One key principle of posture training

Feb 19, 2020


One thing my clients hear me talking about a lot is the importance of good posture when it comes to back health. But thanks to the prevalence of desk jobs and handheld devices, good posture is not something that comes particularly naturally to many people.  The good news, though, is that good posture can be learned (and bad habits broken!) – and doing so will make a world of difference to your back health over the longer term. 

How to develop better posture

Improving your posture involves more than stretching, it is about teaching your body to hold itself in a different way. And then to maintain this even when you’re not consciously thinking about it. 

This takes time and it takes patience. But the benefits of doing so are huge, including providing your spine with better support during everyday activities and improving your quality of life for longer. 

But posture training isn’t a standalone activity, it’s something that needs to be considered whenever you’re planning any kind of workout or physical activity.

What’s the one key thing you should be doing in all workouts?

You need to actively put your body in the position for better posture. 

It’s easier to say than it is to do at first. You won’t get there from day one, but this is about making small gains and gradually improving the posture you have.

I advocate a 3-step process:

  1. Massage
  2. Stretch
  3. Movement

In the video you’ll find I use Lordosis as the example, concentrating on the lumbar, spine and pelvis, but you can also use this principle for Kyphosis and Scoliosis.

Putting these posture training principles into practice

Before undertaking any kind of workout, you should loosen up, or massage, the larger muscles at the front of your legs, from the front part of your hip all the way up to the anterior and lateral part of thigh. You should use a foam roller to do this. You should also do the same on the mid-upper area of your back. Once you’ve completed this massage, it’s time to stretch the area through. You should do this by coming up onto one knee, placing your other foot flat on the floor with the knee at a right angle in front of you, and stretching up.

Watch the video above for a demonstration of this type of stretch.

This will help to elongate the area of the body that you want to focus on. Next you need to give your body the opportunity to get into a position of good posture; you need to begin to teach it how to hold itself. 

The easiest way to do this is to lay flat on your back on the floor. You are aiming for good contact points on the floor from your pelvis, upper back and head, leaving a small gap at the lower back. You’ll need to re-position your pelvis to create a straight line right through your body. This is the position you’re aiming for. Again, see the video if you are unsure.  

The foam rolling and stretching gives you roughly a 20-minute window to start moving and improving this position. 

Why achieving good posture is harder than it sounds

You may find that when you’re laying on the floor it is easy to get yourself into this position of good posture and maintain it. However, as you try to move and stand up, it is perhaps not so straightforward to hold the pelvis and lumbar spine in the correct position, as your muscles will be acting against you.

To start, trying raising yourself to your knees and positioning your pelvis and lumbar spine in the correct position. It will not feel natural to start with but persevere and you’ll find it gets easier. Once you’ve mastered this, rise to your feet and try again.

You want to get to the position that, throughout all of your movements, you’re able to hold the posture you have learned. After all, you’ll spend most of your time in an upright position, so it is here that you need to be able to create and maintain this good posture.

The goal is that whenever you’re stretching, working out or moving you need to be able to focus on being in that position. I suggest you practice until it becomes second nature. Think chest up, hips under, straight legs. 

Don’t give up. If you’re finding it hard to maintain this posture when standing, return to kneeling or even laying to correct your position before trying again. There are many different exercises, movements and stretches but this is just to give you a basic understanding of what you need to be doing to manage and improve your posture.

If you’d like to receive regular tips and techniques to help you strengthen your core and improve the health of your back, why not sign up for my FREE monthly newsletter: or join me over on Facebook:

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