If You Want to Be Fit, Do Not Ignore Proper Body Alignment

In a previous post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I broke down physical fitness into it’s component parts and provided a brief introduction of each part.

In today’s post, I will investigate in further detail one of those components: Proper Body Alignment

As I said in the previous article, proper body alignment involves the relative position and interplay of your skeleton, skeletal muscles, ligaments, tendons & fasciaFor example, are your hamstrings too tight? Is your pelvis in proper alignment? Is the fascia covering your diaphram too tight?

If your body is out of alignment in one place, there will be adaptations elsewhere. Whether those adaptations will result in pain and injury depends on factors that are largely out of your control.

Luckily for us, if things do get out of alignment, it’s not too hard to find a good  physical therapist or an osteopath to help with analysis and/or re-balancing your out of balance body.

If seeing a specialist is out of your price range or you’re just a DIY kind of person, there are a lot of body alignment gurus willing to post a ton of free info online:

Each of these individuals have a unique approach to putting your body into balance. If it is possible to meet with one of them for an assessment, I would highly recommend it. If not, read some of their articles, decide which of their styles makes the most sense to you and apply ONE concept. Don’t try to do everything at once.

If you do decide to DIY, start by taking a few digital photos of your posture – standing & sitting, from the front, rear and both sides. Lift your arms overhead, squat, etc… You would be surprised how easy it is to see your own flaws in a photo.

Most likely, this is what you are going to see.

Side View:

  • Client exhibits classic exaggeration of the double S-curve posture.
  • Forward head posture and chin protraction are evident.
  • Rounded shoulders combined with an exaggerated kyphosis are apparent in the upper thoracic region.
  • Significant anterior pelvic tilt with a concomitant increase in lumbar lordosis is also evident in the lumbo-pelvic region.
  • Anterior weight bearing is difficult to determine due to the cropping of the photo, but still seems to be an issue of concern.

This all too common grouping of postural misalignment is depicted very nicely in the following image that I borrowed from  part 2 in Cressey & Robertsons’s Neanderthal No More series.

body alignment

While posture #1 is the ideal, #4 is all too common.

Primarily caused by hours of sitting and staring at television and computer screens, posture #4 has become all too familiar.

Think about it, an hour sitting in the car driving to work, sitting for most of your 8+ hours at work, driving back home and then finally dropping down onto the couch to watch some ‘must-see” tv. All this adds up to poor posture, misalignment, and eventually pain and disfunction.

Okay, enough doom & gloom.

This can all be corrected. Start with the links listed above. Take it slow. Your poor posture wasn’t created in a day and it won’t be corrected in a day.

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