What is Good Posture?

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One of the biggest inhibitors on a posture journey is that most people simply don’t know HOW to adopt good posture, and therefore they don’t know what it feels like to stand tall. They try and correct their posture, but they are actually going the wrong way about it, activating and straining the wrong muscles and adopting another form of poor posture.

The most common remark I hear when I fit someone correctly with a BackTone is how surprised the patient is at how TALL they feel they are standing. If you are accustomed to slouching, standing in correct neutral posture will feel quite strange at first. With practise you will learn to recognise the balanced feeling of good posture.

These are the steps I use to help patients stand in correct neutral posture. They are also in the BackTone instructions.

There are three action steps and three checking steps:

1. Lift your breastbone (chest) straight up towards the ceiling. Don’t push it straight out- that involves pulling your shoulders back. Just lift.

2. Imagine a string is attached to the BACK of the top of your head. Lift up through the string.

3. Contract your stomach muscles slightly (about 1/10 of a contraction). This helps activate your postural muscles.

The three things to now check are:

1.Make sure your shoulders are relaxed. Give them a bit of a wiggle. They should not be pulled back or lifted up.

2.Check your chin is not thrust forward. Imagine your head as a ball balanced on top of your neck. Relax your neck muscles and don’t strain to hold your head in position, just lift up through the imaginary string.

3.Check your knees are soft and not locked ridged, or your hips are not pushed forward. Remember, it’s all about lifting your breastbone and keeping your shoulders relaxed.

From the side, good posture aligns all your centre’s of gravity. Ears, shoulders, hips and ankles. This is not always achievable right away, but is something you work towards.

From the front view, shoulders hips and knees are level and head is not tilted. From the back view the spine and head are straight- not curved left or right.

Not everything about a slouch is in the straightness of your back. Look out for backward locked knees, hips/pelvis thrust forward, and chin jutted forward- these are all indicators of something being held wrong in your alignment, and breaking these bad habits could be the key to over coming bad posture.