If your posture sucks | Physio Bundall
Doing movement overhead is somewhat of a novelty to most people when they begin their journey in Crossfit. Unless you were a gymnast or a weightlifter in the past, most of us fail to lift anything more than a child overhead very often. Desk jobs and inactivity generally cause a decline in our posture, which makes lifting anything more than 10kg overhead a bit of a challenge.
If you do assume the desk position (or drive a lot), what tends to happen is that we become more kyphotic (rounded) through the middle of the back and shoulders. Our head starts sticking out further past the line of gravity in what Physio’s commonly refer to as “Forward Head Posture”. Our shoulders become more internally rotated from spending time typing on the computer, which causes shortening of the muscles in our chest (pectoralis major, pectoralis minor) and a lengthening of the muscles in the mid-back (rhomboids, middle traps). And then you end up looking something like this:
Get someone to take a photo of you from the side while you are working and it will soon become apparent how much your posture will affect you at training.
Otherwise, try this to illustrate:
- Stand up and assume a crappy posture, chest/shoulders rounded in and slump forward.
- Stick your neck forward.
- Now try to lift your arms overhead and see how it feels? Hard, right?
- Now, pull your shoulders gently down & back. Try to extend through your thoracic by slightly pushing your chest out. Pull your head back & in slightly.
- Now lift your arms overhead? Feel the difference?
How to fix your crappy posture?
- Be aware of how you are sitting at home/work/driving. When driving, try to keep your head back on the head REST! It’s called that for a reason…
- Set yourself reminders on your computer to spend 1-2 minutes per 15 minutes in an improved position. You are NOT going to be able to sit with perfect posture for 8 hours a day at the start. It’s about building up the endurance of the muscles over time to allow you to sit better. Over time, you can add minutes on.
- You need to stretch what is tight first and strengthen what is weak next.
- Take off the weight at the gym for all your overhead movements. We want to reinforce GOOD position and technique. If you lose position as you put more weight on, what are you achieving? Nothing. You are teaching your body that is ok to compensate and to find an easier path. Over time these compensations will lead to injury.
Stop texting/checking Instagram/Facebook with your phone down near your chest/waist. Hold your phone up to face height if you’re in standing.