In my first post about posture, I focused mostly on kyphosis. This is the forward rounding of the back. I am sure many of feel this way and you may even feel it right now as you are reading this. So please, go back and read that one to review. It's been a long 10 months since the first lockdown. We may have been out a bit more, but we are still hunching over our phone tablet, computer, insert mobile device more than we were a year ago.
So what are some of the other postures? On this post I will talk more about lordosis. Lordosis is defined as an excessive inward curve of the spine which usually affects the lumbar or lower spine. You will see this usually when the abdomen juts forward and some will call this "swayback" posture. Another "clue" to a lordotic posture is the buttocks will "stick out". Now, this may or may not be true. This is when having your posture analyzed is a HUGE benefit. For example, some may think at first glance that I am lordotic. However, I just have well developed glutes. In all seriousness, you have to look at the hips. If the ASIS (front hip bone) and PSIS (back hip bone) are in the same plane, there is no lordosis or kyphosis. Now, as I will say over and over...there are usually slight variations of different types of postures. I don't think I have met anyone that has the "perfect posture". Knowing your posture will just help you focus on exercises that will help make you stronger in areas that are week and even stretch the areas that are tight. Most people don't have "bad backs", they just have weak core muscles. Make sense? If not, we will go a bit deeper into this but again, just focusing on lordosis right now.
So if lordosis has the abdomen protruding it means the rectus abdominus muscles are elongated and the lower back muscles are short an most likely tight. The way to easily visualize this type of posture is picturing a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy. (See above) She has become temporarily lordotic due to the growing baby in her uterus. This in turn is why many women during this time have lower back pain. Probably the simplest exercise to help alleviate this presuure is a pelvic tilt. I actually start most pilates classes doing this warm up. You might have heard me call it "imprint" if you have taken one of my mat classes. The pregnant woman can do this while sitting on a stability ball. You first take a deep breath in and as you exhale you think of bringing your pubic bone up toward your rib cage and shortening the oblique muscles. If you are lying down, this will cause you to make an "Imprint" of you spine on your mat. Any space that under your lower back should disappear. If you are sitting on a ball, this will draw your glute muscles under you and you will feel a wonderful little stretch in your lower back muscles. And guess what? You are working your abdominal muscles. Woohoo!
After doing a few pelvice tilts you can move your way up into a hip roll or bridge. (See below- I know, there are several free photos of pregnant women on WIX- which is great because it really helps see the posture I am explaining) This is such a great way to strengthen your back muscles. Seriously, I do these just about every day...it also works the booty. Put a pillow or small fitness ball between your thighs and you get a bonus inner thigh and deep abdominal muscle workout. All while lying down.
Now I should note that you don't have to be pregnant to have a degree of kyphosis in your posture. It is just easier to see if you are not familiar with the posture. If your curious, have someone put a finger on your ASIS (hip bone in front) and PSIS (that bone just where your butt meets your lower back. If the front finger is lower, you may (see I said MAY) be slightly kyphotic. Either way, pelvic tilts are a great exercise for anyone looking to strengthen their deep core muscles!
Have a great day and I will see you next time with more about core strenghtening!