How To Improve Your Posture. Answers From The Experts At The World Posture Month Virtual Summit 2018

Looking for ways to Improve Your Posture? Postural Education is Key.

The best doctors and professionals from around the World came together to give masterclasses on the top, easy ways to correct your posture and the types of things you can be doing to help today.

Watch the full 'Finding The Balance' posture interview here:

World Posture Summit interview with Eve Dawes. This WBFF pro discusses 'Finding the Balance' with everything from corrective exercises, daily habits, breathing and living pain free.

This was my first time talking at the World Posture Virtual Summit. After years as a professional dancer, personal trainer, WBFF Pro and Sports Massage Therapist I had insights to share both from my own issues (scoliosis) and from seeing clients.

If you're like the vast majority of the population that spend so much time sitting, then I'm pretty sure you'll have one of the most common postural issues seen today: Sitting disease and Tech Neck (yes, they're actual things and they can be fixed).

The World Posture Month Virtual Summit kicked off on May 24th with 40 of the World's top posture experts teaming up to provide you with simple solutions to better posture to help you look, move and feel better.  

During our condensed, easy to follow, practical short masterclasses, we shared valuable knowledge, education, and resources to help increase your knowledge, and awareness on preventing and overcoming these postural disorders which can help so many people out there who are suffering.

Good posture's not just about looks. Poor posture has been directly related to issues such as neck & back pain, migraines, fatigue, and even in some cases early death. The problem is most people are not aware of this. It’s actually said that “Posture is the foundation to health”. Yet so many people have never even been told about it.

As a professional dancer, I was lucky to have my scoliosis diagnosed early on and to be able to do private pilates classes at ballet school which involved, core strengthening and stabilization exercises. I didn't develop too much pain until later on where my sciatica was getting unmanageable even with regular chiropractic work which included neck traction (as I also have a reverse curve in my neck). Obviously, shoe inserts were only an option outside of dancing not during.

I transitioned to fitness as way to help people reach their goals the proper way: healthily and slowly by creating lifestyle habits. One of the most interesting courses I completed was Sports massage therapy where I learnt about body mechanics. This was a more defining moment than anything I'd learnt in my personal training certifications. Nutrition, Exercise and Posture are the 3 pillars to optimal health. You really can't do anything 100% if your posture isn't correct. 

What good and bad posture looks like.

How does poor posture affect your health?

  1. Organ impingement

  2. Fatigue

  3. Pain

  4. Poor circulation

  5. Breathing difficulty

  6. Headaches

  7. Wear and tear on your spine and joints

  8. A contributing factor to degenerative arthritis. 

Wonder Woman Pose 

What are the benefits of good posture?

When your bones are in alignment, your muscles and lungs can function more efficiently. Good posture also helps to prevent injury, strain on your ligaments, and allows you to breath more easily. If your postures off, how can you work your muscles evenly or even activate them?

Strike a confidence boosting pose.

Posture affects you not just physically but mentally. Do this test: stand up and strike a power pose; I personally love the 'Wonder Woman' pose. The structure of our body dictates the function, notice how when you hold a power pose, you have more confidence; posture really change how we feel physically and mentally about ourselves through that strong posture.

 

 

How does posture help onstage?

Good posture helps not just with stage performance but in interviews, which is the 1st round of any pageant and lets face it, most jobs come down to your interview.  It's where you meet your potential employer or judge(s), and where your posture is critical; it can automatically make you look more or less confident from the moment you walk through the door.

Secondly, muscular balance and core strength creates overall balance, which means your  less likely to fall on stage, unless your heel breaks or you didn't put the correct soles on your shoes.

When you have balanced muscles and a strong core, your good posture will allow you to carry yourself with poise. In bodybuilding competitions and pageants it's even more important, when they're judging you on your tapered (or not) waist and symmetry.

How do I correct my posture at the gym?

Common Posture Mistakes People Make At the Gym. 

  • Don't work just mirror muscles: I know we all want to look good but if you only focus on the muscles you see in the mirror you're setting yourself up to create muscular and postural imbalances. Don't forget your reverse chain muscles.  Create muscular balance by thinking of training the body 360* work forward, backwards, laterally and diagonally. For every push do a pull, for every contraction an extension. 

  • Set fixed path machines correctly: Set the machines at the correct placement for your size. Listen to your body; if it doesn't feel good, don't do it and switch to using free weights instead. Free weights are great at creating balance in the body as you can't compensate with your strong side.

  • Dont use momentum: the gym is not the time to be vain; I don't care how hot the guy/girl next to you is; it will only lead to injury and imbalances.  Drop the weight until you can lift with perfect form and then show that off rather than how much you can't actually lift!

3 recommendations for better posture on a daily basis.

1. Be self aware wherever you are: Take time to do a  mental check-in; how are you sitting/ standing? Are you leaning? Is your weight placed evenly? Are you slumping? Are you breathing properly? 

2. Get to know your body and do corrective exercises; strengthening and stretching to get or keep everything in balance. Work your body evenly to create balance, which in turn will create good posture.

3. Work your core and back muscles to literally create a brace for your spine.  Remember when you're doing these exercises to activate the muscles and create a mind body connection, as well as pulling in rather than allowing your stomach to push out.

Click here for the best core muscle exercises by the Mayo Clinic

How Does Posture Affect Breathing?

Take a moment and notice how you're breathing; your breathing is directly correlated to your posture. When you're upright, it's so much easier to breath!

Whenever you have a moment; slow your breathing down, switch from shallow chest breathing to deep belly breathing, and let go of any tension.

What are the best stretches to do in the morning?

  • Keep it dynamic (moving) not static (held) as you're muscles aren't warm and pliable as soon as you jump (or struggle) out of bed.

  • Gently roll down as far as you can towards the floor and back up, trying to isolate each vertabra by vertabra.

  • Gentle bends side to side, not held stretches.

  • Slow neck circles.

Photo: https://www.blendermarket.com/products/anatomically-based-human-skeleton-xms

World Posture Month Virtual Summit 2018 Presenters.

Fitness By Eve