Good Posture: It's Not About Sitting And Standing Up Straight

good walking posture

A good posture is great for your health, can do wonders for your image, and will prevent many aches, pains and sporting injuries.

But what is the best posture? How do you know if yours is good or bad? And, more to the point, how do you get it?

The good news is improving your posture requires less work than you think - more about this later.

It's a myth that exercises and corrective programs, or sitting and standing up straight will lead to a good posture. In fact, many of the popular ways to improve it can make it worse.

And in my opinion, they're a complete waste of time - because they do nothing to change the root cause of poor posture; habit.

A common habit is to misuse the lower back muscles and either slump, or tighten them in an attempt to correct posture. (Take a look at the video further down this page of an exercise that can help to change it.)

So What Is The Ideal Posture?

poise and balance

Over the last fifteen years I have taught The Alexander Technique to thousands of people of all ages and abilities.

And, if I've learnt one thing in all that time, it's that few of us know how to correct our posture. And that's because the bad habits we've learnt over the years, stop us from remembering what good posture feels like!

By the way, if you want to know why I've put the picture of the building blocks on the right - it's one of the images I use with my clients. In many cases it helps people to instantly correct their posture with no effort at all!

Curious? Check out my quick and simple tip to improve your posture - it only takes a minute and can make a big difference.

And here's a clue - see the diagram below, and guess which person would have the best posture?

diagram demonstrating the importance of head positon on your posture

It's Easier Than You Think!

One thing stopping many people getting a good posture is they try too hard. The best posture is NOT about standing or sitting up straight. This is just tightening your back and leg muscles and forcing yourself into a rigid position.

Here's the hard truth -

If you knew what a good posture was ...
you would already have it!

So there's no point trying to stand and sit straight.

For example, compare the different sitting positions in the photographs below and click on the photo or link below to check yours.

sitting postures

Slouched v. Poised v. Forced sitting

Do You Have Good Posture? - Check Yours Here.

The ideal sitting posture (in the center) puts far less strain on the neck, shoulders and back. The 'forced' and 'slouched' postures require more muscular effort than poised sitting.

The subject in the photo will not be able to breathe well in both the slouched and forced posture because she will restrict the movement of her ribcage. (The same theory applies to standing posture.)

Yet, if you ask someone to 'sit up straight' or 'properly', you will more often than not, see the forced sitting posture on the right!

The poised sitting posture in the middle puts the least amount of strain on your muscles, bones and joints.

To learn how to sit poised you will need to stop doing the things that prevent you from sitting poised. You may be surprised that some of these include conventional advice on sitting properly.

To sit poised DO NOT ...
  • tighten your lower back to try to 'sit straight'
  • drop your head forward and collapse the neck
  • pull the shoulders back
  • cross your legs
  • tuck your legs under the chair
To sit poised DO ....
  • know where your head sits on your spine click here to find out
  • let the weight of your head to pass through your spine to the chair
  • let your ribs move sideways as you breathe
These subtle actions will bring about small changes in your body's muscles as release undue tension to allow your body's natural reflexes to work.

A good body shape is attained by NOT trying.

Posture Exercise Video

Try this quick exercise while sitting at your PC. It can help to remind you how to 'use' your back and pelvis together to achieve an easier upright posture.

When you've finished, try resting in the upright position and see if it takes less effort to sit poised.

This is one of 10 videos I use in my posture program -see below.

How To Improve Your Posture Without Exercise
online posture program
I have written this guide (includes 10 short videos) to help you get a great posture without the need to exercise. It's based on fifteen years of teaching these proven techniques to my clients.

You'll be pleased to hear it doesn't involve a single exercise! Just simple, easy-to-follow steps to get a better posture fast. In fact, you'll discover how to use less effort to stand, sit, walk and run to let your natural posture appear in days. And, I'm so confident it will work for you - I guarantee the results.

For more information please see my program for a good posture.

More On Posture ....

Head and Neck Posture : The quickest way to improve your shape

Performance and posture - is yours effecting your ability on the sports field?

Posture Exercises : Do They Really Help?

Computer Posture : The Dos and Dont's of Sitting at Your PC.

Is Posture a cause of your Neck Pain ?

How Is Your Posture? Check yours here .

Also, check your neck posture here . It can make a big difference.

Suffer From Scoliosis? Is Corrective Exercise The Answer?

How Is Your Sitting Posture ?

What's The Best Sleeping Posture ?

"Only by challenging conventional thinking can we begin to find real solutions."

Content by Roy Palmer - Google+

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