Improve Your Life by Improving Your Posture

July 14, 2009

A little over a month ago I was doing a bit of research online on improving posture. This research wasn’t for a blog post, it was because I was trying to insure that my own posture didn’t get worse due to sitting at a desk all day. While searching for a good routine to improve posture I stumbled across a series of great blog posts on the subject. The site I found is called JCD Fitness and I am quickly becoming a fan. The author (JC) does a great job at explaining technical subjects in an easy-to-understand, easily digestible format. In this day of information overload, I seek out sites like this.

 improve your posture


[Probably the most common type of bad posture is due to sitting for long periods of time. Many of us sit all day at our jobs as well as during our free time. This post will explore how to correct common problems in posture caused by sitting.]

“Hey JC, It’s Rusty. Can You Do Me a BIG Favor?”

I was so impressed by JC’s series of posture articles I asked him if he would do a big all-inclusive guest post on bad posture caused by sitting. I wanted him to condense his posts on his blog a bit and try to fit it all into one helpful post. He said “yes” to this favor and here is the resulting guest post. You guys will get a lot out of this!

Improve Your Life by Improving Your Posture

If you just so happened to stumble onto this article there is a fairly good(or great) chance you are sitting in a chair.  Your posture likely sucks and you’ve probably been sitting in that position for too long.  Poor posture is usually caused by laziness, muscle imbalances and poor ergonomics.  In fact, once you are done reading this, get up and move around for a few minutes before returning to your reading.

 

If you work at a desk you are bound to have some muscle imbalances associated with the sedentary lifestyle.  Guys like me and Rusty who spend a majority of our day in a chair are more prone to developing tight hips and hamstrings as a result of the prolonged sitting position.

 

I first discovered some muscle imbalances about 6 months ago when my squatting and deadlifting ability began to diminish.  I could no longer squat to parallel with good form and my lower back was in constant pain.  I knew something was up and I began my research.  I pretty much diagnosed myself with something called lower cross syndrome after a few weeks of self-study.

 

Lower Cross Syndrome

This lovely postural cocktail is a culmination of imbalances in the lower body, particularly the lumbar spine, pelvis and knees.  One will develop this syndrome over a long period of extreme sedentariness.  Just about everyone who works in an office setting and anyone who spends a lot of time sitting will develop multiple muscle imbalances which will likely result in lower cross syndrome.

 

In short, most of the ventral muscles(hip flexors, quads etc) become really tight while the dorsal muscles(glutes, hamstrings and obliques) are weak or inhibited.  This tends to make the pelvis rotate forward often causing lumbar lordosis in many folks.  This can cause a myriad of problems as the midsection will inherently be weak as a result of the imbalance.  I am sure we all know the dangers of a weak core.

 

There is a way to fix all of this though. 

 

Myofascial Release Therapy (say what?)

Myofascial release therapy(MRT) was a lifesaver for me.  MRT is a specialized therapy that targets the soft tissues to increase range of motion, even out muscle imbalances and can even provide acute pain relief.  The general goal of MRT is to break up the tiny adhesions and scar tissue that form on the muscles as a result of repetitive use.

 

Ideally MRT is performed by an experienced professional to obtain optimal results.  If you are having issues associated with lower cross syndrome, get help if you can afford it.  I found an awesome chiropractor in my area who specializes in MRT and it completely changed my athletic life for the better.

 

My favorite part of the MRT treatment I regularly receive is the psoas release.  Your psoas muscle actually runs from the spine all the way to the front of the thigh.  During a psoas release my therapist digs her thumb deep into my pelvis and then proceeds to elongate the muscle by fully extending my leg.  Imagine a young, spry 22 year old guy screaming at the top of his lungs like a little girl.  Yea, that’s what I did my first session as it was very painful.  The after affects were nothing short of amazing though.  For a short period of time afterwards I had almost full range of motion during squats.  It was almost as if I’d traveled back in time to my days on the gridiron.  Oh what sweet bliss that day was for me.

 

Read my personal story about how myofascial release saved my life

 

Home Remedies

This is something I have gotten really good at.  While my visits to the chiropractor were wonderful I had to find a way to perform MRT on myself.  This is where foam rolling comes in.  Foam rolling at one point was such a mystery to me.  I never even knew what a foam roller was and when I first heard about them I was somewhat skeptical.  However, as my condition got worse, I got desperate.  The more immobile I became, the more frivolously I was searching for a magic pill.

 

Being a frugal college kid, I sought a way I could avoid paying the standard 30+ bucks for a giant piece of hard foam that I wasn’t even sold on yet.  I was seeking a DIY way to make one on the cheap.  This is where FlagMonkey comes to the rescue.  Check out his foam roller tutorial.

 

Another home remedy of mine is to use a lacrosse or tennis ball for certain myofascial manipulation that is hard to get with a foam roller(think glutes and shoulders here).  So now that you know how I self medicated myself back to full mobility, let me explain how you must go about all of this.

 

Fixing Your Broken Self

Foam rolling takes a little practice and might be painful the first 3 or 10 times you do it but I promise it’s well worth your time and agony.

 

Foam rolling is the same as MRT but it doesn’t require the hands of a professional.  All you need is a good foam roller, 10 minutes and an iron will to bear a little discomfort for the sake of balance and relief.  In general you will find that working the larger muscle groups are easiest to do at first.  Once you get the hang of it and how it’s supposed to feel, the smaller muscle groups become easier as well.

 

This applies to most muscle groups.  Here is an example of how you would loosen up your calves.

 

You would start with the roller at the heel and roll the muscle belly down the roller to the back of your knee.  Generally you want to do one leg at a time to focus on adding significant pressure to that particular muscle.  As you roll up the muscle belly, you will notice tender and tight areas.  This is normal.  The goal is to rest on these trigger points until the pain dissipates completely or becomes less painful.  After the pain passes, roll a bit further until you find another tender area.  Do this 1-2x before moving to another muscle group.  You can perform this exercise on your hams, quads, IT bands, lower and upper back, lats and hip flexors.  The shoulders and glutes are another story.

 

This is where the lacrosse and tennis ball comes into play.  I used this technique when I fully rehabbed my injured shoulder.  Ideally you will be able to use a tennis ball for your shoulder as the texture is rough, which makes it easier to do when standing up against the wall.  Applying the same technique as I explained with the foam roller, you will find a tender spot in your deltoid and just rest on it until the pain dissipates.  Once it’s relieved you move onto another area of the deltoid and do the same thing.  Rinse and repeat a few times before moving to the other shoulder.

 

Improve Your Working Area

So now that you are equipped to whip yourself back into full mobility again what do you do about your work situation?  You must fix it, as it’s what made you a wreck in the first place.

 

If you work in a corporate setting, ask human resources to adjust your work station to fit your personal needs.  If it would be better to have a sit/stand work station, then ask for it(this is what I did).  You will never know what can be done if you don’t ask.

 

If you have the luxury, you can also opt to take 2-3 minute breaks to get up and walk around for a moment.  Do some light stretching and get out of the sitting position every now and then.  Your hip flexors will thank you.

 

If you work from home or are self employed, you have a bit more freedom as to how you set up your work place.  I recommend looking into some of the more ergonomically friendly chairs out there.  The kneeling chair and the Swopper are very popular models that are more posture friendly.

 

Good posture and preventative exercises go hand in hand.  Why not get on the fast track to improving yourself immediately

———-End of Article———-

Note: Make sure and give JC some great comments and questions. It was pretty cool of him to spend a few hours creating this great post. Thanks JC!

Important Message: Although this site has received 25+ million visitors, I am starting from scratch and abandoning it. This site is dated and old school looking, terrible to read on mobile, etc.

It's like a Ford Pinto compared to my new site...which is like a Ferrari. Click the link to head over to my new site.

Starting Over...R.I.P. Fitness Black Book!


Thanks for reading all these years!



 

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam Steer - Better's Better July 14, 2009 at 7:46 pm

This is a really important topic. At least on the fringes of the health and fitness world, we’ve finally gone past the idea that the body is a collection of isolated muscles and is rather one big back of continuous connective tissue with pockets of muscle tissue tacked down at various places on our structure. That means that tension is continuous throughout the structure and imbalances in one area can radiate out to others.

The techniques described here are great for kick-starting the rebalancing process. But we should also look towards more active methods such as thorough joint mobility programs such as Intu-Flow and progressive forms of yoga such as Prasara. Standard yoga generally only focuses on release. Good yoga incorporates “strengthening the functional opposite” which is much more useful when we are talking about re-balancing the myofacial web.

Great post and great ideas.

Cheers,
Adam

Dave - The Intelligent Workout July 14, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Awesome Guest Post JC. Have you heard of the Alexander Technique for maintaining great posture throughout the day? Utilizing your suggestions and the Alexander Method helped relieve lots of aches for me. I also try performing this Men’s Health workout at least once a month to help perk up the muscles in my upper back. http://bit.ly/eR0KA

alphascrewomega.com July 14, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Yeah, I’ve always had a problem remembering to keep my back straight, but the more I did, the less I would have chronic back pains and migraines, I’m guessing it was some kind of misalignment.

Great guest post, keep up the good work!

gunner July 14, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Hey rusty I’m 6 172 I just got the leanest ever been 7% but I feel kinda small because I of my have a 39 inch chest. I was thinking of bulking for 8 to 10 weeks to gain some more muscle so when I get leaner I’ll be more defined what’s your take on this

David - Fat Loss Tips July 14, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Damn… that would explain some of the lower back stiffness I’ve been experiencing of late. I’m a complete noob regarding this topic but given the fact I sit in front of a PC all day I’m gonna become more vested in this topic.

JC, how does something like laying on yoga ball and stretching (reverse arching) my back rate? Am I doing more bad then good? I always feel better after 5-10 minutes of laying out on the ball…

Rafi Bar-Lev July 14, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Rusty,

The chair is probably _the_ worst thing for your posture. I did hear of one trick though of putting a paper towel roll behind your lower back to help make the chair less bad for your back. Definitely something interesting to try out!

-Rafi

Josh July 15, 2009 at 12:44 am

Great post JC!
It got me thinking about my deadlift “mishap” last year. I was doing sets of 6 with 315 lbs. This is somewhat light for me. At any rate because of the lighter weight on the bar I did not pay close attention to my form and ended up wrenching my back. My job involves sitting in a cubicle all day as well and this post got me thinking that I had already set myself up for that injury with my posture. Combine that with shabby form and BAM! recipe for disaster. I think most of us are pretty cautious in the gym/on the track ect.. But how many of us think about little things that can sideline us in major ways? Some of the best training advice any of us have ever gotten came from mom when she told us to “sit up and stop slouching!”

JC July 15, 2009 at 2:30 am

@Adam Steer: thanks for the insight. I agree that we should all look beyond the initial starting point which is MRT and foam rolling. I once did yoga for a short period of time. It was really incredible. I only stopped because I lost interest/time. I need to pick it back up again now that I have regained mobility in my hips.

@DaveTIW: I have heard of the Alexander technique. That men’s health workout is a decent resource. I actually do many of those movements after every upper workout which is 2x per week. my shoulders thank me greatly.

@David FLT: Yes, this would explain the lower back stiffness. Laying on a yoga ball like that is okay I suppose. I feel a similar relief after doing thoracic mobility work on my foam roller. Go get/make a foam roller. You will not regret it!

@Josh: I never hurt my back doing deadlifts but I knew it was coming if I didn’t make a decision to correct some things.

You are right about how we never really think of the daily routine causing so many problems. I had never sat so much in my life up until this past year. Within about 5-6 months I was a wreck… I am finally only seeing the chiropractor for MRT once a month instead of 2-3x per week.

Jeremy July 15, 2009 at 2:34 am

Good post. We suffered from the exact problems you describe here. So we wrote an iPhone app to help track our posture and alert us when we start slouching. Some people might like it: http://www.itunes.com/app/Upright

Raimy July 15, 2009 at 4:11 am

This is great post! I think this is something that i suffer. Last year I saw a physiotherapist and she diagnosed the same weaknesses I have that constitutes lower cross syndrome. Although she didn’t call it that specifically. It’s the first I’ve heard of it too. A couple months ago my lower back was hurting again and I managed to see a back specialist and get x-rays. To my relief, there is no structural damage…but it just reaffirms that I suffer from lower cross syndrome. I’m am definitely going to try the foam rolling. I need it. I work in 3d animation so you can imagine my seated hours. I work out regularly and rock climb weekly, and really focused on having a balanced physique. This site is my gateway to getting there.

(a tad off topic: anybody checked out Men’s Fitness UFC II workout? It’s an amazing circuit routine that works your whole body but really challenges your balance and thus strengthens your core. The thai clinch rollout is my favorite ab exercise ever! Ok, so not that off topic. My core and lower back got noticeably stronger in about 3 weeks doing this routine.)

JC, I was wondering though, in the example you gave, would I be sitting on the floor to use the foam roller on my calves? And how would I go about rolling my lower back? against the wall or lying down?

Sorry for the long post, its my first here.
Again, great post JC, and top site Rusty!

Greg at Live Fit July 15, 2009 at 7:57 am

I’ve found myofascial release to be very helpful at relieving piriformis pain. And you’re right — I wouldn’t have believed that rolling around on a foam roller could elicit screams of agony from a grown man…

Helder July 15, 2009 at 8:13 am

Excellent post, i’m guilty of bad posture myself, and i can recognize some of the problems, this is good advice that i really have to start following to prevent eminent problems

Thanks for the good post JC, and thank you too Rusty

Scott Kustes - Fitness Spotlight July 15, 2009 at 9:49 am

Great post Rusty! In 2004, my then-future (now ex) wife noted that I slouched when I was standing. So I made a conscious effort to stand up straight. Of course, there’s some obvious strengthening of the back muscles just from keeping the shoulders pulled back initially. But it looked like I dropped 10lbs in no time. Overnight! Now, 5 years later, it’s not even something I have to think about. I just stand taller unconsciously.

Standing up straight is not only good for your overall health and how your body feels, but it’s also a sign of confidence. Two people walk into a room, identical in every way except how they stand, and you can tell who is carrying themself with confidence. And the one with tall shoulders and good posture is likely to have more people (guys, take note…this means more girls) want to talk to them.

Cheers
Scott Kustes
Fitness Spotlight

Michiel July 15, 2009 at 11:56 am

Hey Rusty
Great post again, i was hoping for a post like this, i can certainly use some stuff to help me with my lower back. When i sit all day long i have a painfull lower back, also when i need to stand up for a long time i have a very painfull lower back. I found out that walking certainly helps allot to keep your back flexible, i now walk allot each day and it helps allot.

I have another question regarding working out. I reached a weight of 187 pounds and i’m about 6′ 2″ (189cm). My bodyfat is around 8%. I’m pretty happy right now but i feel like i lost some size (mass) in my arms and chest. I dont want to bulk ever again so what advice would you give. My caloric intake is around 2500 kcal. I also would like to maintain 8% but if possible i would like to reach 6%.
The bad thing is that i’m taking medication for my acne (roaccutane), so i need to eat when i take in my medication. I need to take this until 8 october. Because i take this medication it is a bit more difficult to try an eat stop eat approach.

JC July 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

@Rafi Bar-Lev: I agree. The chair is tha’ devil when it comes to lower back health. That paper towel roll sounds interesting but not sure how long one could keep it up.

@Raimy: Sheesh, I used to sit at a desk 10+ hours a day too. I completely understand. Now my desk is a sit/stand station and it’s so much better.

For calves, you do it on the floor. Same with lower back.
here are a few videos.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_W3-JKnmQA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3AFkZyRDX0
both of these are mid to upper back but the same applies for lower back.

speaking of that, I am off to get my foam rolling done for the day!

cheers

JC

Marilyn July 15, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Wow! I am a Spin Instructor who used to have a desk job. I am leggy with a shorter body, so never in my life have I had great low back and hip flexiblity and strength. I’ve struggled with it for years. In the last year, I’d developed a lot of pain and stiffness and had several injuries to my groin and hip. Recently I got into foam rollers, increased Yoga stretching, and incorporated more and more muscle group exercises. Merely a few weeks into the program, I feel great. All of the pain and stiffness is nearly gone. This is from a person who has been told her entire life that she has great posture.

Last night I had the pleasure of one single student showing up for my Spin class. I focus on posture and form a lot. When correcting her shoulders, I placed my hand on her back and talked about where her shoulders should be. She paused and said, “It all comes back to posture, like yoga. Everything in life comes back to posture.”

“Yes, it does,” I said. “I can’t even break a dog biscuit when my shoulders are hunched and I’m using my biceps. When I breathe, put my shoulders down on my back and use my core and back, I snap those dog biscuits right into pieces.”

I came home and shared that story with my boyfriend who later found this post. Synergy! Posture and form are everything. Listen to your yoga, Pilates, and Alexander instructors! Let good posture inform every movement in your life. You’ll feel better and look amazing.

David July 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm

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REGARDS,

D.B.

Anna @ pathtofatloss July 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I love foam rolling! If I didn’t incorporate it into my workout routine, I know I’ll have all sorts of muscle imbalances. I even wrote a post about it because I do believe that all movements come from posture. If you don’t have good posture then, your body would’ve to compensate for those imbalances which will cause bad form => inefficient workout. Thanks for another great post, Rusty.

Anna

Norbi July 15, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Oh wow, interesting article! It really goes deep… I was the one who requested a writing about good posture and posture improvement (or at least one of those who asked for it), but these goes way beyond what I expected. I’m wondering though, how yoga and this foam rolling compares, when it comes to effectiveness, simplicity, etc.

NancyJ July 15, 2009 at 8:43 pm

Rusty,

Did you ever notice how classically trained ballet dancers (especially Russian women dancers) have incredibly beautiful posture, well into their “golden years” — and did you ever wonder how they are able to maintain this fantastic posture?

Well the answer is… it starts out being mental. That’s right, it is all in the mind! What I mean by that, is that a ballet dancer always keeps posture in mind, as often as possible. First of all, he/she knows exactly what correct posture should look like and secondly he/she makes a conscious effort to remember to snap into that posture and hold it as often as possible throughout the day…not only during time spent in dance class and/or practice.

Then, eventually, good posture becomes a HABIT. Whenever the mind detects that the body is beginning to slouch, something begins to feel “wrong” and “uncomfortable” and then the mind will redirect the body back into good posture again.

Sure, I agree that it is an excellent idea to resolve any muscle imbalances, etc, that may have developed, and try various exercises, etc., but in the end, it is really a matter of developing the habit of assuming proper posture every waking moment of your day that will guarantee great posture throughout your life!

Do I practice what I preach? Absolutely. As i sit here in my chair, I direct my mind to will my body into correct posture. Whenever I begin to grow tired and start to slump, it “feels funny” and I snap myself back into correct position…. yep, those lats are doing their job….

But it’s not just a matter of having strong lats — it’s also all about training your brain to remind your lats (and other muscles, etc) to support your spinal column every waking moment of your day….!

You have to really really want to have great posture to have great posture… it is not a natural thing that you are born with. You WILL have to work at it, until it becomes a HABIT.

NancyJ July 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

One other thing… as long as you are focusing on good posture, remember your “core” and keep those abs “in”…don’t let your belly flop out, any old way.

Yes this explains why ballet dancers also have great “abs” — they walk around all day long with the abs contracted/pulled in. Eventually that becomes a habit, too.

And if you keep your weight in check (another ballet trick) you will have great posture, great abs, and a nice slim fit body to show off! :>)

JC July 16, 2009 at 2:34 am

@Scott Kustes: Good point. That’s another idea that people don’t really think too much about. Great posture can often equal many intangibles.

@Marilyn: Glad to hear that yoga has helped you. After a few MRT sessions my mobility was incredible and I was practically pain free. Lower back felt great and hips were no longer sore/weak.

@Anna:I was reading your post on MRT and foam rolling. Have you started doing full body work daily or still doing 3 muscle groups a day?

@Norbi: Glad you enjoyed it, really. It’s all pretty simple actually… the foam rolling stuff anyway. Yoga can get complicated as you advance. If you are interested in yoga, I would highly recommend finding a class at your gym/YMCA to get started.

as for foam rolling I have plans to make a long video series on training to look great naked which will include weight training, mobility stuff and foam rolling. This will most likely be over the next few months as I will have more time in school to shoot some video. stay tuned!

@NancyJ: It’s been a long time since I have done any ballet 😉
I agree though, it does take a conscious effort. However that effort is well worth the work and focus.

Rahul July 16, 2009 at 7:18 am

Great topic rusty….I suffer from the exact same thing and one of the instructors at the gym is after my life, asking me to straighten my shoulders etc. every time he sees me. He claims I will even get more benefits from the excercises I am doing just by maintaining good posture.

One thing I have found is that just being aware of your posture and trying to correct it is half the battle as in some senses you get used to a certain posture. I mean, I am still guilty of bad posture but I have improved quite a bit since this guy started nagging me about it and that’s just because I have started focusing on it more.

Liam | EverythingZing.com July 16, 2009 at 7:54 am

After years of intermittent shoulder/back pain I was diagnosed with ‘upper cross syndrome’ by an osteopath. It was relatively easy to fix with a two simple middle back strenghtening exercises – cobras and bridges. They pulll the shoulders back and the chin in, which really helps to improve your posture. It’s worth doing them as part of your regular workout.

Mindbodygoal July 16, 2009 at 7:55 am

Ahhh a subject close to my heart!
Being a competitive powerlifter who spends a lot of time sat behind a desk and PC I have to really work at keeping things loose in the posterior chain.

In addition to the methods used above I can also highly recommend performing regular mobility dynamic mobility exercises such as dynamic leg swings, open/close the gate and climbers on the floor (at least thats what i call them!)

Sometimes I find the foam roller just doesnt cut it on occasion and have in the past used a piece of plastic tubing to good effect – especially for very tight IT bands and quads.

Other useful imprements I have used have been spice jars which I found very good on calves and a golf ball which I use for glutes and specifically piriformis.

Mindbodygoal July 16, 2009 at 7:58 am

I also meant to add that lying on a medicine ball is great for MRT in the upper back which again a foam roller may struggle to hit due to its length and complexity of the back musculature.

JC July 16, 2009 at 12:44 pm

@Mindbodygoal: I completely agree that mobility work should be incorporated as well. I do about 10-15 minutes worth of lunges, leg swings, climbers etc before my lower days. What a huge difference it makes!

I find the medicine ball is a good choice, too.

@Liam: facepulls are good for this too.

Burhan July 16, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Hi Rusty,

A slightly “off-topic” question.

I have been reading Mark Sisson, JC and Brad Pillon’s blogs; folk you’ve highly recommended many times.

For me, the one thing that stood out in their articles was their almost-identical recommendations regarding incorporating complex, multi-joint exercises into a workout program, such as Squats, Deadlifts and Bench Presses.

Their argument is that these exercises, specially Squats and DLs, get the body to produce lots of HGH, Testosterone and IGF-1, which are all essential for increasing/maintaining lean muscle and reducing body fat, etc.

In a recent article Mark stated that all you need is a few basic exercises; Squat, DL, Bench Press, Overhead Press, Weighted Dips & Chin-ups and a Row. In his “Elimination Experiment”, Brad talks of cutting down all exercises to essentially the same. They also recommend breaking a program into 2 workouts A & B, where:
A – Squat, DL, BP
B – Squat, Overhead Press, Chin-up

And working out not more than 3 times x week. So over 2 weeks you would have done plan A and B 3 times each. Hope that makes sense.

I on the other hand follow a program similar to the one yours:
A – Back, Chest
B – Shoulders, Bi, Tri.
A and B done 2 x week. Or at least 3 x every 2 weeks.
Like you recommend, I don’t do any direct leg work-out. This is mainly due to 2 reasons:
1. I don’t want really big legs.
2. I have really BAD knees and can’t squat even to save my own life.

But deep down inside I always have this feeling that maybe I should be doing some leg work.

Have you not ever felt the same? Specially, as you’ve said in earlier posts that you used to do a lot of squats, etc.?

Regards,
Burhan

admin July 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm

gunner,

I wouldn’t recommend bulking. I just finished a post about nutrition and building muscle. I think eating more does very little in regards to adding muscle mass.

Rafi,

I use a chair without a back on my computer and just try to sit up straight. It seems to work for me.

Scott,

I sometimes notice in pictures that I don’t always have the best posture. Now I consciously check myself to see if I’m standing well.

Michiel,

8 percent body fat is awesome…I stay around the range most of the year. If you want to add a little more size, just do more sets and reps. I often recommend that guys spend 10-15 minutes of more time lifting weights and reduce your HIIT or any cardio you do. Do 5 sets of 5 reps with reduced rest for each exercise. This is a way to compress more sets and reps in your workout and get a bit of an HGH response from weights. This will build a little muscle size without putting on body fat. Feel free to go up to 12-15 total sets per body part, during this short period of time where you want to add a little mass.

Nancy J,

Great points. I remember reading years ago to never puposely push your belly out if you want to have a tight midsection. I have found this to be true.

Burhan,

I like their recommedations. I just prefer bodyweight movements for legs. I’m cool with pistol squats, running stairs, sprinting, etc. If you want to add in a direct leg resistance, then I like deadlifts better than squats. If I could go back in time, I would have eliminated all the squats and deadlifts that I did in the past. Just make sure that you work hard on some type of HIIT that challenges your leg muscles…and you wll be fine.

Rusty

AmethystJean August 3, 2009 at 12:59 am

Thank you so much for this article. It is actually the most important issue on my mind right now as I think my lordosis is worsening. I will definitely try the foam roller and check out JC’s page.

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips August 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Hey JC/Rusty. Thanks for the great post. I work full time in an office and share your concerns about the poor posture sitting in front of a computer all day may bring. I do have one question though. Can stretching do anything to help correct the impact of bad posture?

Thanks,

Tom

Rahim August 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm

This was a great post man! Interestingly enough, I was in the Brookstone store last week looking at different chairs and lumbar support toys that they had for the back. I had bad back posture for years until I started practicing martial arts. I’m gonna look further into the MRT too.

Scott August 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Would you recommend stopping all other workouts until the posture issue is resolved? I have found I have a major posture issue and fixing it is so important to me. I think posture makes or breaks a persons well being and overall fitness level. What do you think? I have as much muscle size as I want….now I just need to tone certain areas, lean down, and of course deal with my posture!

JC October 15, 2009 at 8:55 pm

I saw some traffic from this link and saw I missed a few of these. sorry about being so late on the responses.

@Tom Parker: Yes, static stretching can help. do it post workout and on your off days. Try to do it throughout the day if possible.

@Scott: I think you should continue training but put a lot of emphasis and focus on correcting your issues via MRT, stretching or whatever means you choose.

Tom - Nutrition Tips Blog January 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm

This is a great post on posture. Most people just hear “oh you should have good posture” but don’t really know what it means or why it’s so important. If you want to age gracefully, good posture is key!

Visual Impact Muscle Building February 15, 2012 at 12:29 am

should have good posture This was a great post man thanks foh sharing

www.African-Mango-Irvingia-Gabonensis.com June 25, 2012 at 4:11 am

Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health or physical fitness, is a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue. Thanks.

www.African-Mango-Irvingia-Gabonensis.com June 25, 2012 at 4:20 am

Physical fitness comprises two related concepts general fitness, and specific fitness. Physical fitness is generally achieved through correct nutrition, exercise, and enough rest. Thanks.

w-healthy.com June 28, 2012 at 4:09 am

Weight loss occurs when an individual is in a state of negative thermodynamic flux: when the body is exerting more energy than it is consuming, it will use stored reserves from fat or muscle, gradually leading to weight loss. Thanks.

Luke May 7, 2013 at 1:02 am

Hey, thanks for the great article, I’ve had a poor posture since I was a kid, think its about time I sorted it out!

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