Muscular Alignment vs. Skeletal Alignment


Skeletal alignment vs. postural alignment that is the questionWe’re in a chicken and egg situation when it comes to muscular alignment versus skeletal alignment. Because we have bad posture (skeletal alignment) our muscular alignment is awful and we are imbalanced front to back. And because our musculature is out of balance it is very difficult to correct our skeletal alignment.

Our lower back muscles are incredibly short from tucking under of the pelvis and habitually leaning backwards. Our hamstrings and quadriceps are also thrown out of balance from tucking the pelvis. Our erector spinae muscles are also short and tight because we are tucking under the pelvis and not using the psoas/pulley system to lengthen them out and up. This imbalance also leads us to lose all core support and tone. Our muscles have developed this way because of our poor skeletal alignment (not using our lumbar curve). Now that our muscles are developed as such, if you put yourself into correct skeletal alignment in the pelvis, the muscles just pull you back into imbalance. It’s an unfortunate trap.

What I’ve found with my yoga students and walking program clients is that reclaiming your body from this trap is a combination of releasing, stretching, strengthening and toning. People often think that if they have low back pain or poor posture there are sit-ups to do or a pulling back of the shoulders. But there’s a much more subtle and interesting work to do with the core and pelvis to find a natural alignment of the body.

People need to figure out exactly what their body needs from a whole body perspective. Skeletal alignment won’t change without awareness of where your own skeleton is in space (nobody thinks they lean back all the time), and muscular support won’t happen by osmosis. You need to do some inner research to figure out what muscles groups need work and what kind of work they need. Every individual is different so you have to look inside to see what you need.

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Running Form: Ida on the Fly
Yoga Instructions: The Upper Back Does Not Bend
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