Every day we learn new things, sometimes things which we previously didn’t care about or regard as ‘’important’’ to our goals. Last week I went to visit my clients physio with him because to be blunt he was training like a pussy, he would reach a level of pain during a set and stop and it was really annoying me. So I insisted we went to see his physio which we did, and she explained to me about his issues with poster because for a large proportion of his life he was overweight, and since he has shed the 55kg his posture is still suffering. Interestingly there were a combination of things all over his body contributing to this factor and I want to run through them with you. Up until now you may have discarded these things as unimportant but let me tell you, they ARE! Now I understand his situation and physical issues I can work around them so it is business as usual, I am completely and utterly thrashing the kid!!
When people have bad posture they generally slouch their shoulders forward which can place immense levels of stress on the lower back and hip flexors. As a result they struggle to train chest, shoulders and legs with a proper range of motion. To help fix this issue in the shoulder area exclusively, you must focus on posterior work (back of the deltoids) and avoid anterior (front of deltoids) exercises for a while to allow a balance to occur over a 4-6 week period. Laterally stretching the shoulder joint with another person adding resistance in a PNF style of stretching is also very beneficial in some cases, but it is essential you pass this with a physio first.
The second contributing factor to poor posture is a weak back, or parts of it anyway. Due to the posture issues the person is prone to recruiting the upper portion of their traps to bare the majority of the load on any shoulder or back exercise – this means that the lower traps and rhomboids do not get stronger exaggerating an already problematic situation. To over-come this the person needs to learn how to disengage their traps and focus on back exercises which focus on the middle area of their back mass, including medium height cable rows for instance.
Feet & Pelvis
How many of you would have thought a posture issue could be directly related to pronated feet (flat feet) or a tilted pelvis? Well, I actually have a tilted pelvis and whilst my posture is strong my lower back is very weak as a result. My client has pronated feet as if he didn’t have enough problems which means that there is immediately an imbalance in strength between his inner and outer thighs. His outer thighs are easily stimulated which can potentially mean his knee joints are weak, so again there needs to be special emphasis on isolating particular thigh muscles surrounding this joint.
Do any of these things sound familiar to you? From what I have learned I am a firm believe that training in a manner which will support strong posture and overall skeletal health will return the best results.
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