Your Posture is your relationship with gravity. Gravity pulls you straight down, muscle keeps your skeleton upright against it. Gravity is always in effect.
If your body is physically not conditioned to resist its effects, then you are gradually going to break down with age. When I tell people “gravity will destroy you” I am not being facetious, IT WILL. Good posture = optimal musculoskeletal alignment & is aesthetically pleasing.
Good posture looks like this:
- Your head floats over your neck, with easy rotation side to side and extension and flexion looking up and down
- The bone of the shoulders are aligned with neck and ears
- You arms rest in a neutral position, right at the sides of your body
- Your ribcage is expansive and you have full breathing capacity
- Your ribcage is aligned with your pelvis, and your pelvis is parallel with gravity
- Your weight is balanced, with equal weight distribution between your forefoot and your heel
Good posture is not subjective. When your body is aligned, you maximize your lung capacity and breathing, you have fluidity in your movement, and you move efficiently. There is no wasted energy in your movement economy.
Good posture reflects a well functioning nervous system. People with bad posture, I know immediately that this person will have coordination issues, before I ever have them move (the body never lies).
You can use all the postural cues you want to remind yourself to stand up straighter, but fundamentally they won’t make a long term difference unless you strengthen your body. You can temporarily straighten yourself out, but these reminders are not permanent solutions.
Until you strengthen the posterior chain, from top to bottom, your posture will always be lousy. That means strengthening your Traps, Rhomboids, Lats, Spinal Erectors, Glutes, Hamstrings and Calves.
What is permanent is muscle. If you want your posture to be aligned straight, you NEED to have the muscle to create and support this alignment.