There are 12 DIFFERENT bones stacked on top of one another. The Ribs are attached to these and wrap around to the sternum. These don’t move very much because their nerves influence your organs. When ribs are ‘out of place’ in posture – YOU KNOW. Chiropractic care is the fastest way to relieve the problem.
- L = Lumbar Spine. These 5 bad mofos are the foundation of the core and directly influence the LOWER BODY. They are where the fulcrum is in most movement. The position we have when we move, whenever we use the lower body, is directly dependent on WHICH of the 5 is the fulcrum. This changes naturally during movement as we shift our weight in our feet. Isn’t the body cool! Posture is so important! It’s also why we want our core to be insanely strong. That’s ALL that is protecting those guys down there. Protect them with static core work as you can control your posture 100% in them. Things like the Bent Hollow Body work wonders!
- Observe the hips in the front of the body. This is the Frontal plane. Notice how much space there is compared to the first picture in the Sagittal plane (that’s anatomy talk for side plane – use sagittal – anatomy talk is universal)
So if our posture is jacked up and our spine is NOT straight…do you think the pelvic is BALANCED?
Why we LOVE the Pelvis in Posture
Our feet are attached to the ground thanks to gravity. The muscles responsible for our posture are ALWAYS at work. They’ll also adapt to what you do.
- Shoulders rolled forward at work all day – Roger That.
- Staring down at a phone for 20 hours a week – No worries. We’ll adapt.
- Trademarking a ‘comfortable’ position? – Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands is just that…for better or for worse!
If we’re off to one side or the other there is an obvious imbalance to our body. We don’t feel it…at first. Our body’s can handle an unfathomable amount of abuse until it can’t. And we know this by experiencing PAIN. Not discomfort. Not temporary but a literal eye opening experience of PAIN. And the irony of it is it is 95% preventable. 5% goes to Murphy and his law of anything that can happen will happen.
If we think about all the repetitions we perform in exercise it should start to make overwhelming sense that we need to be taught how to move. It’s not something we should just ‘figure out’. Take running for example. A typical cadence in running is between 75+ repetitions PER leg PER minute. Math says that’s a lot. If one side is uneven does anything structurally good happen for the long-term? Tick tock goes the clock!
So when it comes to YOU and YOUR body TAKE CARE OF IT. Ironically the best way is WITH exercise performed WITH intention. Functional movement heals the body. Unfunctional movement can be performed but does it truly heal the body? Does unfunctional sound healing?
Fortunately, posture is 100% in our control, just like our diet. 100%. We just need to be more aware of it and find ways that we can ingeniously increase our posture at work. I tried standing desks and that wasn’t practical upon hours. Fortunately, the Internet exists: here’s something that will reinforce posture while sitting. It’s called a kneeling chair and exploits gravity and our anatomy. It’s incredibly comfortable too!
And if you don’t know why posture was important now you know.
Universal cues for creating a stable hip position
- Screw your feet into the ground (you should FEEL tension)
- Spin your feet as if they are on dinner plates (Feet do not move)
- Spread the floor (The more muscles you activate the better)
- Shove your knees out!
Get After It. The body can heal itself. All you have to do is put yourself literally in the specific position. Don’t be stubborn see a chiropractor. It’s an investment in you and that’s a great place to invest: your posture.
Better posture = Better quality of life. The choice is yours.