Walk The Way You Play
Bad posture is everywhere. And it usually takes a consistent form. Instead of standing straight we tend to sink our thighs forward and lean slightly backward.
This is bad. We want to pretty much do the opposite.
It would be better to lean forward than lean backward though it is hard to convince people of that. So I look for images in culture and life that can help.
When students or clients can relate to images or cues that I show them, I know we are getting somewhere. The more something resonates inside the more likely it is that change can happen.
Walk the way you play is one of my favorite images.
Even though I think most people have poor posture, those same people probably employ decent posture somewhere in their life.
Recently I worked with a musician with chronic upper back pain that threatened to derail his career. He had been to many doctors and practitioners who had offered him little help or even understanding when it came to the pain he was experiencing.
Pointedly he warned me in an email before our session that his posture while playing his instrument was excellent and many people had told him so.
This actually made my job much easier.
When we met and he showed me the way he played I acknowledged that his posture for playing his instrument was very good. But as we talked about the way he played with good posture, he was standing as poorly as a human being can stand— tucked under, compressing the lower spine and pulling the upper spine backwards.
His fix seemed relatively easy if not immediate. I told him to go through life the way he played his instrument. Put the same focus on mundane activities that he put into his professional life.
Rewind to a year or so ago and a session I had with a triathlete who was having back pain. She stood and walked terribly, leaning backwards all the while, so I asked her to show me how she ran and she immediately moved her body forward and landed beautifully through her whole foot.
Another easy fix— I told him to walk the way he runs. He got it instantly and I haven’t seen him since.
There are endless anecdotes of a similar nature. Almost everyone does something that requires a naturally good posture..
You can apply that to golf, baseball, tennis… it doesn’t matter which sport you bring to mind.
Nothing will be achieved by leaning backwards but stick your butt out, drop your ribs, let your arms hang, and you will be ready to play the sport of your choice and live a more effective life.
Become an expert on your body and the way it is designed to work and you will have much less trouble ageing well.
When most of us perform athletics or play music we have an idea of the form required to be good but we don’t always apply that to our lives.
Walk the way you play is one way to incorporate good movement patterns into your daily life.