Your Grandma Was Right, Posture is Important!

One of the biggest goals for Overland Park CrossFit is to improve people’s everyday quality of life by teaching them to move better and have fun doing it.  For us, instructing proper technique and form to each member of the Overland Park CrossFit family is the first step to getting there.  Last week, we discussed the importance of flexibility in improving movement, today we’re going to tell you how to own your mobility.

If you took last week’s advice, you’re on the right track.  You’ve been doing your foam rolling, corrective stretching, and bookending your workouts with proper warmups and cooldowns.  You can finally break parallel in that squat or can get overhead without excessively arching your back.  Awesome, that’s half the battle and you are on your way!  But keep in mind, new range of motion is weak range of motion.  Right now you’re borrowing that flexibility.  Now it’s time to own it!

Being gumby doesn’t do you much good unless you are stable in the positions you can get into.  You need to be able to control your own body weight and external weight too — after all, that’s what we do in life.  Hauling moving boxes into a truck, bending down to pick something up, climbing up on your roof to fix your dish.  You move in a lot of different ways, and you need to know how to move safely in these positions and make sure you have the proper stability doing it.

Let’s establish one thing: Posture = Form.  Everyone knows that proper form is important in working out, but fewer people understand that proper form is important at all times of the day.  Start thinking about posture as proper form for all your non-working-out time.  Just like proper form in a pushup, proper posture ensures that muscles of the body are optimally aligned and that appropriate stress is distributed among all the joints in your body, reducing the risk of injury.  The problem is that most of us have poor posture and our body is really good at adapting to the way we abuse it.  If you have spent the last 10 years hunched over at a desk with your shoulders rolled forward, your body basically says, “okay, this is what we’re doing, I better get really good at being hunched over!”  The muscles of your body then form along these lines and it becomes a never ending cycle.  And that’s what we’re here to do with you, let’s break that cycle and get you living better.

That low back pain?  The ankle tweak?  Some kind of tendonitis?  There’s a decent chance it’s related to your posture.  When we ask you keep your chest up, push your butt back, and feel tension in your hamstrings to set up for a deadlift, we are asking you to establish your beginning posture for the lift.  This keeps you moving safely and effectively during your workouts.  But if you have good posture for one hour a day while we’re watching you and then sit slouched with your shoulders rolled forward at a desk the rest of the day, you’re reinforcing poor form the other 23 hours of the day and setting yourself up for potential injuries.  Learn to be your own coach when you’re not with us.  Put a sticky note at your computer to says “sit up straight, shoulders back and down!”  Just like nutrition or hitting your workouts, this is about building healthy habits for life, and you need to be constantly reinforcing this in your everyday life.

So how do you go about correcting your postural flaws that you’ve been building up for the last 10+ years?  You learn the proper exercises you need to correct it and work at it!  We have many coaches that can provide exercises to correct your postural imbalances.  Just ask.  To borrow an old quote, we want to teach you how to fish!  After all, what we aim to do is not only your workouts but also your everyday quality of life outside the gym!