Why your posture is important.
In addition to the improved appearance and increased self confidence that having good posture brings, your posture has a major influence on both your health and physical performance.
Most of us don’t realise the affect that our poor posture has on our bodies. The way you sit, stand, sleep and move all have an effect on the life span of your joints and the likelihood of injuries occurring. Even something as fundamentally important as the way you breathe can be altered by the way you sit.
Poor posture and incorrect motor control (control of movement) will also reduce physical power and performance during sports and exercise. Learning how to ‘set up’ ‘move’ and ‘finish’ properly is vital if you really want to make improvements to your performance.
For these reasons I always check every client’s posture during the initial assessment. I also recheck regularly to ensure that things are improving as training progresses.
Why is my posture so bad?
Sometimes, postural problems can be congenital, such as being born with one leg shorter than the other. In other cases the problem can be the result of an old injury or medical condition. These things probably only account for around 10% of the problems I see.
The other 90% of problems have been caused by people just going about their daily lives.
Without a doubt, one of the most over looked causes of poor posture and injuries is that we simply don’t move enough. Our bodies are designed to move and unfortunately our modern lives are incredibly sedentary. Most of us sit for around 10 hours her day and often due to our jobs we don’t have much choice about it.
These static position we adopt have consequences. Our bodies are masters of adaptation. Our joints, muscles and bones will all adapt to injuries and static positions so that our bodies can accomplish the tasks we set them. Unfortunately these adaptations often lead to wear and tear in other places.
The human body is like an incredibly complex 3D house of cards. Bend or remove a card and the whole lot becomes unstable.
Something as simple as a tight ankle or hip can lead to an excessive range of motion in your knee. Before you know it, this excessive range of motion has lead to the cartridge in your knee wearing out, requiring surgery. My goal is help you identify problems before they occur. Prevention is always better than cure!
How I can help you correct your posture.
I have yet to meet anyone with perfect posture and I personally doubt there is anyone out there who has no problems at all. My role as a trainer is not to try and give everybody perfect posture.
It is to identify the more serious of problems and help to correct them before injuries or excessive wear and tear occurs. I also show people how they can improve their performance by paying more attention to their movement.
Posture correction is never easy and what works for one person may not help another. Generally I approach postural correction in the following manner.
- Help you identify the problem.
- Help you identify what could have caused the problem in the first place to stop it reoccurring.
- Provide daily exercises/stretches/drills to help restore mobility and improve motor control and posture.
- Provide strategies to help reduce wear and tear that happens due to everyday life.
- Show you how to perform routine maintenance on your body and nip a problem in bud before it escalates.
I view this as a vital component of the service I provide, both as a way of helping to prevent injuries and as an investment in my client’s performance and long term health.
What if I am already injured?
Many of the people who come to see me for an assessment regularly suffer from pain or are currently injured. Often, they are already being treated by physiotherapists, chiropractors or osteopaths who have referred them to me.
Above all else I am a personal trainer and sports masseur. I am not a qualified to diagnose injuries, for that you will need one of the above practitioners. After an injury has been diagnosed I can design gym based & home exercise/stretching programs that help to correct the problem.
In addition to this I will look closely at your lifestyle and help you identify what may have caused the problem in the first place. This may include looking at the way you sit at a desk, the position of your car seat or the way you walk or lift objects.
If you are currently injured and haven’t already found someone to help you diagnose a problem I am more than happy to recommend one of the excellent manual therapists I know locally.