3 Tips to Help You Improve Your Posture

Posted on January 29, 2016 by Cynthia M. Poulos, M.D.

You’ll have to excuse me for this one because I am about to sound like your mother. Ahem..

It is not good to slouch, from a health standpoint if you have bad posture you will have back pain and it will even effect your ability to run correctly. Yes, it is possible to run incorrectly! Having good posture actually boosts your energy efficiency and muscle usage.

Ensuring that you have good posture habits takes a lot more than just standing up straight every once in a while. It means giving your bones, ligaments and tendons the opportunity to support your body weight. When you rely on only your muscles to support your body weight, you aren’t allowing them to relax, which causes them to constrict and get tight. Tight muscles equals pain and discomfort, nobody likes it when their muscles are all tight!

Here are 3 Tips to Help You Improve Your Posture:

1. Running bent at the waist is a “no no.” If you finish a run and find yourself suffering from soreness of the lower back, then you most likely have been running bent at the waist. It is much better to lean at the ankles while running instead of leaning with your back and stressing those lower back muscles.

2. Initiate all movement from your core. Your core is the largest muscle group in your entire body, so it is better to use those muscles than rely on the smaller muscles in your extremities as those get sore more easily. This is a technique used in T’ai Chi called “needle in cotton.” This symbolizes your spine as the needle, which is strong and stable, and your peripherals as cotton, which is soft and relaxed.

3. Engage your core by leveling your pelvis. Here is an interesting technique, first you stand with your fee parallel and hip width apart. Then, straighten your upper body up making you tall. Follow me so far? Now, drop your chin slightly and look straight ahead. Finally, lift up your pubic bone with your lower abdominal muscles while relaxing your glutes and hold this position for 30 seconds. If you do this exercise regularly, it will strengthen your abs and allow you to have a straighter posture while running, sitting, swimming, and standing.