How to Correct Posture the Right Way!
I always admire an individual that is self motivated to learn how to correct posture habits and improve their health; however, with so much information available on the subject, many people get confused as to where they should even start. My goal in writing this is to share with you some misconceptions about how to correct posture, review various products that market themselves as posture correcting devices, and most importantly, to share with you what I teach all my patients on how to correct posture.
Here are a few of the biggest problems I see with much of the information available on how to correct posture:
- Much of it tends to address posture as a static position. In other words, it tells (or shows) you how to correct posture while sitting or standing in one position, but it doesn’t address having good posture in all your activities throughout the day.
- Good posture is more than just pulling your shoulders back. Don’t get me wrong, proper shoulder positioning is part of how to correct posture, but it is only one of the pieces to the puzzle.
- People want a product to do the work for them. There are some good products that have their place in addressing poor posture, but many of them fail to provide what is required to adequately teach your body how to achieve and maintain good posture.
Products Designed to “Correct” Posture
Let’s take a look at some of the products promoting the ability to improve posture:
- Tape – there are a few brands of tape that come in an “X” pattern, designed to place between your shoulder blades. The tape is designed to wear for several days, and it helps pull your shoulder blades back.
- Undershirts – designed to wear under your clothing and help you achieve and maintain good posture.
- Neoprene Upper and Lower Back Supports – these are neoprene braces designed to help remind you to have proper posture when bending and lifting. They also help remind you to pull your shoulders back and keep your lower back aligned.
- Posture Shoes – designed to alter the way you stand and improve the alignment of your feet, knees, and hips, which helps improve posture.
- Biofeedback Devices – electrical devices you wear on your chest that vibrate when you slouch; these give you feedback by reminding you to sit up straight.
The Most Effective Ways on How to Correct Posture
As I mentioned before, some of the products above are helpful reminders as you work to achieve and maintain good posture. Where I fault these products, however, is that most of them attempt to hold you in a good posture but fail to help strengthen your own muscles to do the work.
This is problematic because if you have a device working for your muscles by holding you in the proper position, your own muscles will in essence take a vacation. This lack of use with continued use of the device will actually lead to a muscle weakening over time. It’s the old adage…use it or lose it. In order to correct bad posture the right way, remember the following:
- Work on having better posture during all your activities, while you’re sitting, standing, and moving.
- Learn how to obtain and move in your neutral spine.
- Learn strengthening exercises that will enable your own muscles to do the work…this will set you up for success in the long run!
- Learn a series of basic core strengthening exercises. This will help promote better mechanics and will protect your back as you perform your daily activities.
- Learn what good posture is and practice it continuously!
Now I realize none of those items listed above is as appealing as buying a brace to correct posture. But remember, there are no shortcuts in life, and attempting to correct posture without training the muscles that are actually responsible for helping you have good posture is setting yourself up for failure.
If you want to cut through the sea of information and learn how physical therapists teach their patients how to correct posture in the clinic, check out the other articles I’ve written on this topic. These articles will not only teach you what good posture is and how to find it, but they will also give you exercises, tips, and tricks on how to correct posture on a daily basis!