“Sit up straight,” “don’t hunch over,” “see how much taller you look when you pull your shoulders back?” I’m sure you heard these lines plenty of times growing up, and well, I’m going to take over for mom and dad here and keep drilling them into your mind. Unfortunately, pretty much everyone has bad posture to some degree (myself included). But I want to let you in on a huge little secret… there actually is one instant fix to looking leaner, more vibrant and more confident, and it doesn’t cost a dime or even involve eating copious amounts of kale… it’s all about—you guessed it—your posture.
You can even try it now. Go to a mirror, pull your shoulders back, and lift your chest. It’s like you’ve instantly lost inches off your frame and added inches to your height! And it makes perfect sense. Think about it—if you’re constantly hunched over, you aren’t engaging the core, you’re curving your spine downwards, and your abs (the ones you may not think you have, but they’re there) will never get a chance to shine through.
Without correcting our posture, we can never really achieve our fullest potential—both in fitness and in life. The instant you fix your posture, the way you carry yourself completely changes; both your inner and outer confidence will improve significantly. If you’re familiar with the concept of “power posing,” you know that even just standing in a powerful stance can instantly elevate your sense of ability, competence, even your mood. And when it comes to fitness, the effects of posture can’t be debated. As my many years of studying and training with clients have proven, you can perform as many lifting and tightening exercises as you like, but the reality is that without getting our posture, functional mobility and overall health at its best first and foremost, the body can’t take on the toning and contouring that we’re after. You need to correct that foundation before you can build upon it.
Unfortunately, modern life is so often spent sitting at a desk for multiple hours a day, bent over a computer or phone screen, and this certainly doesn’t help our cause. So, how do we fix this problem that is an everyday fight for most of us? Fear not—you’re in the right place. Luckily, perfecting posture is a foundational element of every P.volve workout!
If you want to get technical, addressing posture starts at the hips. Without proper hip extension, which is what most people struggle with, we won’t be able to get our torso upright as we move. From there, it is all about the ab muscles, particularly the rectus abdominis which runs right down the center of your stomach (infamously known as the “six pack”). We need full extension and lengthening out of these muscles in order to get the diaphragm to extend, the rib cage to lift, and the chest to follow suit. This will set you up to have your shoulders nicely pulled back and head held high. From there, we must create mobility and extension in the shoulders by focusing on the rotation, retraction and protraction of the scapula.
I know—that was a lot of anatomy thrown at you, and I promise that is all the lecturing I have for you today. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about the science, as I’ve mixed these motions consistently into the workouts. Ultimately, if you first create the mobility in the joints and muscles, you can then start to create that strength in your torso and upper body that enables you to keep that corrected posture throughout your day-to-day.
In P.volve, you will notice then we may not always be burning out our muscles, or doing all these high energy exercises like many other workout methods. While those exercises can be fun and feel instantly gratifying, the truth is that you likely won’t see much benefit to them if you don’t first take the time to master control over your body. At the end of the day, just remember to focus intently on your form and all the cues I give you throughout the workouts, as every single one has a specific purpose that culminate in perfecting that posture. Trust in the process-- form first, and functionality will follow.
Enjoyed this post or have any questions? Let us know in the comments!
Post by Stephen PasterinoHi, I'm P, founder of P.volve. I'm passionate about fitness, wellness, and all of the healthy lifestyle choices in between. Get more out of your workouts by staying up to date with our Blog, where I share all of my fitness secrets.
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