Thursday, 24 March 2011

Perfect posture

One of the most common questions I get from my clients – after weight loss of course! – is about posture. This is a term used to describe body shape – whether good or bad. Good posture is maintaining muscular balance throughout the body to ensure there isn’t an excessive curvature in the spine.

Posture is very important when taking into consideration lower back pain. A common disorder causing lower back pain is lordosis. This is an inward curvature of a portion of the vertebral column, normally found in the lumbar vertebrae. Lordosis can be treated by strengthening the hip extensors and by stretching the hip flexors. Strengthening the posterior chain will also help to treat lordosis and flatten the lumbar vertebrae.
Useful exercises are stiff legged deadlifts, supine hip lifts and supine single leg hip lifts. Exercises that strengthen the posterior chain without involving the hip flexors in the front of the thighs will be beneficial in treating lordosis. This will help to create a posterior turn in the pelvis and flatten the back.
A large reason for lower back pain is often lifestyle. Are your clients sitting at a desk or in a car for a long period of time? If so, their body will adapt to these positions and create muscular imbalance. I re-enforce to them the importance of keeping good posture, not only during exercising but in daily life.
The majority of my clients who suffer from lower back pain spend the majority of their day in a seated position. I ask them to check they are sitting correctly in an upright position, maintaining a neutral spine and not slumping. I enforce this during our sessions by performing exercises, such as the seated shoulder press, in a seated position. Make sure your client is pushing their lower back against the back support and that this is transferred into their daily life when sitting. 
I hope these tips help!

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