As an athletic trainer working at a high school, I have first-hand experience in seeing bad posture take its toll on students. Common examples include a senior during finals week lugging around 50 pounds of books in a backpack that is slung over one shoulder, a freshman sunk so low in his desk that his chin is touching the table, or a junior prom-queen hopeful bearing the unnecessary pains of fashionable 3 inch heels. There are even accounts of varsity football athletes struggling with improper squatting and lifting techniques.
All of these are common models of how poor posture can lead to back pain and other problems.
Posture is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. By incorporating basic posture fundamentals into a persons daily life, that person will not only have a decrease in back pain, but also a decrease in hip and knee pain, and even increased energy, since living with good posture allows your musculoskeletal system (bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons) to work with greater efficiency.
When I was playing hockey as a kid, my longtime coach would always remind us: “practice does not make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect”. This same rule applies to improving posture. It is important to practice the fundamentals of posture in a perfect manner in order to achieve proper muscular control and stability.
This week’s Perfect Posture blog series will focus on basic techniques, strategies and tips that will allow a person to improve their posture and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The series will include blogs involving how to properly utilize your abdominal muscles in stabilization, proper squatting technique, the importance of the hamstring muscle group, an overview of exercises to increase hip stability, proper shoe fitting, and appropriate upper body posture.
Watch for my next segment on Friday!