Posts Tagged ‘posture’

Walking Pose for Upper Back Postural Relief

Friday, May 10th, 2024

Sometimes fighting the direction that our spine is challenged the most can often be ineffective, fatiguing and even painful. Using other motions that challenge the body indirectly can be extremely helpful. Such is the case with the classic rounding or “hunchback”, kyphotic posture.

The Walking Pose offers a lot of convenience and benefits without the need for equipment, getting on the floor or even needing to be in comfortable clothes.

It might surprise you that a rotational exercise has direct benefits to the rounding associated with upper back/neck issues. Anthony explains “why” and demonstrates the simple execution.

Watch how we can use this great exercise just about anywhere to give the upper back some love.

Posture Snack and Upper Back Health

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

A little interruption of static posture goes a long way. There is not necessarily a “bad” posture unless that posture is sustained and exceeds what our body likes and can tolerate. Interruptions of prolonged postures are just another way of saying “variability”. And variability is one of the core values of Function First and our sister company, Reactive Training and our Core-Tex products.

Variability is why it is important to change up your exercises every two weeks while in our program. Variability is the environments Core-Tex and Core-Tex create inherent to their design and motion.

Using a modification of an exercise many of you are familiar with, I’ll show an effective way to help out your upper back and potentially neck and shoulders. You can take advantage of a position that is gravity assisted, which often allows you get the needed changes in upper back position and movement without forcing it….and it can feel so good!

Corrective Exercise Static Squat for Posture

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

This is not your ordinary squat. This version of the squat has a greater focus on spinal stability than targeting the lower body. Although it does build isometric strength into the legs, it serves to facilitate activity and proprioception of the spinal erectors and paraspinals with the body vertical.

Don’t confuse this with the almighty weighted squat. The vertical shin position in this corrective squat has nothing to do with the wives tale of the knee not going over the toes. It has to do with the position of the pelvis and its relationship to spinal alignment.

Not only does this exercise facilitate a lot of muscular activity, but it can feel great on the lower back to many people as well.

The Chronic Pain Exercise Difference

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

You’re all pumped up for your new client. You spoke with her on the phone and she really needs help. She is in her late 40s and 25 years a lawyer—hunched over law books and computers. After 3 bouts of physical therapy for her neck and shoulder pain in the past year, she is ready to get on an exercise program. In fact, she has sought medical help multiple times for her neck and shoulders over the past 5 years. Although still in a lot of pain, she has been cleared for exercise.

She knows she isn’t moving well and doesn’t want to get “hurt” working with a trainer who pushes her too much, so she has sought you out. You explained to her about posture and tight and weak muscles, and how after you assess her you’re sure you’ll find “lots” to work on.

Before she arrives, you are already anticipating the kyphosis, forward head posture, tight hip flexors, and internally rotated shoulders. This will be a piece of cake.

Uh-oh. After greeting her, you can immediately see she is not the structural train wreck you anticipated. In fact, after your assessment, you find her posture is fine and she moves pretty well. This doesn’t make sense. Nothing is fitting cleanly into your corrective exercise recipe.

Now what?

First, you have to understand what chronic pain means to the body and brain. And although biomechanics are a definite factor in mechanical stress, with chronic pain it’s not so easy.

At Function First we say that we are “guided by biomechanics but not ruled by it,” which means we must first thoroughly understand how the body moves – period. And it is our opinion that you have to start here first. No sense in jumping right into working with the chronic pain client if you have an empty toolbox.

There are many modulators to chronic pain, and exercise is one of them when programmed properly. And the beauty of an exercise intervention is the positive cascading effects it can have on the individual physically, mentally and emotionally.

Sure, by the process of elimination you can find things that do not hurt your client. But that’s not the best approach, because if you do reproduce their pain, you can’t un-ring the bell. You have excited the neurotag associated with their pain and may have lost the client forever. And perhaps worse, you may have scared them away from exercise for good.

Have you seen the statistics on chronic pain?
Pain Stats

Have you thought about the opportunity to make a difference? If not, Click here

Easy Ergonomics to Stop the Pain

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

The Neutral Pelvis Myth Got Your Attention

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Wow! The video clip on the neutral pelvis generated more feedback to me personally then any other email I’ve ever sent. And not one of the emails disagreed with what I said.

I realize the video clip was short, so it certainly didn’t cover everything that could be covered on the neutral pelvis theory. In defense of the neutral pelvis concept, I would like to add that it can be used as both an evaluation tool and an exercise.

It is still a static event and it almost exclusively refers to pelvic rotation in the sagittal plane. But if we want someone to “find” a neutral pelvis that must mean that there pelvis is currently not neutral. Therefore, for them to move their pelvis into a neutral position they must have the appropriate lumbo-pelvic awareness. Moving into the neutral position will now give them a reference point from which to understand what their norm is.

Asking your client/athlete to find the neutral pelvis is in of itself a valuable learning tool. The ability to actually find this position by rotating from a previous position may be of more value than the neutral position itself. This is because even in a static position, the neutral pelvis or any static position is not meant to me held for extended periods of time. Could you imagine someone with a posterior rotation of their pelvis trying to actively hold a neutral pelvis for 15:00 while sitting at a desk? The work load of the spinal extensors would far exceed what this person was capable of. Without the contracting and relaxing of the spinal muscles from varying the positions, the tissue would become ischemic and metabolic byproducts would accumulate locally in the tissue resulting in noticeable discomfort for this person.

I’ll expand more about the artificial nature of holding a neutral pelvis during movement in my next video clip.

Keep the comments coming!