By Trista Zinn
Founder, Coreset Fitness
Director & Owner, Hypopressives Canada
Correcting ones posture has a significant impact on all things related to our respiratory function, core and pelvic health.
We can’t talk about posture without mentioning our core. The relationship between our core and posture is complex, but with a little guidance you can start to see and feel the difference.
Our ‘core’ is responsible for posture, and our posture can impact core function.
Our core is defined as the deepest part of something and in our case is responsible for our
- Maintaining continence (prevention of urinary & fecal incontinence)
- Internal organ support (prevention of pelvic organ prolapse or hernias)
- Sexual function
- Abdominal support
- Balancing and counterbalancing pressure changes from within
So you can imagine if our posture is not optimal we could start to develop signs and symptoms related to our core’s inability to function, creating a potential situation we would really rather not live with.
Posture reEducation Tips
Let’s get familiar with your current “normal.” It’s important to know where we started so we can feel the change and rewards our body can offer. Remembering to be patient and that what might feel a little foreign at first can also feel good.
Creating a New “Normal”
- Create your own before and after photo
- Have someone take your photo from hip level so you will be visible from the feet up straight on
- Take a photo from the front, side and back
*Things to consider*
- Pause and ask yourself how am I standing? How am I breathing ? Or alternately how am I sitting? How am I breathing?
- Does it feel easy to breathe or does it feel restricted?
- Do you breathe predominantly in the upper chest or are you a belly breather?
- What direction does your rib cage move on the inhale and the exhale? Or does it move?
- Do your abdominals tense up at the end of an exhale ? Does your chest do a significant drop on the exhale ?
- When you exhale, do your lower abdominals go out ?
- Do you stand with the knees straight or are the knees bent with tense legs?
- Are you someone who is always looking down at a phone/computer screen or when walking?
- Does the term “butt tucker” or “rib thruster” or “belly button hugger” resonate with you?
- Do you have symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction? (Incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse)
- Are you too often constipated or have a difficult time in the bathroom?
- Do you have poor digestion?
- Do your lower abdominals seem to be sticking out despite all the workouts and abdominal exercises you do?
- Do you feel restricted with movement patterns in a sport or activity you love?
- Do you suffer with back pain/neck tension?
You Answered Yes–Now What?
Now Grab your wine bottle opener and let’s set you straight.
1. Feet facing forward.
2. Knees straight – then as if I am there, pretend I tap you slightly at the back of the knees and they lose their tension. Not bend but soften.
3. Pause and take a breath. Has it changed? Did that free up some tension?
4. How is your lower back? Is it happier now with the knees soft?
5. Look straight ahead. Notice the shift in your eye gaze which slightly changes your head position.
6. Pause and take a breath. Has it changed?
Are you ready for the wine bottle opener challenge?
Pretend you are a wine bottle opener
- Knees soft
- Feet a hands distance apart
- Place your hands under your armpits
- Now the elbows are bent and resting close to your body
- This can be done while sitting or standing
You now have the arms for your wine bottle opener.
Click here for a short video guide of the wine bottle opener analogy.
It’s now time to take another photo. Is there a difference ?
Don’t forget you are only at the beginning of your postural reEducation. Be patient, be mindful, and randomly pause during the day and ask yourself “How am I standing? How am I breathing?”
The great thing is you now possess a wine bottle opener image as a tool in your postural tool box to help set you straight.
Trista Zinn is the founder of Coreset Fitness, and a personal trainer who specializes in pelvic health and core re-programming. She is Canada’s highest qualified and most experienced Trainer in HYPOPRESSIVE® Fitness — Canada’s only International course instructor and Master Trainer.