Hope everyone has been getting their New Year New You Fitness On! My legs are already sore from taking the time off for the holidays & hitting it hard the first week of January, but I push through the soreness because that is my body changing (strong is the new sexy, right?). Speaking of sexy, I am curious as to how many of us work out for the esthetics? I think changing our bodies appearance & doctor’s orders are probably to two largest driving forces that people to the gym. These are both good, we should take pride in our appearance & pushing our bodies to their full capacity & we should listen to the doc when he says it’s time to lose a few extra pounds to stay healthy. But I want to explore another aspect (it actually plays into both esthetics & health): posture. Now, posture probably isn’t something that comes to mind for the general gym goer, but it is extremely important to properly practicing fitness & to reaping the full benefits of your workouts.
Posture is the positioning or alignment of the various parts of your body in relation to one another. Proper posture during exercise will prevent injury & strengthen the correct muscle groups. Outside of the gym it can prevent tension headaches, chronic muscular tension & give internal organs space to properly function, not to mention make you look better. I see so many beautiful ladies with hunched over shoulders & pot bellies that could be helped immensely if they just stood up straight. Granted there are some diseases that cause curvature of the spine & severe muscle imbalances that would make this impossible, but I am not addressing those here.
During our workouts it is important to have correct posture to prevent injury, train for functionality & reap the maximum benefits. Weightlifting properly can cause our bodies to learn to use the correct muscles which prevents injury. We lift, carry, push & pull in our daily lives, however if we train incorrectly during out workouts, we are most likely doing in wrong outside of the gym. This principle applies to cardio machines as well. Running, cycling, any movement engages all of our upper postural muscles. Proper posture will strengthen the core & upper back & allow proper breathing. Next time you get a chance, watch an experienced runner & notice how they hold their body, even when tired. Perhaps the biggest abuse of improper posture on a fitness machine is the Stair Stepper. Every time I walk in the gym people are hunched over clinging onto the handle bars. You are doing your body more harm than good by hunching over for the reason previously stated. If you are unable to stand upright on the machine then step off & take a break. Shortcuts never lead to positive results & the stair stepper can be a great machine when properly utilized.
If you ever have any questions about posture, position or how to correctly do an exercise. Ask one of the trainers in your gym to show you or watch you perform an exercise & make corrections. You can also use YouTube as a resource on how to correctly perform a wide array of exercises. Till next time, be safe in the gym & get sexy!