Monday, 13 March 2017

Body Alignment: 10 Standing Postural Deviations And How To Fix Them


Most often than not, you don’t realize how misaligned your body is because you don’t really pay attention to your posture. This is why you suffer pain from posture related issues like chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain, stiffness, fatigue, muscle atrophy and weakness, and sciatica. All of that are very common conditions of people with poor body alignment.


Now the first step in fixing a problem is assessing where exactly the problem lies. You have to learn your own postural deviations in order to figure out the suitable corrective exercises for you.


To do this, here’s how you proceed with the standing assessment:


·         Wear fitted clothes to have a clear view of your alignment.
·         Stand barefoot like how you normally do without trying to adjust your posture.
·         To get an honest assessment, close your eyes and march slowly in place a few times.
·         This will make your feet turn in and out naturally.
·         After a couple of steps, stop and just stand still.
·         Have a friend take a full body picture of you from the front, the side, and behind.


Image Credit: bodybuilding.com

After this compare the picture from this image of a properly postured body. If they don’t look the same, there’s a fair chance there’s one or more area where your posture is off. Below are your possible postural deviations and the suggested strengthening exercises to improve your body alignment.


Deviation 1: Sway Back
Hips Press Forward And Sit In Front Of The Ribs


The Fix:
You can follow these exercises to fix this or watch this video to better understand this postural deviation.
Upper Spinal Floor Twist — Hold for 1 min, then switch sides and repeat.
Airbench — Hold for 2 min.
Standing Quad Stretch — Hold for 1 min, then switch sides and repeat.
Static Back Reverse Presses — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 10 repetitions.
Hooklying Knee Pillow Squeezes — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 20 repetitions.
Hooklying Isolated Hip Flexor Lifts — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 20 repetitions, alternating sets from side to side.
Hooklying Gluteal Contractions — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 20 repetitions.
Supine Groin Stretch — Do 15 min on one side and then switch sides and repeat.


Deviation 2: Lower-Cross Syndrome
Excessive Curve In The Low Back, Pelvis Is Tilted Forward


The Fix:
Static Back - Hold for 5 minutes or until lower back flattens.
Frog - Hold for 2 min.
Hooklying Gluteal Contractions - Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 20 repetitions.
Hooklying Knee Pillow Squeezes - Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 20 repetitions.
Supine Groin Stretch - Do 15 min on one side and then switch sides and repeat.
Airbench - Hold for 2 min.
Standing Quad Stretch - Hold for 1 min, then switch sides and repeat.
Supine Foot Circles & Point/Flexes - Do 40 circles each way and 40 point and flexes. Then switch sides and repeat.


Deviation 3: Rounded Shoulders
Shoulders In Front Of Ears


The Fix:
Standing Shoulder Shrugs — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 10 repetitions.
Static Back Reverse Presses — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 10 repetitions.
Standing Scapular Contractions — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 10 repetitions.
Standing Shoulder Rolls — Do 3 sets, alternating direction of rolls every other set. Each set consisting of 10 repetitions.
Standing Arm Circles — Do 40 circles forward and 40 circles backwards.


Deviation 4: Forward Head
Ears In Front Of Shoulders


The Fix:
Seated Chest Stretch—Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat for three repetitions.
Upper Back Pulls On the Wall—Hold the contraction for 30 seconds and repeat for three repetitions
Stretching Trapezius and Suboccipital Muscles— Hold for 30 seconds and repeat the sequence three times
Chin Retractions—Keep your head in that position for 20 seconds. Repeat for a total of three repetitions.
Deviation 5: Upper-Cross Syndrome
Rounded Shoulders With An Excessive Curve


The Fix:
Watch this video for full instructions.
Chin to chest—Hold for 5 seconds
Front-deltoid stretch—Hold for 5-10 seconds for both arms.
Elbows-back stretch—Do this 5-10 times.
Lying chest stretch on stability ball, chair or cooler—Hold the position for few seconds and then switch sides.
Dynamic chest stretch—Do this for about 5-10 times.
Seated chest stretch—Hold it for just a few seconds.
Deviation 6: Head Tilt
Head Tilted To One Side; Can Be Accompanied By Rotation Toward That Side


The Fix:
This exercise should be done in a slow, smooth and controlled motion. You shouldn’t feel pain or discomfort while doing it too. In case you experience dizziness or numbness, don’t move your head as far.
·         Breathe in
·         Tilt the top of your head to the right at 10 o’clock
·         Then bring the top of your head to the left to 8 o’clock
·         Tilt the top of your head to the right to 11 o’clock
·         Breathe out
·         Breathe in
·         Then tilt left to 7 o’clock
·         Then bring your right ear to your right shoulder to 12 o’clock
·         Then bring your left ear to your left shoulder to 6 o’clock
·         Breathe out
·         Repeat 10 times
Deviation 7: Uneven Shoulders
One Shoulder Sits Higher Than The Other


The Fix:
Standing Elbow Curls - Do 25 repetitions.
Floor Block - Hold for 1 min in each of 3 positions.
Cats & Dogs - Do 10 repetitions.
Deviation 8: Uneven Hips
One Hip Sits Higher, Can Give The Perception Of Leg Length Discrepancy


The Fix:
Assisted Hip Lift — Hold for 1 min, then switch sides and repeat.
Cats & Dogs — Do 10 repetitions.
Hooklying Gluteal Contractions — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 20 repetitions.
Hooklying Knee Pillow Squeezes — Do 3 sets. Each set consisting of 20 repetitions.


Deviation 9: Feet Turned In
Toes Are Turned In Toward The Midline Of The Body
The Fix:
You can refer to this video for full instructions on how to do the exercises.
IT-band stretch—Hold the position for 5-10 seconds.
IT-band roller—You can do this back and forth for about 6-10 times.
Deviation 10: One Or Both Feet Turned Out
Toes Are Turned Out Away From The Midline Of The Body


The Fix:
Seated glute stretch— Hold for 5 seconds on each leg
Lying cross-over—Hold for 20 seconds on each leg
Piriformis self-myofascial release—Do it for 20-30 seconds on each side.
IT-band stretch— Do the stretching using a towel and hold for 30 seconds on each leg.
Dancer’s stretch—Hold for 10-15 seconds on each leg.


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