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Posture Perfect

Did your mama always tell you to stand up straight? Mine did, and let me tell you she was right. Good posture is important for both looking and feeling good.

OK, so let's start with the looks category. Standing up straight will make you look 10 pounds lighter - no joke. Slumping and slouching give the body the appearance of looking heavier, not to mention shorter.

More than just looking long and lean, having good posture is important for the health of your bones and joints. Proper alignment decreases undue stress on the soft tissues, ligaments and cartilage that surround and protect your joints, especially your spine. Plus, if you are slouching you are smooshing (yep, that is the technical term) all your internal organs.

Finding perfect posture is easy. First you want to think of balancing the bones on top of one another like a column starting with your feet on the floor, ending with your skull.

Here's a posture checklist:

  1. Stand with your feet under your sits bones (yep those bones that you sit on that are the base of you pelvis). Your feet will only be about one or your own foot widths apart - not very wide. The weight on your feet should be balanced equally between the balls of your feet and your heels, as well as the inside and outside of your feet.
  2. Align your pelvis over your feet. Your pelvis should be level. Think of the pelvis like a wide soup bowl and you don't want the soup to spill over the front or the back of the bowl.
  3. Keep your ribcage directly over your pelvis. It is a common posture for the ribs to hang back behind the pelvis.
  4. Next place your shoulders right over your ribs.
  5. The skull should be right over your feet. Your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders - don't thrust your head forward.

For the supreme alignment check-in, stand with your back against the wall (take off your shoes first and try to find a spot with no baseboard) and see how it feels to have your heels, booty, upper back and the back of your head all on the wall. It might feel extreme, but use that as a guide.

Fit's Tip: It really helps to just keep lengthening your spine up and out of your pelvis. One image that helps a lot of slouchers stand tall is to imagine that there is a golden string attached to the top of your head lifting and lengthening your spine.

Join The Conversation
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 10 years
Thanks DesignRChic!
menthadict menthadict 10 years
i have such bad posture! xD
SU3 SU3 10 years
Great post! Especially when standing for a long time, you tend to forget about posture! That's probably what causes the lower back pain...
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
My uncle - aka the personal trainner is always on me about standing straight. I naturally lock my knees when I stand. This causes me to push out my booty and make it bigger than it already is. I know I need to pull my pelvis in to straighten me out - but it feel so uncomfortable. However, when I do walk tall and straight - man do the boys notice!!
purplesugar purplesugar 10 years
man, I think I probably look more like the figure on the left, which is pretty sad... mandatory stand against the wall time for me from now on!
Annabean Annabean 10 years
Wow, I definitely need to pay attention to this post. I have horrible posture, and I need to take care of that now before it becomes to late to fix.
JBlondie JBlondie 10 years
I always catch myself slouching, especially when I am at my desk. Every time I catch myself though, I consciously make an effort to sit up straight....I don't want to be a hunchback!
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
found it!: http://fitsugar.com/259339
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
ktownpolarbear, I think FitSugar posted something last week about posture in the office... let me see if I can find it for you....
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 10 years
any advice for someone who sits most of the day? i totally notice myself slouching and hunching forward while i type away on my keyboard.
smarler smarler 10 years
I stood up and went through the checklist. My posture is horrible, but I'll be working on it. Looking 10lbs lighter is no small matter!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
Haha, I tried the wall thing, and I can't do it LMAO. If I put my heels against the wall, I can barely get my upper back agsint it before i fall forward :ROTFL:
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
LOL, you just made me sit up! My husband always yells at me to keep my shoulders back or else I'll look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
jjinbrugge jjinbrugge 10 years
i was always told to shrug your shoulders up to your ear and then let them fall back naturally - this is your natural good posture for your shoulders/back/head
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
Posture is soooo important. I'm really glad you posted about this topic, Fit! :)
suzanne suzanne 10 years
Tht's right, Fit... listen to your mother!:)
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