Do you spend a lot of time hunched over a desk or slumped on the sofa watching TV or reading a book? Even standing we tend to slouch rather than hold ourselves upright. Yet our posture is so important in preventing back pain and also preventing injury whilst exercising. Bad posture can even be a cause of headaches.
When we are actually standing correctly then the spine is aligned so that the centre of gravity passes down the ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. This position is called neutral spine.
Here are some quick tips to ensure you are standing with a neutral spine. Think about your pelvis as a bucket filled with water. If you tip the bucket either forwards or backwards then water will pour out. This is bad.
Firstly let's find the two positions where water will flow!
Stand sideways in front of a mirror.
Place your hands on top of your pelvis, just below your waist (If you bend to the side, the crease that forms is your natural waistline)
Soften your knees and roll your pelvis forward and towards the floor (your bottom should be sticking out)
Now slowly roll your pelvis backward dropping your tailbone to the floor
These two are the extremes and what you are trying to find is the place in the middle where the bucket (your pelvis) is not tilting in either direction.
Practice finding this position and how it feels, it will probably feel odd at first. Do this several times a day so you get used to it.
Other things to remember
- Your shoulders don't belong by your ears! Relax and keep the shoulders back and down and chest up.
- Look forwards.
The next blog post will discuss how you keep this position!