This video discusses some strategies to improve your standing posture, prevent neck pain and back pain. It is important to build more awareness so you can develop a better standing posture.
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So in this video I’m going to go over tips on figuring out better standing posture just to build more awareness. So last video I shared I talked about sitting posture and I gave some tips on setting yourself up so you’re able to maintain proper alignment, better sitting posture. So we’re going to talk a bit about standing and standing posture in this one and why it’s so important.
So it’s very important not only for avoiding injuries but also just better performance in your day-to-day activities and definitely for athletic activities or sports. So most people don’t tend to be aware of their postures and I often find people, especially in standing, will have weakness in their lower abdominals where they’re shifting their weight forward; they’ve gotten tight in the front of the hips; they have rounded shoulders; they’re starting to get stiffness, a bit more rounded through their upper back, through their thoracic spine, which is resulting also in a forward-head posture. And that didn’t happen over a course of a few days – it happened over a lifetime of assuming poor posture, whether in sitting for long periods of time, whether or not being aware when they are standing where their body needs to be in space. So assuming these positions and postures, over time that results in all sorts of imbalances in the chain; so not just here, further up in the chain and down the chain too. So a lot of weakness off in the lower abdominal region, and you’re going to get a lot of tightness in the front of the hips and you’re going to get weakness in the glutes. So, weak here, weak here, tight here, and some stiffness starting to come in the low back as well as some compression taking place andI’m constantly shifting my weight forward and tightness in the pecs because I’m always in these rounded positions. And upper part of the neck gets stiff, and also a lot of weakness in the shoulder girdle and upper back region.
So, building more awareness and figuring out where I am in space is essential. And this doesn’t happen over one day; you have to constantly work on this, just like the sitting postures that we talked about, constantly have to work on this to improve the ability to maintain good positions and postures. Now, yes, you might have to do some mobility exercises, some strength exercises, but awareness – very, very important. Where am I in space? What am I doing throughout my day? And if you maintain really crappy postures eight hours a day and then you go and say, “Well, I’m just going to stretch out for a half-hour and that makes up for that crappy posture,” doesn’t work that way. So it’s much more efficient to work on better postures throughout the day, and then you have to do as many mobility or strength exercises in your exercise routine to get better posture.
So when I’m standing, think about, where is weight on my feet? Is it more in front of the foot or is it in the back, towards the heel? So you get a sense of, is my weight centered? Are my lower abdominals on, so meaning are these tight? Is my pelvis pulled under me instead of shifting forward or being more weight on one leg or the other side. So if I tighten up my lower abdominals, tighten up my glutes and I bring my pelvis under me to create a more stable position, and I might relax my shoulders and my chest a little bit here, so this is in a better position. It gets me in a slightly better alignment further up in the chain, too, and you can see it automatically corrects a lot of forward-head and rounded shoulder postures too. So then it’s a lot easier to bring my chin into dorsal glide or a double chin, to put myself out of these positions. So same thing, I do a little chin tuck and that aligns things a bit better so I don’t have to work too hard through here the moment I correct what’s happening at the bottom part of my base ofthe chain.
So think about rocking back and forth, figuring out where your weight is, pulling those lower abdominals, tightening your glutes so you bring your pelvis under you a little bit. That automatically sets up a stable position and base and it sets up a better position of my spine. So try that out and see what you think, whether you’re able to get in a better position, and then it also gives you a sense of, well, is this too tight? Are these really weak? Is it really hard for me to contract my glutes, tighten up these muscles, the lower abdominals? And then you can work on those specific things – is my upper back too stiff? Maybe I need to do more on the foam roller or rolling on the ball to get my mobility better for my thoracic spine, my upper back, because then it allows me to straighten up a bit better for my upper back. So it gives you better awareness and you can figure out what things you need to work on and what things you can improve just by adjusting your position and being more aware.