Don’t Just Deal With It. Do Something About It.
(I go on and on here, so if reading is not your thing, simply scroll down and find the photo that looks most like you. Then follow the instructions in the video.)
What follows are a few videos with a limited but effective guide for addressing a few of the most common postural distortions and movement compensations. It may happen that more than one applies to you. Should that be the case, consider beginning by giving the majority of your time to the most prominent issue. There are several stretching techniques that your trainer or physical therapist may use in addition to what you’ll find herein. In addition, there are several more possibilities where it concerns possible dysfunctional posture and movement patterns, but this is something of an outline that might help you to address a few basic issues. I would always recommend being evaluated by a professional in advance of getting into anything beyond this. Stretching arbitrarily without any real rhyme or reason could potentially do more harm than good in the long run. This is why I am affording you techniques to address a few things that are difficult to miss, but, bear in mind that posture distortions come in endless shapes and sizes, and, in some cases, consulting a professional is the only way to identify and undertake the appropriate course. Where it concerns identifying specific problems and asymmetries within the kinetic chain, measuring with precision the lacking or excessive degrees in range of motion around relevant joints, and manually testing and evaluating the function and strength of specific muscles, connect with me, and I will help you find your way towards the best possible course.
Myofascial release techniques (aka foam-rolling, trigger-pointing, etc.) are contraindicated for certain individuals in some cases, including but not limited to those with acute rheumatoid arthritis, severe osteoporosis, advanced diabetes, varicose veins (can be worked around), fractures or healing fractures. As with all forms of stretching and exercise, consult a physician to determine what limitations you have and what course is appropriate for you.
Myofascial Release Guidelines
Identify areas of particular discomfort in the specified areas. Relax the muscle on which you are pressing and apply constant pressure until the there is a significant reduction in the level of discomfort you are experiencing or the pain subsides altogether. The duration should not exceed more than a few minutes. You should not experience numbness, tingling, traveling sensations, or sharp pain whilst trigger-pointing any particular area. Should any such thing occur, simply hit the same adhesion from an angle that does not create a similar neural response. I am using a foam roll and a few other tools in these videos, but you can absolutely improvise with anything that works if these are not items you have handy.
Hold the positions indicated for 30-45 seconds. Should tingling or numbness occur, dial down the extent of the stretch until a greater range of motion can be achieved without these sensations.
Lower-Crossed Syndrome (Serving platter disaster)
If one of your primary goals is to be able to use your bum as a serving tray, then you are knocking it out of the park with this posture disaster; however, while this may be the posture we adopt either inadvertently or by design, it has current or eventual back pain written all over it. The excessive anterior tipping of the pelvis serves to shorten several muscles, not the least of which are the those of the lower back and the ones that make up the hip flexor complex. While the degrees of hyperactivity vary from person to person, there are a few common muscles that are typically overactive and, similarly, there are muscles that typically present as weak, all of which give way to predictable patterns of movement and injury as well as likely joint dysfunction.
What follows are a few relatively fool-proof techniques that will benefit anyone who bears imbalances of this variety. If you have correctly identified your posture disaster, you will notice a remarkable difference in your posture and any relative adverse symptoms immediately upon making your way through this corrective routine. That said, a permanent shift away from this dysfunction requires consistency, so run through this daily if possible, and make your way to a better you over the next few weeks.
Upper-Crossed Syndrome (Turtle disaster)
You look like a tortoise, which would perhaps be fine if you could crawl around everywhere. Your head does NOT belong way out there in front of the rest of you. In fact, if your head enters a room before you do, a few of the unfortunate consequences are the amount of stress such places on your spine (10 additional pounds for every inch in front of optimal alignment), the likelihood of chronic headaches, shoulder impingement and overall instability, etc., but there is hope for you! This particular posture disaster is characterized by a forward head and protracted or rounded shoulders and is typically a consequence of prolonged sitting, desk jobs, excessive driving, reading, and, as seen in the photo, cell phone hovering.
Irrespective of what particular lifestyle found you hunched over this way, use the techniques below to pull your head and shoulders back where they belong, and if present or potential musculoskeletal complications are not incentive enough, this variety of posture disaster actually bears the capacity to increase compression on your heart and lungs, so DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Refer to my blog for more in depth tips for addressing shoulder pain and impingement.
Pronation Distortion Syndrome
This really unfortunate mess, commonly referred to as “knock-kneed,” creates a sort of rippling resonance of impairments both above and below the knees. Individuals with this variety of dysfunction are prone to several predictable injury patterns including plantar fasciitis, lower-back pain, shin splints, ankle sprains, etcetera. Your knees, given that they are stuck between two other commonly dysfunctional joints, inevitably become collateral damage when problems exist at either end, so it is important to identify precisely wherein the kinetic chain the issue lies. That said, there are muscles that are unavoidably short and overactive, and I will address those. Again, these tips are very generalized but will do very well in the way of getting you started.
Confused, Dormant, & Out-of-Commision Glutes
The gluteus medius and gluteus maximus tend to be a few of the most under-performing muscles where it concerns several movement compensations or posture disasters, and these are the very muscles that, when firing properly, can ultimately spare you of pains and strains and many other varieties of grief and discomfort. Here are a few glute-intensive exercise ideas. Strong bums save your knees and back. DO THIS STUFF! Or do something else… but do something!