A simple workout tip for better results

Hi there: I’m down here in Las Vegas at a fitness conference and have picked up a number of nuggets to be able to pass your way when I get back. One of them is a tip which will improve your workouts for almost everyone, immediately.

Last night after dinner I had a little free time so I went to look for some shoes. Yeah, I’m a shoe guy. Girls may love their purses. But I like shoes. No big deal.

Anyways as I was walking around the mall I noticed the number of people walking in front of me. And they all had something in common going on. In particular when walking in front of me I could see the palms of the their hands.

If he ever gets off the couch you’d see his palms as he walks away.

Why is this important? Or more importantly why does it matter with regarding your workouts?

Well you see proper posture is one of the most important factors related to a proper functioning core. Anything less than ideal posture and your core doesn’t work as well as it should.

Now I’ve mentioned in the past how important core function is to performance and joint stability. But what about fat loss? Does the function of your core play a role in this? I believe it does and here’s why.

***quick aside…think of someone who is really fit…what is their posture like?***

When our core is not operating optimally we will develop compensatory mechanisms to complete the movements we are trying to do. For example if I can’t maintain core stability through the low back during a deadlift I will break down in my form in order to complete the rep. Now while I may not injure myself performing the lift I am putting additional stress on joints rather than allowing my legs and hips to handle the load.

What do you think this additional stress on the back does for the length and degree of my recovery time after this workout? It would obviously increase it, wouldn’t it?

And what do you think happens to the amount of load and the volume of reps and sets I can handle when my core isn’t firing properly? Obviously I would not be able to handle as much load and therefore would train less intensely.

So putting this all together we have poor posture which leads to less than ideal core activity, which results in poor technique during our lifts. This poor technique puts additional strain on tissue which results in delayed recovery times between workouts. And lastly, because our technique wasn’t ideal and we compensated. Since we didn’t train at our highest intensity that day we left something on the table.

So how does this all tie in with the story at the mall? Well if we can see the palms of the hands from behind we could infer that the chest is tight and pulling the shoulders and arms, forward and inwards. Similarly the scapular retractors are possibly weak allowing the shoulder blades to not be down and back. This poor posture will inhabit optimal core function and lead to the limitations described above.

Want to know how to fix this problem? Leave me at least 10 comments and I’ll give you the answer.

okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’



16 Responses to A simple workout tip for better results

  1. Jessica says:

    oooh oooh I know! I know! Move your shoulders back and down?

  2. Jen says:

    I have very poor posture, but I find it impossible to maintain good posture when I’m sitting at a desk all day. In fact, when I try to maintain good posture for more than a few moments, I find it becomes uncomfortable, almost painful. If you have an answer to this, please share!

    • Chris says:

      Great comment. I’ll add this to the count towards 10. When we hit 10 I send out another report to everyone.

      Posture is one of the key factors involved in proper core function. Poor posture, as well as pain, prevents optimal core firing. So assuming you aren’t in pain we would want to encourage the following positions during the day.
      1. neutral foot –
      2. neutral pelvis
      3. chest tall
      4. shoulders down and back
      5. level head

      In your car set the review mirror high you have to sit tall to see in it. Don’t adjust it down if you slouch. At work sit on the front edge of your chair so your back stays more neutral. As you walk imagine a string through the top of your head pulling you tall.

      Try and change your positions frequently during the day. Pay attention to the positions that give you the most grief.

      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  3. Janelle says:

    Ah yes, posture! I never though about this as a part of my overall fitness!

    • Chris says:

      It’s very easy to overlook. We always hear how much exercise to do and the foods to eat but we don’t look at alignment as a consider regarding our goal of having a lean, healthy physique.

      More tips coming. Keep sending your questions & comments.

      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  4. Christine says:

    Ooh, I like the “…don’t adjust your rear-view mirror” tip. I find that I really slouch while driving(well, my posture is bad overall, but I’m really bad while driving). I’ll have to try that.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Christine. Often it’s the things we do repeatedly during the day that are overlooked and once changed can have a big impact.

      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  5. Tanya says:

    Our society today is a very head forward society, which places stress throughout our body via our joints and muscles. Our bodies compensate in order to carry out the tasks we are continuously doing , ie working on computers, watching television, playing video games, texting or emailing on hand held devises. It’s only natural that our bodies have to adapt to the repetitive positions and stresses we place on them. If we know we are hunched over all day, doing the reverse of that position may help to take the pressure off and maintain healthy joints like for example doing some thoracic rolls with a foam roller or some stretching. It’s obvious that we can’t all go out and change our jobs, but we can all do a few exercises to support our lifestyles.

    • Chris says:

      Great points Tanya. Minimizing the activities that encourage a forward-head-position along with corrective exercise would work well for many of us.

      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  6. Leanne says:

    Am I the only one that uncrossed their legs, moved to the front of their chair and pulled their shoulders back as soon as I saw the word posture?

  7. Clarisse says:

    Rowing would be a great exercise to fix the problem. wouldn’t it?

    • Chris says:

      Clarisse I think rowing is a great exercise choice. Performed properly it may be a very effective fix.

      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

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