Stand Up Straight!

 

It’s already Wednesday! Hooray! Now let’s hope today and Thursday swim by to Friday now too. Eek…I need to quit wishing my work week away. You never know…an awesome opportunity could present itself on a WEDNESDAY!

I had a majorly busy day yesterday: Work til 4, gym until 5:15, class until 8:45. However, I did manage to cook some dinner somewhere in between there.

This dinner was inspired by Taylor’s dinner the other night when she stuffed some quinoa into butternut squash!

I decided to do the same, but use an acorn squash:

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Just bake an acorn squash as you usually would, and while it’s cooking, cook up your quinoa is one dish, and then in another sauce pan, sautee the chopped carrots in maple syrup a la Zesty.

Add some pumpkin pie spice to the quinoa and get stuffin’!! It turned out amazingly good, and kept me full well through my night class 😀

 

Stand Up Straight!

 

Disclaimer: I am not a physical therapist or in the PT field, as well as I am not yet a personal trainer 

We’ve all heard it before – Stand up straight, don’t slouch, shoulders back, chest lifted. Well that’s because posture really is so important!

Why is posture so important?

According to the Southern California Orthopedic Institute posture is the alignment of the body in relation to the force of gravity, and a body with good posture is able to less likely to have strains and stresses over their lifetime.

“Perfect” posture should have no lateral curvature and the legs should be symmetrical without any curves at the knees or ankles from the back view. And from the side, the spine should have a subtle S-shaped curve.

According to ACE, there are several types of bad postures:

  • Kyphosis-Lordosis- which is an increase in the curve of the lower back, rounded shoulders, increased flexion at the neck – thus a forward tilted head
  • Flat-Back Posture-Males are more likely to have this type of posture than female, which has a decrease in the curve of the lower back, and a forward tilted pelvis
  • Sway Back Posture – which has a longer and accentuated curve to the lower back
  • Forward-head Posture – rounded shoulders, sunken chest, and head tilted forward. Basically an exaggeration of Kyphosis Lordosis.
  • Scoliosis – the spine can curve from side to side. Sometimes the S-shape is more of a C-shape.

Now, there are ways to help someone with bad posture reverse bad posture.

Take me, for example. Remember my post a while back when I said I used to not like my back because I had chicken wings that protruded further than normal? Well, this isn’t just one of my weird qualities, it’s actually a condition.

I have winged scapulae. Ideally, the scapulae are supposed to lay flat against the back. However, mine are tiled or winged outward. You can see in this picture how they jut out from my back.

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Although my back has looked this way since I can remember, and it’s a less exaggerated case (some people’s scapulae are extremely winged,) being slouched over a keyboard and computer all day has most likely exacerbated the condition. That’s because the position we sit in at the computer is usually not practicing correct posture, and usually when we’re paying attention to sometime in front of us, our head inches closer, and the rest of the spine follows or rounds forward as well.

Ever since finding out what this was really all about, I have been incorporating more upper back strengthening strength-training exercises into my workouts, because there are ways to better correct posture. It’s not always going to correct it, but it can make it better:)

The following exercises are the ones that I feel have really helped to strengthen my back:

Seated Row w/ band:

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Bent row:

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Posterior deltoid lift:

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I’ve also been laying off (but not stopped doing altogether) chest and anterior shoulder exercises. However, my chest and shoulder muscles are the ones helping to pull my shoulders forward, thus intensifying the winged scapulae. Instead, I’ve been trying to stretch these muscles more often.

Isn’t posture interesting? Hopefully I’m not the only one who gets excited by it! Otherwise I’m typing to myself and ya’ll have moved on to the next blog, haha

 

How is your posture? Do you actively try to improve it?

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22 Responses

  1. Winged scapulae can also be the result of a weakened serratus anterior muscle or damage to the long thoracic nerve. Try adding a couple serratus specific exercises to your routine, too: serratus punches on your back and wall push-ups concentrating on rounding the shoulders and pulling them back. It’s hard to describe exercises with words, haha. If you have any questions, let me know!

    Oh, and I get excited about posture, too. It’s in the job description, I think! 😉

  2. How interesting…I’ve seen a few other people with “wings,” but never knew why. One of them is a daughter of an old friend of mine. It must skip generations.
    Good posture is so attractive. I hate the habit some people have of leaning on their grocery carts and shopping all hunched over. When and where did that start?

  3. i found that to be EXTREMELY interesting 🙂

  4. So glad you found some exercises for your “wings.”
    Dad really appreciated the “Happy Vet’s Day” text:-D

    I LOVE acorn squash.

  5. Back is my favorite muscle to train, and rows are my favorite exercise! 🙂

  6. Oooooh, thanks for that!! For the last couple of years I’ve been having a problem with my neck that has something to do with pinching a nerve and causing me terrible stabbing arm pain. The most anyone has been able to figure is that it’s postural, but seriously I have changed every possible erognomic issue at my desk and watch my posture like a hawk…and the issue still returned!! I’ve asked about exercises but neither my chiropractor or my massage therapists have suggested anything (annoying!). They always just say stretch…but it doesn’t fix anything!

  7. I really have bad posture! I have to constantly remind myself to pull my neck in, and use my abs to help straighten my back out. I was very mindful of that for my recent wedding. I told all my bridesmaids to tell me to straighten up if they saw me slacking. I didn’t want any bad posture photos!! Thanks for the reminder!!

  8. ugh, my posture is horrible! I was even in chorus for 8 years and had to sit up straight all the time for that, and it’s still bad.

  9. Oh my gosh! I just went to a chiropractor and he told me the same thing and suggested the same exercises! We’re wing twins! The new exercises make me sore, but I know they’re worth it. Plus, it’s nice not to have to do chest exercises for a while 🙂

  10. I’m 5’9 and growing up I was definitely a sloucher. I think I’m much better now–thanks for showing these exercises!!!

  11. My first Quinoa attempted fail. So I quit. But it looks so dang good here. I shall try again…again…

  12. hola giiirrrl,
    woah what an interesting back : ) just kidding. i think your back is beautiful! and in SHAPE! you go girl, kinda looks like angel wings ; ) hehe

    Today you have good tips on keeping the posture at it’s straightest! I have been having some neck pain, and i was thinking it was just from sleeping in an awkward position, but after reading your blog, and pushing my neck forward (like you were talking about craning your neck to see something closer) i could really feel the pressure. So i am taking it as, i don’t have very good posture, and i will for sure work on it! thanks to your tips Paiggggeeeeeeeeee

    xoxo

  13. I have a nasty back issue and me having good posture makes a big difference! Let’s all sit up straight! 🙂

  14. That quinoa dish looks incredible! I have pretty bad posture I think. I try to do lots of yoga to keep it in check.

  15. Glad I could be of some inspiration 🙂 Look at your power through those exercises!!

  16. I’m slouchy. And I’ve been told that I have a slight case of scoliosis.

    I am totally guilty of wishing the week away. You’re right though; good things happen during the week too.

  17. i hate it when i catch myself slouching. good posture is key esp when lifting! oh and your squash.. phenomenal!

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