Perfect posture requires skeletal alignment and muscular balance. Accomplishing this is easier said than done. Depending on your age, habits and patterns are often locked in and not invested in changing. To facilitate such change requires moving differently, exercising correctly and paying a lot of attention to your body for a long time.
I think the picture at the left shows me as a decent representative for the work I do. What you is pretty much the best I have to offer and my head is still very slightly forward and my chest is also a tad elevated. And this is after a decade of hard work to change what was once some horrible posture.
The previous three posts offered three cues that I think add up to perfect posture if successfully employed. Let’s add one final piece to bring it all together. Start by standing upright in whatever your brain tells you might be straight. I think you will be leaning backwards but feel for yourself. Or look in a mirror, which can be instructive.
Once you are upright and have assessed your default posture try and do the cues from the previous three posts—relax your butt, breathe fully and let your arms hang. Finding these three landmarks might well make you unhappy. Depending on the nature of your current posture adapting these cues might feel odd if not downright bad.
The main issue for most people is that these adjustments tend to force the head forward of the shoulders. Tomorrow I’ll write about why I think this is the reason that most people have bad posture to begin with but for today apply the three cues—relax your butt, breathe fully and let your arms hang—and feel what happens to your head and the rest of your body.
You might not like this feeling but from here, keeping the three cues active—try and lengthen your spine skyward without gripping your butt, breathing into the chest or locking your shoulders back. Get as long in the spine as you can without losing these three oh so important actions and that is your perfect posture for today.
Over time you can change and develop your musculature to accommodate this new skeletal alignment that accesses perfect posture. This is the effort of a lifetime but I think every attempt you make to understand and develop better posture can have positive long-range consequences.