I currently have a bit of an injury, nothing too serious but has given me some time to reflect on my training. Following Convict Conditioning for nearly 2 years has given me very good bodyweight strength, I can do Muscle ups, Ring Muscleups, Pistol Squats and One Arm Pushups amongst other things, all exercises which 3 years ago I never would have dreamed I could do.
Despite this I remain unable to stand-up straight! I took this rather unflattering picture of me with my upper body completely relaxed, in other words I’m not doing anything to try and improve my posture.
As you can see I have a rather large curve in my lower back which starts from my hips, the result of this is despite having under 10% body fat I look like I have a bit of a gut. This is called Anterior Pelvic Tilt and is the first problem that I want to address.
Lets take a look at another picture I took of me doing my best to try and stand up straight with good posture (and suck in my belly a little).
The curve isn’t as bad but I still have a major problem in my upper back and neck, which is the second problem I’d like to address. Despite me pulling my neck back to the point where I almost have a double chin, my neck is still sticking forward quite a bit. I believe this is called Thoracic Kyphosis.
So what has caused these 2 problems with my posture, well to put it simply I spend probably over 10 hours a day sat at a computer (which of course I am now as I write this blog), during this time your legs stay in one fixed position, your head will generally be tilted forward to look at the screen and your back maybe curved. I’m trying to improve my computer posture but I believe it will take more than just doing that and that’s what I plan to do.
I found this link on how to fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt and it basically states that it is caused from weak glutes, abs and hamstrings as well as tight quads, hip flexors and spinal erectors. I have a fairly strong core and though my glutes and hamstrings aren’t as strong as my quads I have been doing quite a bit of work on strengthening them with my personal trainer, but I will put a bit more emphasis on strengthening these in my workouts.
As for the tightness I have extremely tight hip flexors and quads and this really is an area I’m going to have to concentrate on. The first thing I have started to do is spend half an hour when I get in from work just going through some basic stretching exercises, I’ll write a followup post once I’ve got a plan written up on how else I am going to undo 20+ years of bad posture!