Poor posture is the result of muscular imbalance – weakness of a particular muscle group – as well as a disruption in the length-tension relationships between muscles. Poor training habits, bad personal postural habits, and repetitive day-to-day activities cause muscles to shorten on one side of the joint and overstretch on the other.
One good example is the typical workday position of the corporate professional. The typical corporate professional will exhibit shortening of the hamstrings and hip flexors in the lower body, as well as shortened pectoral major and sternocleidomastoid in the upper body. Their gluteal muscles tend to be overstretched, and their shoulder girdle and posterior cervical muscles are overstrained.
This set of circumstances leads to the typical rounded-back, forward tilted head posture of the chronic desk-sitter. They may also exhibit low back pain and / or weakness
A general postural screen is conducted by having you stand in a relaxed state. The personal trainer evaluating you then examines your face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, hips, knees and feet to determine where your misalignment is greatest.
After the personal postural screen, one of the best ways to ascertain issues with posture is the evaluation of the overhead squat. Performance of the overhead squat is also an excellent way to measure coordination.
The overhead squat is performed with a dowel held at arms’ length over the head. The feet are hip to shoulder -width apart, and the toes are pointed slightly outward. In this position, you perform a full squat.
Deformations in your ability to maintain ideal posture are noted. These deformations in posture are sources of weakness, inflexibility, or coordination. All of these postural issues are correctable through proper training and mobility work.
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