I recently had to submit a work project and briefly mentioned core stability and good posture. This document was then passed down a conveyor belt of people so everyone could critique it and make their amendments.
When I got back the amended copy one change brought up an old gripe of mine. Someone, who had probably been to a gym once, crossed out posture and wrote ‘straight back’.
Now listen up and listen very well: if you want a straight back I suggest you get fitted for a straight jacket. You’d literally be crazy.
We’ve all seen a skeleton in our time. Was the spine straight? Nope. Our spine forms more of a soft ‘S’. So, with this ‘S’ in mind is it a good idea to tell people to have a straight back? No. And yes, you should go back and tell your grade one teacher she was wrong.
The Pilates crew, and I dare say many before them, have for a long time been professing the benefits of a neutral spine (the soft ‘S’). In simple terms, a neutral spine is best achieved by standing (yes do it now) placing your left index finger in your belly button and your right index finger at the bottom of your sternum. Now stand tall, so that you extend, up and down, the distance between your two fingers.
Your posture in this position is the posture your spine should be in for about 95% of the exercises you do. You should train this posture in standing, sitting, lying, bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and moving.
Perfect this posture in training and you’ll be the most up-standing person in any room. Guaranteed.