Caveman or Dancer – How is your Posture?

Since 2005 I have worked with some amazing dancers & performers, from Strictly Come Dancing, to Synchronised Swimmers and Stunt Performers – all have one things in common. Exceptionally good posture, and postural awareness. I don’t have any Cavemen (!) but many people who suffer from symptoms that I would describe how a person may look if they lived in a small cave…..

Over the last few weeks I have been doing quite a lot of driving and travelling.  Today I have been in Stevenage (on a secret mission … for now), at the weekend racing Sea2Summit for Sports Sister Magazine, and next week in London for a sports therapy trianing course with Noah Karrash – Unwinding the Spine, and for the NLP Conference!  All these trips will, I know be really interesting, challenging and thought provoking – and provide me with new skills, knowledge and stories, for you, our clients.

But….

My travels have prompted a thought about general postural awareness.

How do you feel in the morning when you wake? How strong is your posture day to day? How is your breathing?

We can train almost daily in the gym, but if our day to day postural awareness is not there, our training benefit will be much less.

Whilst I was driving up to Scotland a couple of weekends ago, for my Dad’s 70th a few things came to mind around my posture:

* How do you tend to sit when you drive for over an hour? I would say my right shoulder creeps forwards and down.

* How you you hold the steering wheel – are you balanced? I think some people I work with get very tight in their shoulders as they grip the steering wheel tightly. Others are more relaxed allowing a lot of rotation in the body.

* Do you tend to drive with comfortable shoes on, or wear heels which would effect the angle of your pelvis?

* Do you drive with keys, loose change, wallets in your pockets?

Other things that cause you to be more like a Caveman ( modern day!) & how to become a Dancer…

* Do you always drink water (of course) and answer your phone with the same hand – try with the opposite to balance things out!

* Do you stand balanced, with both feet pointing straight forwards and a strong lower back? Many people turn their feet out, or/and collapse their hip to one side, aim to keep them balanced

* Do you sit at your desk in a balanced position with your feet level, computer screen straight in front of you, at the correct height? All these things can affect your overall posture – get a good physiotherapist to check your work station set up (In Bristol Jemma Mack from the Physio Place is brilliant)

* Do you take time to stretch and practise daily yoga or pilates for 20mins? Especially if you are driving or travelling your muscles may well become tight, imbalanced and your core less functional. Making time each day, even if it is just 10mins morning and evening will really help to improve things.  A piece of kit called the Flexi Bar can really help improve postural tightness – visit www.flexi-sport.com or our YOUTube Clips: www.youtube.com/kimingleby to find out more about the Flexi Bar and Postural Tips.

*Do you make time to breathe deeply, correct your posture regularly throughout the day & walk for at least 30mins per day? Put some little coloured dots on your mobile phone, computer screen & TV to remind you, when you see them to engage your core muscles and correct your posture. Daily checks, done regularly and consistently will really improve your posture and even your energy, immunity and digestion!

So hopefully this little Blog will provoke you to think about your posture, and how you feel on a daily basis.  Remember to make changes to your posture, you must be consistent on a daily basis, and if you are unsure what to do then always ask a professional.  Then you can develop the posture & awareness of a dancer, not a caveman! Perfect for those Christmas Parties & New Year’s Resolutions….  If you would like anymore tips or support please do comment and we will help.