Posture is crucial to develop true strength and in overcoming pain. If you have bad alignment you put yourself at a greater risk for injury and it will stop you short of reaching your fitness goals. In modern society, life will pull you out of position, whether it’s during the commute to work or the extended periods of time we spends sitting. For a healthy body you have to take steps to reverse this process and reset ourselves in a natural posture.
The best place to start is at the center of your body: your spine:
The image to the right gives a representation of what neutral posture looks like. There are naturally three curves in the spine in the low back (lumbar), mid back (thoracic) and the neck (cervical).
When the spine gets out of position it can curve excessively resulting in back pain, loss of mechanical efficiency and poor posture. (Shown below)
A simple visualization I use to address this and get realigned is to imagine lifting yourself up to create length in the spine. An example cue that I often use to imagine you are being measured for height at the doctors office or pulling a rope taut; get tall and open space in the spine. Some other points of reference to look at are the ribs and the pelvis, which can be helpful for establishing a neutral position. Try this next time you catch yourself out of position or when you are at the gym, align your spine by engaging your core and stacking your ribs directly over the pelvis.
Sentinel Strength and Conditioning