I had a great CoreWalking session with someone yesterday who presented all of the usual traits of terrible posture that I hope to curb in my clients. Feet too wide apart and turned out, pelvis tucked under, thighs thrust forward, front ribs flared, shoulders aligned behind the hips. And his head was on fairly straight.
At the end of the session which I think went well, after we left the room, he turned back to me.
“Just one question.” He said.
“Everyone tells me I have great posture. I mean everyone.”
“Well, I hate to say it but you have terrible posture.”
He laughed and we parted ways.
This brings up two issues.
1. For whatever reason, our world perceives your basic military posture of chest lifted and shoulders thrown back as being good posture. It is deeply ingrained in our culture that this is the correct way to stand. And it is my humble opinion that it isn’t.
2. If everyone has bad posture—and I would put that in the 90% range of the population—what is the benchmark for perceiving good posture?
Maybe I am wrong. I am, have been and will continue to be wrong about many things in life. What can you do? That being said, most of what I offer is pretty basic. The simplest of all the cues I give people involves the breath.
Breathing is a whole body experience. When we inhale the entire trunk should be involved with the diaphragm muscle dropping down to push the belly out and pull air into the lungs. This basic approach to breathing can’t really happen with bad posture. If the pelvis tucks under or the front ribs lift up the breath will go somewhere but it won’t likely fill the whole trunk.
I offer an endless array of cues to help people change their posture but the truth is a great many people think they have good posture already. The first step to changing is to honestly asses how you stand. Good luck.