Ensuring that you have good posture during exercise allows you to maximize the benefits of your workouts. It’s not just a matter of looking good!
There are three key reasons why you should always aim to maintain good posture during exercise.
Proper alignment allows muscles to work most efficiently
Have you ever seen someone lifting with bad form? Of course you have!
And if you’re anything like me, you immediately straighten your own spine, roll your shoulders back, and lift your chest. In doing so, you’re improving your spinal alignment.
As your spinal alignment improves, your pelvis can sit in a more natural position. From there, your core muscles can engage to stabilize your body and allow your limbs to move in their optimal alignment.
Good posture during exercise means that not only can the working muscle be most efficient, but they’re working in concert with stabilizing muscles, too. When you get your whole body working together, that’s super-charged efficiency!
When muscles work efficiently and in concert with the whole kinetic chain, not only do you get stronger faster but your injury risk declines.
Tall posture gives lungs most room to expand
Many popular forms of cardio exercise– such as running and cycling– also encourage a forward-leaning posture. When the lean happens from the hips and the spine stays tall, the lungs can expand fully.
Similarly, strength training– whether with machines or free weights– is best done with a tall spine so muscles can work optimally, as explained above.
But as you fatigue, slouching tends to set in. Slouching compromises lung capacity because there’s no room for the lungs to expand in the chest cavity.
Less oxygen leads to fatigue setting in faster. Keeping a tall spine allows you to breathe deeply. Fully oxygenating your muscles means you can complete your workout without depleting fatigue setting in.
Paying attention to posture during exercise will raise awareness of movement patterns throughout the day
With spinal alignment now a focus of your attention while you’re working out, you’ll find that you are more aware of how you move even when you aren’t exercising.
Maybe you’ll think about how your shoulders tend to slide up to your ears when you’re washing dishes, and you’ll encourage them to slide back down your back.
Or perhaps when you’re lifting your child up and out of the grocery cart, you’ll first take a moment to get your feet underneath of you, bend your knees slightly, and exhale on exertion.
Good posture during exercise boosts benefits for your workout and beyond!
By setting the stage of working out from a posture that allows your muscles to work most efficiently, you’re on the way to improving your alignment all throughout the day. When you stand tall and take deep breaths, you flood your muscles with oxygen. Well-oxygenated muscles work for longer before fatiguing, both when exercising and in the Olympics of Everyday Life. And when you raise your awareness of how your body carriage affects your movement patterns while exercising, you’ll start to notice your posture at other times of day.
Just imagine how great you’ll feel then, when you’re always holding yourself optimally and breathing deeply. There will be no stopping you!