Posture Part 2

Aug 20, 2014

Before I get going here I highly recommend that you first go back and have a read over ‘Posture Part 1’ were I discuss the type of posture that is very common in a society were we sit a lot more and move heck of a lot less than we used to. Nowadays more and more people are presenting with the rounded upper back and slouched shoulders look which goes hand in hand with the problematic forward head posture. I have also found that people are unaware of just how tight they are in the hips and are shocked when they discover how much hip range of motion they are missing when I first assess them. If you are missing huge chunks of ranges of motion in your hips then sooner or later you will more than likely run into ankle, knee or low back problems. Putting in simply, if your hips don’t move well then your low back/ lumbar spine will have to move more which is the very last thing this region of the body wants. The low back region craves stability NOT mobility. I know that I am repeating myself here from ‘Posture Part 1’ but I believe that it is a very important point to hammer home and can shed light on some things that maybe you can do without in your training program and that might be doing more harm than good.

Right, enough waffling on my part and let’s get straight to the fun stuff! Here are my go too stretches and mobility exercises that will help to correct your poor posture. You can implement these before and after training or while you are watching the next episode of ‘Offspring’! A thank you goes out to Wayne for demonstrating each of the exercises to perfection!

We’ll begin with working on those brutally tight hips.

Squat to Wall Hip Stretch

squat-to-wall-hip-stretch.jpg

  • If you like cleaning your walls then feel free to wear shoes. If not then going barefoot will work well!
  • Make sure you shins are parallel with the ground and toes are pointed relatively straight forward.
  • You can accentuate the stretch by pushing your knees outward with your hands and/or widening your stance on the wall.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip-Internal-Rotation-Stretch.jpg

 

  • Make sure to rotate your upper leg outward as opposed to twisting and contorting your low back.
  • You can play around with your hips on the ground or off the ground to find which variation you are most comfortable with.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip-Flexor-Stretch.jpg

  • Form on this stretch can be butchered quite a bit. The key point is to make sure you are not hyper extending your low back. As you can see Wayne is kneeling nice and tall and squeezing his left glute muscle which avoids putting his low back in a bad position.
  • Tilt your hips forward slightly until you feel a stretch along your hip flexor.

Glute Stretch

Glute-Stretch.jpg

  • Again if you like your walls clean you can go barefoot!
  • You can use the hand that is on the knee to apply more or less pressure depending on how much of a stretch you want on the glute muscle.

The Frog Stretch

The-Frog-Stretch.jpg

  • This one is one of my favourite hip stretches to do even if it does get me a few odd looks from other gym goers. As the name implies your starting position should look very much like a frog.
  • Push your hips backwards to perform the stretch and you should feel this immediately in the high hip region.
  • Hold the stretch in the bottom position for a second or two then come back to the starting position. Repeat for as many times as you like or until your hips start to feel more mobile.

Upper Body Soft Tissue Work

Below are my go to areas on the body which tend to get brutally short and tight. Stretching will only do so much and sometimes we need to find a tennis ball, lacrosse ball or hockey ball and go digging around those matted down tissues that are not sliding and gliding well. Use some sort of a small ball to explore various regions of the upper body and restore suppleness to the tissues. Wayne's face is blocked from view in the pictures below for your own benefit as he was making some crazy looking pain faces which would not have made for pleasant viewing Smile.

Soft-Tissue-Work-01.jpg Soft-Tissue-Work-02.jpg Soft-Tissue-Work-03.jpg



Tags: posture
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