What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today I’m going to show you in five simple steps how you can start fixing your posture once and for all. You see, it’s not that you haven’t been trying in the past, but I’m telling you, you’ve probably been trying the wrong things because a lot of people mean well, but they’re not telling you the right cues and the right things to focus on.
It’s getting you either looking really strange walking around, or more frustrated because you can’t fix anything long term. Here’s what you have to do: you’ve got to start focusing on the things that you can change. The first thing you need to do is stand up, get yourself in the mirror and turn sideways because you want to look at the angle of your neck first. Now, a lot of us will tell you that you have to tuck your chin in, you’ve got to do ‘this’.
That’s not going to – you’re going to walk around like this. It’s not really fixing what you’re trying to fix. If you look at the angle of your neck – and I’m talking about this portion, from here to here – what is it doing? Is it tilted forward? If it’s tilted forward at all here you’re not talking about the angle that you want.
The angle that you want is going to be almost vertical here and perpendicular to the ceiling. What happens is, when the angle of your neck is there, it actually puts your chin and the rest of your head in a nice carrying position. Instead of having to worry about having to pull your chin backing in.
What happens is, we do get misguided and think that we’re in the right position because even when we’re forward, our bodies are smart enough to make sure that our eyes are pointed forward so we lift up. If you looked in the mirror you’d quickly see that’s what going on.
So fix the neck. Then we can move down to the next segment here and it’s in the shoulder girdle. Again, what’s the advice you’ve been given? It’s “Pinch your shoulder blades together,” or “Roll your shoulders back.” The problem is you walk around like a chicken that way because you’re not really fixing what you’re supposed to be fixing.
What you can do alternatively, in a much easier, more effective way, is focus right here on the sternum. This bone here in your chest isn’t going anywhere, but it’s controlling your ribcage position. Your ribcage is obviously controlling your shoulder blade position because they’re attached to it. So what you want to do is focus on the position of the top portion, right here, of your sternum. Is it angled down at all?
I can guarantee if you have forward shoulders then it’s not going to be angled down like you see here.
You can fix that by lifting your sternum and trying to get the top of it – think of it as a glass of water. Is it pouring out forward at all, or can you get it perfectly straight? You can do that by lifting your sternum up, but look what happens when we do that. That’s so easy to control, but when we do that the shoulders go, what?
Back and down. They’re in the perfect position, just by fixing the position of our sternum. So now you’re 2/5 of the way there. Let’s keep it going. As we work our down to the kinetic chain we have to always pass through the core.
That’s a good thing because your core is something that you need to help you to stabilize the position in the proper position that you’ve already established up above.
Remember, this is one continuous spine from your neck to in between your shoulder blades, in through your thoracic spine, now down into your lumbar spine. Well, we can control that and stabilize that by having some contraction of the core. Now I’m not talking about flexing. That’s all going to pull down and create actual spinal flexion.
That wouldn’t help us. I’ talking about creating and engagement here of your core and getting better at being able to do that throughout the entire day. you can do that and talk and you can do that and do whatever else you’re doing by increasing the tone of your abs. the resting tone of your abs. again, you’re getting the stability.
So now, here you are, your chest is up, your neck’s in the right position, stabilized by getting a little bit of a contraction of your core. You’re not flexing, but contracting. Work your way down the chain now. Now we’re into the pelvis. Here’s the problem.
Again, most of us sit all day long. We work, we drive; whatever it is. We have the anterior tilt of the pelvis that happens because the hip flexors get tight from all the sitting that we do.
As they pull down they get us into this anterior tilt like you see here. We can fix that very, very easily, but just contracting our gluts.
Squeeze your butt cheeks together as hard as you can and guess what? You just put yourself into more of a posterior tilt. You might be in a perfectly neutral position, but you’re going from an anterior position to a more posterior position by contracting your gluts. Keep that going with the contraction of your abs and you’ve got a nice co-contraction and you just stabilized the pelvis and put it in the right spot by having both of those areas contracted together.
Now finally, check out the position of your knees.
I can pretty much guarantee you’ve got some flexion going on in your knees, you’ve got a little bit of bend going on in your knees, and you didn’t even realize it. Here’s the coup de gras to bring it all together; straighten the knees. Contract your quads. You can see now that the entire posture from the top down has been fixed in just five, easy to manipulate areas. You can easily change the degree of flexion in your knees.
You can easily change the contraction going on in your gluts by just actively squeezing them together. You can easily engage your abs more than you are right now. You can easily tilt your sternum up if it’s pointing down, and you can easily change the position of your neck without having to worry about all these crazy, weird things.
It’s not that hard to do, but now I’m going to tell you how to keep it there because if you can’t keep it there, what’s the point in the first place? You can keep it there by using this one drill that I do.
It’s sort of like this Cam Newton Superman drill, believe it or not. What you do is you take a band, you wrap it around – don’t’ worry you’re not going to suffocate yourself, or constrict yourself too much. You wrap around from the front to the back and you bring the bands in front of you. You grab the left one with the right hand, the right one with the left hand, and you get your hands in position right here in front of your chest. Now, here – remember Cam Newton pull out – open to Superman chest, this way, reveal your “S”; we’re going to do the same thing.
You’re going to take it from here, you’re going to pull out and rotate. So here, now what I’ve done is I automatically find that because the band is across my low back it’s pulling me into this nice, upright posture.
From here, my shoulder blades are going down and back because the sternum is coming up. Here I’ve got external rotation on the shoulders because my bands are coming out and back and thumbs are pointing toward the back. Of course, I focus on keeping the core contracted beneath the bands, I got my butt squeezed together to get the gluts going to make sure that pelvis is in the right position and I’ve got my knees nice and straight and all I did was hold this here for as long as I can.
If I could hold it for one or two minutes, great. If I find that I’m fatiguing and losing the right changes that I’ve incorporated here then I might want to relax and do it again. The idea is, once you’ve done that, take it out, come back here, and stand. Then you’ll see that it’s way easier for your to maintain that position because most of the time these areas that we’re trying to change here are just dormant. They’re just waiting to be woken up.
If you do this a couple times a day – and I mean literally a couple times – you could do it for a minute or two, good. Do it once or twice a day you will see incredibly fast changes, like I said, we were talking about tapping into areas that you never knew how to control before. By just doing it in a different way you’re finally able to control the muscles to make some really quick changes here and be able to maintain a much better posture without having to think about it. Try these. Its’ very, very simple and I want you to tell me how it works for you.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a program that doesn’t just tell you “This is how it works,” but shows you how to do it step by step so you understand, number one – because when you understand you’re much more capable of doing things much more quickly – I do that for you. I try to break it down for you step by step. It’s the ATHLEANX training program. You can get it over at ATHLEANX.com.
I hope this one helped you out. Make sure you let me know below. Leave your comments and a thumbs up and let me know what else you want me to cover here on this channel and I’ll do my best to do that in the days and weeks ahead. I’ll see you back here soon..