Tag Archives: posture

Posture, it’s important

Sitting here in this rustic style coffee shop it is clear I’m the odd one out.
 
Not because of being in shorts, a t-shirt or having at least 20% less body fat, oh no, it’s because out of everyone I’m the only person sitting up straight.
 
You know, like we are meant to sit, or at least that’s how anyone over the age of 30 was taught to sit.
 
Everyone around me is slumped over in a stoop.
 
Most with their phones in hand ignoring one another.
 
The modern world really is quite awe inspiring 😥
 
Posture is importnat, we all know this, however I’m not sure if we know all the reasons why. As such I’m sure there are plenty of benefits/reason I’m not aware of, in which case if you know a few then please do share them.
 
When it comes to solid posture, the better the posture the less back issues (especially lower) that people are likely to have.
 
Many also give themselves kyphosis, or lordosis.
 
(classic forwards head posture or Donald Duck posture)
 
Some end up giving themselves kypholordosis.
 
(At this point you just look weird)
 
You’ll also find a strong correlation between sitting poorly and hip niggles, knee pains and other such ailments.
 
One element you may not be aware of though is that sitting with terrible posture can affect your ability to utilise your diaphragm correctly, thus affecting your breathing ability.
 
This means you can end up with a reversed breathing pattern or what is known as apical breathing.
 
Apical breathing isn’t good, it can lead to excessive tension in the upper thoracic, over active upper traps, tight neck muscles, headaches (migraines) and other such things.
 
Those are not the worst thing that happens as a result of this style of breathing, that is linked in wit the nervous system because apical breathing often has people becoming ‘mouth breathers’ predominantly, this is a trigger for our bodies sympathetic side of the nervous system.
 
*A lack of diaphragmatic breathing will also affect core stability and strength, to compensate it shifts the role of helping with stabilisation to your hip flexors and forces them to do something they’re not really meant to be doing.
 
Yep, by having poor posture and poor breathing you’re contributing to the chronic stress that is often complained about by each individual.
 
Along with the riggers of daily life the above can just make it worse, and this is 100% down to us as individuals because we can control our postural habits, for the most part.
 
If you don’t sit (or stand) up straight then addressing these things will start to help sort this problem.
 
– More upper thoracic mobility work
– Breathing practices (nose breathing, helps PS-NS)
– Posterior chain work such as loaded carries
– Actually sitting/standing up straight
 
Real world/gym examples:
 
 
The above seems easy enough, yet if you have people adopt good posture its not comfortable for them, many complain of their back feeling like it will cramp and this is because of their paper thin and ridiculously weak erectors, sorry butter cup you’re going to have to work through that.
 
On a scale on 1 to dear god I look like Mr Burns, where is your posture?
 
Enjoy,
Ross
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2 Reasons the average gym goer doesn’t need to isolate the front deltoid

It’s common place to see people doing front raises in the gym, even though for them it’s essentially a pointless exercise.

I’m not saying it’s a bad exercise, far from it, some top lifters need it as an assistance movement for what ever specific reason, however the average gym goer who has a program heavily biased towards pressing and anterior chain movements DOES NOT need to be doing front raises.

Before we go on let us have a look at some of the exercises that recruit the front deltoid.

  • Presses (pretty much all of them)
  • Bear crawls
  • Planks
  • Sled pushing

The main function of the anterior deltoid is shoulder flexion — lifting your arm up and to the front of your body. So any movement that involves this hits it, make a note.

That’s the first reason you don’t need to isolate this muscle.

The second is because daily life is heavily anterior chain dominant, here is a short list of daily living movements that cause a short/tight/over worked front delt and also high pecs too.

  • Sitting at a desk
  • Eating
  • Driving
  • Playing computer games
  • Putting things on shelves

You get the idea. Life is heavily biased towards overworking what are known as ‘tonic muscles’ of the body and rarely have you stimulating the phasic ones (posterior chain).

For the average person Id recommend having some form of reverse fly in every session and perhaps a lateral raise movement in each pressing session, I can’t remember the exact studies, I apologise, however on average the lateral delt has 2/3 the development of the front and the rear was barely scraping 1/3 of the front delts growth.

You’d also do well to chuck in face pulls, bat wings (isometric holds) and resistance band pull apart drills in your daily life (say 50 pull-aparts per hour and 60 seconds bat wing).

This simple information will help you balance the entire shoulder, it will also help improve your posture and look 100% better, no one likes a round shouldered look, its weak and prone to injury.

Enjoy,

Ross

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Weak Links

Three things you need for successful lifting & breaking plateaus.
 
– Stability
– Mobility
– Strength – A & B
 
Why is stability about mobility?
 
Simply because if you’re not stable your body will naturally inhibit the ROM you can achieve because it is unable to fire its neural pathways in the required sequence.
 
Mobility is before strength due to the fact that to lift heavy things pain free and reduce injury you need good/optimal mobility.
 
If you ensure you have stability/mobility then your strength will progress. When you start to find yourself stalling take a look at the first two because the chances that one of them is now being compromised to try and accommodate a heavier load is high, meaning you might need to sort them first.
 
What is meant by Strength A & Strength B?
 
A – Overall strength to perform the movement while keeping optimal/correct form/alignments.
 
B – You have a weak link in your muscular/kinetic chain that needs individual/specific focus (such as spinal erectors in the front squat, triceps in the over head press, etc).
 
Take a look at all of your lifts, if they stall go back and from upwards from stability until you find the weak link. If you do this you will find you break lifting plateaus and also better understand your own body.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Back Up A Second.

Morning Guys,

Training the mirror muscles is most certainly enjoyable. You can see the muscle working and the blood rushing in to fill it to capacity and give you that elation of the pump.

Training the anterior chain (muscles in the front of the body) is preferred by many because of the following 3 reasons:

1 – You can see them.
2 – They’re easier to train than their counter parts (posterior chain).
3 – You’re a tad vain.

When it comes to having a balanced body a lot of people fall woefully short because of how much they neglect (legs and back), however failing to train your posterior chain will result in you leaving lots of potential growth/strength untouched.

Don’t quite believe it?

Here is an example:

A lad wants a better bench. He trains it religiously and starts to make some impressive lifts until he is forever handicapped when he tears his rotator cuff or pec. Game Over.

Stories like this are common because people lift with their ego and not with their brain. If you try to build a building and only make one wall eventually it will fall over and break because nothing else is supporting it. Your body is the same as a house, it need solid foundations and structure before you worry about what colour to paint the front porch.

Having a strong posterior chain will help you with the following:

Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Shoulder Press, Carrying Heavy Objects, Sprinting, Jumping, Climbing, Posture and basically make you more robust in daily life and prevent lower back problems.

For every pushing movement you do, you need to perform two pulling movements. Follow this rule and you will find yourself largely injury free, ignore it and you can simply reminisce the days when you had a good bench.

Enjoy
Ross

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