Standing Postural Exercises

How can I improve my standing posture?

The first step to improving your standing posture is to find the problem! Accurate analysis with a photograph from Posture Screen Mobile software can locate the specific postural distortion. Once we know the exact problem, we correct it with exercises, adjustments, and sometimes traction. The more severe the problem, and the longer it’s been there, the longer it takes to correct and the more a person may need to do to correct it.

Can you correct years of bad posture?

Posture can always be improved! Some distortions are too severe, have been there too long, or are caused by an anomaly unique to the person’s spine or limbs to attain perfect posture. But in almost 25 years of practice, I’ve never seen a single person who has a postural problem that we couldn’t help.

What is the correct standing posture?

From the side, a plumb line should go straight through the middle of the head to the top-center of the rib cage through the upper spine, through the bottom of the thoracic spine, through the middle of the pelvis, through the knee, and finally the ankle.

What exercises can I do to straighten my back posture?

This depends greatly on what the postural distortion is. This is why we’re skeptical of “cookie-cutter” practices that preach the same thing to everybody. We’re all different with different needs!

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Alright, this is our posture peak exercise area, which is very important to optimal health. We call it posture peak because to be at the peak of your health, you have to have peak posture, you have to have great posture, so this is how we start that. So one thing that we hear a lot, and for years, I had the type of practice that was very, very easy to administrate and very easy to do, where people would just come in, get adjusted, get their power on, and be gone. And we’d maybe tell them exercises to do or something, but they wouldn’t always do them, so that we wouldn’t get optimal results. But this is a very, very specific system to be able to restore people’s alignment and posture. So they come in and do these specific exercises. That way, they’re warmed up for their adjustments, and they get a better adjustment, and they strengthen and hold their postures, hold their adjustments far, far longer than without doing the exercises. So they’ll come in, and we teach them their specific exercises, what they’re going to do. And let me give you just a few examples of what that might look like if you came in or if you already go in there, and what it might look like to start these exercises.

So, one of the first most common things is called the pro-Lordotic neck exercise. It sounds kind of nerdy, but the Lordosis is the normal curve in the neck that over 90% of people lack, far over 90%. Because we’re like this all the time, we used to have postural problems where our mom would say, “Carry a book on top of your head and walk down the stairs.” It’s far worse with all these electronics and devices we’re using, so the pro-lordotic is very important and simple. At the very specific area where your neck is lacking in the curve, or even in a reverse curve, we’re going to push our head back and extend our neck as our hands go forward, strengthen our arms and neck simultaneously. We usually do about eight minutes of that, and that strengthens… It brings our heads back over our shoulders and strengthens our arms, chest, and neck muscles. This is just one example. There could be dozens. Some people may have their upper back extended at the same time, so we’re going to put a block underneath their upper back, and while they’re doing that, they’re going to increase the curve in their upper mid-back as they’re doing their neck exercises here.

So that’s one type that they may do. At the same time, on their neck, people may have a translation, and this is what we call the coronal plane, their head may shift, it may tilt, it could shift and tilt, it could just shift, it could just tilt, any combination of those. Well, the only way to permanently correct that is actually not adjustments and usually not even traction. We do a lot of traction, but it may be specific strengthening in the angle they need to do. We hear all the time people saying, “Oh, my doctor said the only reason that my back hurts is ’cause I need to strengthen my core.” If your neck is like this, please do not strengthen and support and leave it that way. Let’s actually fix it. So here’s how we may do that. There it is. Where’s my handy-dandy notebook for those Blue’s Clues fans from all those years ago? So this is a head harness. It may look goofy, but you know what’s actually goofy? It is having goofy posture, having your life jacked up, and not being able to play golf or play with your kids or grandkids or doing all those things. That looks goofy.

So we put this head harness on, and this head harness, as soon as I figure out how to put it on, even though I do it every day. Now that I’m on camera, I can’t remember how to do it. So this is going to go on like this. So let’s say my head is shifted off to the right. We’re going to do exercises to guess which way. Everything is in the mirror image. We’re going to go in the opposite direction, so I’m going to hook this handy dandy carabiner onto the wall like this. Then, I’m going to shift my head. If my head is right, I’m going to exercise by shifting it to the left, keeping my core tight, and trying not to move that at all. We may have to lift a shoulder. We may have to tilt out. Everything is very, very specific. But we have to strengthen. We have to move it. Those are amazing warm-ups. Out of the studio audience, who thinks I should leave this on for the rest of the thing? The crowd is going bananas for a leave-it-on. Let’s keep it goofy, shall we? So the other thing we might have is a thoracic translation in that same coronal plane, so what we’re going to have to do is we’re going to have to have a block, and this doesn’t have to be done here, it can be done on any wall, but if my ribcage is shifted this way, it may have a bend, or it may just be a shift and a curve that way. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to do exercises where we shift our spine and contract our whole body and shift that and take out that translation.

There also could be a bend in there for which we may need a ratcheting system like this so that we could hook it here. Let’s say that I just bend like this. That’s actually extremely uncommon, but let’s say that that’s a situation that we have, so we’re going to bend in the opposite way, I’m going to hook this on the other side, and I’m gonna do strengthening where I unbend my spine that way. That can be done with scoliosis. That’s extremely common, it’s usually more complex than this, but that’s just a good example of what we might do.

Another example is when I have an abnormal pelvic tilt. Maybe my pelvis is tilted too far this way, which usually correlates with my thoracic spine being translated forward. By the way, the only accurate way to know that is with an x-ray. Having someone look at your pelvic tilt has been scientifically proven to be inaccurate, so in an x-ray where we measure what we call the sacral base angle compared to their unique anatomy, we measure their posterior tangent to pelvic incident angle or pelvic incidence, and we call it. There’s a complicated formula. Go to someone who knows their stuff, please.

So, how are we going to fix that? So if I have a pelvic tilt that’s too far forward, we’re going to tilt it back, and we’re going to put a block down here, we’re going to pivot around that and tilt it back like that. So often, we’ll have a thoracic. We see this kind of shaggy posture as in Ruby, and Raggy gets some Ruby racks, and his posture is like this, healthy, not really, no. So we’re going to have to shift or translate our thoracic spine forward or, in many cases, backward. So that’s a few. There are many, many, many, literally infinite combinations of things we might do. The other thing that we might do is shoulder rehab. Now, not just shoulder like a problem in your capsule or your shoulder joint, in your labrum, but we may have rounded forward shoulders. This is extremely common too. So, we have this crossover symmetry made by some amazing physical therapists. It’s a great system, and I’m not going to improve on what they did, but we have a QR code here that people can scan, they just take a picture of that, and it links to me showing each of these exercises.

This is an awesome system, and these bends right here do that. So we can strengthen, we can re-stabilize, we can correct postures, it makes a huge difference. And again, we can have people hold their adjustments far, far longer. We send people off into the mission field for two years in Africa or something, but they can’t always be there where they can get adjusted. So, we need to support them to be able to be supportable on their own, though. It’s always good when you’re in town or near your chiropractor to go in regularly for tune-ups, but when you can’t, there should be things that you can do. So there’s one more thing I do want to show you, and that is in the thoracic park. So, that is where we might need a two-way strengthening, and I’ll show you what that looks like in one moment.

Welcome to Thoracic Park. So as I was saying before, we might need a two-way type traction system, so I might need a pulley coming from this side, pulling my ribcage this way, and a pulley here, pulling me this way, so I would hook this around there. It’s going to shift me this way, and I might need to bend this way, so I need multiple points of leverage to optimize, like a very common cause of scoliosis. I might have a curve that goes one way in my lower back and the other way in my upper back, and I still need to move and strengthen in there, and I might need… My pelvis might be shifted to the right compared to this, so I need to shift it to the left. There are very, very complex setups we need for that. Sometimes we need a two-way pulley system. That’s what this is for, even though it’s kind of a posture, but get your size, it’s still in Thoracic Park? So whatever it is that you need, if you have questions, of course, ask us. But this is the state-of-the-art for restoring normal alignment. We exercise, adjust, and traction, which we call the EAT protocol, and we sometimes eat fun food while doing it. So that’s another awesome thing. So anyway, till next time, enjoy amazing health by taking fantastic care of your spine and nervous system. Have an awesome day.

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