Posture. Is this Your Kryptonite?
Photo: Ken Apodaca
Good posture rarely comes naturally. It has been a challenge for me most of my life. For many of us, good posture needs to be self-generated.
Posture can reflect how we view ourselves or our mood. Posture is how we present ourselves to the world and telegraphs our willingness to be seen. Low self-esteem or insecurities can make us feel unworthy to share our tallest self.
However, our body wants to be in balance both internally and externally. And in CrossFit, posture is synonymous with form, so good posture protects against injury.
Personally, once my mother stopped nagging me about my posture, my physical therapist took over for her. Later, I realized that what I had to do was find a way to trigger the reminder for myself on a repetitive basis. In other words, I had to accept that good posture was going to be on me.
What is good posture and why is it a struggle to remember to be in it?
Good posture starts with engaging your core. Step two is to bring your shoulder blades together and down. Your chest should automatically rise up and outward. Step three is to pull the back of your head up and backward so your ear canals align with the top of your shoulders.
The next time you’re in a dead hang on the rig, slowly move into a scap pull-down. You may still need to draw your head backward, but in this position, you’ll notice how your shoulders lock back and down and your chest rises up and outward. Doing this will lock in the muscle memory of what proper posture feels like.
Successfully changing any habit takes repeated reminding. Posture awareness requires ingraining a mantra that will keep reminding you throughout the day.
I found that pairing posture awareness with another move cued me to self-check and correct. For example, I began to consistently engage my core at about a 60% - 70% throughout the day. Pairing the core mantra with body posture, I continually remind myself to recalibrate my posture at the same time.
The body loves CrossFit because the body loves to be in motion. The body loves good posture because…
It alleviates pain, stiffness and discomfort
It prevents the occurrence of repetitive stress injuries
As you stand, so is your soul