Today I would like to talk about a topic that most people know in the back of their mind but it sure isn’t talked or stressed about enough.
This matter won’t only keep you injury free, allowing you to lift more weight for many years, it will also make you stronger in every area of your life.
What is this wonderful amazing thing that all gym goers are neglecting?
That’s right. Posture will keep you injury free, allow you to lift more weight and make you better at everything you do in life.
Now you might be rolling your eyes right about now and about to close down the blog but I encourage you, as much as I can over writing, to continue on and read until the end.
We will be covering some amazing things and if you don’t take care of your posture you’re heading straight towards injury. You are also limiting yourself of strength and muscle that you would otherwise be able to achieve.
If I was near you I would be grabbing your collar and shaking you until you listen! That is how strongly I believe you can improve your quality of life just by working on your posture.
Before we go into the amazing benefits of good posture, let’s cover what exactly the topic of posture entails.
There are 2 different types of posture; one is known as static posture and the other is called dynamic posture.
Static posture refers to the way you position your body whilst standing or sitting.
Dynamic posture is the way your body moves.
Although it may seem like someone has good posture when they are sitting/standing still when someone is moving, the body tells a different story.
I want to pull you out of the gym for a couple of minutes and into your real life so you could see how good posture is going to help you in every aspect of life.
A couple of days ago I was watching a Ted talk – That’s how I spend my downtime … I know, weird. I was listening to a social psychologist by the name of Amy Cuddy.
Cuddy is known for her findings on the impacts of the way we feel in accordance to our stance.
In fact, she refers to studies performed on groups of individuals that have elected power poses vs. groups that have chosen to do poses that deem intimidated.
What was found was that the confident hormones, such as testosterone, were raised in those that performed the power poses set against those who performed the subdued poses. Plus, the cortisol levels (the hormone associated with stress) where reduced!
When people did the power poses they elevated their confidence level by which had less stress than those that did the oppressed poses.
The power poses are illustrated below.
As you can see the power poses are something that takes up space; it spreads the body wide, shows everyone that you’re in charge. On the other hand the intermediating pose is the exact opposite. It shrinks the body making you appear small, taking up the least amount of room as possible giving the impression that you’re unsure of yourself.
Let us compare how people with good posture stand to those with bad posture.
When you have good posture your stance is nice and tall taking up more space around you – not to mention the fact that people look a lot leaner when they have good posture.
On the other hand, when people have bad posture they tend to be hunched over from the neck, chest and lower back area causing them to appear very ‘hunchback of Notre Dame.’ This triggers a feel that you are small, leading you to feel less confident.
The good news is you can improve your posture in the gym by centring your workouts on posture more than anything else. However, if you don’t focus on posture you will find that your stance may progress and worse overtime when working out and lead to injury.
It’s a bit tricky to explain but I will do my best because it is important to me for you to understand how important your posture is for your confidence.
I am going to break it down into a few parts.
First we must understand what muscles are associated with good/bad posture.
Muscles attach from one bone to another through tendons, holding the body upright. When you work out you’re constantly shortening the muscles making them tighter which then pulls the attachment site (the tendons attached to bone).
Kind of like the ropes holding a mast up on a sailboat.
You got that bit?
The next point is that muscles are extremely adaptive. They will adapt under any stress they are put under.
What I mean to say is that lets say you have the standard shoulder forward posture aka, upper cross syndrome. In this position your chest would be really short and when working out the chest it will get even shorter pulling your shoulders even more forward. This will pull you further into the hunched position.
What you want to do is make sure that your posture is as straight as can be and then from there do the workouts so your lengthening and strengthening the right muscles.
Oh! And don’t forget to stretch after your workout or else you will get yourself worse and worse on the posture and we don’t want that.
I really wanted to get into the concept about how good posture will make you stronger in the first place but I have gotten a bit carried away with the importance of posture on your confidents.
What I am going to do is in my next blog talk about how posture directly impacts how much weight you can lift.
Stay tuned as it will become in the next couple of days.