“Roll em back” or “Stand up straight” are both phrases that many of us recall getting screamed to us during childhood by either our mother or other authority figure. Proper posture has always been tied to projecting self-confidence, attractiveness, improving our moods and good health. As someone who works from home, and is in a desk chair most of the day, I am well aware of how much our daily routines affect our posture. As a result, I find myself constantly having to check my stance throughout the day, especially during my workout. Proper posture is essential to balance and maintaining proper form during your fitness routine to prevent injuries and help execute your exercise properly.
So, how does something so simple get overlooked? When you’re in a rush, or just distracted, Its easy to want to dive right into your workout routine and get it out of the way. While fitness facilities can get busy, and most of us are pressed for time, one can easily shift their focus to equipment availability, their surroundings and/or the mechanics of the exercise itself… forgetting to check their posture and form. This can not only defeat the purpose of the exercise, but it can result in injury. I am guilty of it! Two years ago while using gym equipment while slouching, I injured my back leaving me in pain for months! It is important whether using exercise equipment or participating in a fitness class to always practice good posture and form. Become familiar with the proper positioning for each exercise by closely monitoring your instructor, reviewing the labels on the fitness equipment, or asking a trainer.
If you are having difficulty with your form, there may be other reasons behind it. Although we live in a world where many of our normal routines are counterproductive to maintaining good posture, poor posture isn’t only habitual. For example, tight muscles can limit your range of motion resulting in limited ability to maintain proper form. There are also health conditions, that affect posture, like scoliosis, due to curvature in the spine. If you are having difficulty maintaining proper form for your exercises or maintaining proper posture throughout the day, it is important to discuss this with your doctor to identify any possible medical reasons that may be causing the issue.
So, next time you hear someone yell “Stand up straight!” it may be me! Exercise safely people, and the next time you start a workout, ask yourself… “how is my posture and form?”