Monday, May 14, 2007

Structural Integrity - How to Observe Posture

Some people have great posture, most people have terrible posture. Our work habits and daily movement patterns greatly effect posture and more often than not, are the cause of poor posture. Posture is the alignment and function of all components of the kinetic chain at any given movement.

Proper postural alignment allows optimum neuromuscular efficiency. Proper posture ensures that the muscles of the body are optimally aligned as well. Without proper postural alignment, we set the body up for degeneration. Altered movement patterns result in muscular imbalances which can place unusual stresses on the joints. This can lead to the development of arthritis.

A quick postural observation can give general structural information regarding the state of an individual's muscles and joints. There are five major deviations to look for: Forward head, protracted shoulders, anterior pelvic tilt, adducted and internally rotated knees and flattened feet. These deviations can be grouped into three postural distortion patterns: lower-extremity, lumbo-pelvic-hip, and upper extremity.

Training with these postural distortion patterns can often lead to reoccurring injuries. The body is not functioning at an optimum level of performance, thus hindering fitness results. For each distortion pattern, there is a group of tight and weak musculature. Combined with SMFR, static stretching techniques and corrective exercises, these various distortion patterns can be resolved, allowing the body to perform at 100 percent again.

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