Posture Correction Exercises

posture correction exercises 1
photograph posture correction exercises 1

Posture Correction Exercises

Is the goal of good posture to “stand up straight”? To be “aligned”? Popular thinking about posture is dominated by the ideas of straightness and alignment. It permeates even guru-level rhetoric about posture. (And just the fact that there are “posture gurus” is rather interesting, isn’t it? Why? They are gods of the gaps.41) Many posture gurus will talk about something like “an efficient response to gravity” with confidence, which is really just a fancy way of saying “straight and aligned.” I do not believe that anyone actually knows what an “efficient” posture is, and it is not necessarily defined only by straightness or precise verticality. We are the only species on planet Earth that routinely stands upright, and there are many reasons to believe that our erectness is a biological compromise of questionable value and comfort. Scientists are not sure why we ever stood up in the first place, and there is no evidence today that standing up especially straight is necessarily the way to go … or has any survival benefit … or, if it does, that it will necessarily be comfortable … Consider your spine. It is essentially the same spine owned by every mammal in the world. And nearly all of those mammals carry their spine horizontally. So where did we ever get the idea that we should stack our vertebrae one on top of the other? There is no obvious sign that our anatomy has significantly or effectively adapted to the upright position. For instance, the connective tissues of our abdomen are still similar to those of the quadrupeds: they are generally suited to holding our guts suspended below our horizontal lumbar spines, not for holding them like a sack tied to a vertical pole. Much more discussion of this idea can be found in the article Natural Imperfection. So I reject the “stand-up-straight” definition of good posture. Good posture is not necessarily about straightness! And yet it is essentially the only widely used definition, even by people with supposedly very sophisticated opinions about posture. You may think I’m blowing the guru-thing out of proportion, but it is literally true that there have been successful entrepreneurial empires based mainly on trademarking and selling the importance of straightness and a method of getting there and staying straight, and then there are probably ten times more successul businesses that may not be devoted to posture straightening in particular, but use it as one of their founding assumptions or marketing bullet points. I am not saying we shouldn’t stand up straight. I am just pointing out — again, in yet another way — the uncertainties associated with any idea about posture, even this most basic and universal one. There is good reason to doubt anyone who claims to know that good posture is a matter of being well-aligned.
posture correction exercises 1

Posture Correction Exercises

Popular thinking about posture is dominated by the ideas of straightness and alignment. It permeates even guru-level rhetoric about posture. (And just the fact that there are “posture gurus” is rather interesting, isn’t it? Why? They are gods of the gaps.41) Many posture gurus will talk about something like “an efficient response to gravity” with confidence, which is really just a fancy way of saying “straight and aligned.” I do not believe that anyone actually knows what an “efficient” posture is, and it is not necessarily defined only by straightness or precise verticality. We are the only species on planet Earth that routinely stands upright, and there are many reasons to believe that our erectness is a biological compromise of questionable value and comfort. Scientists are not sure why we ever stood up in the first place, and there is no evidence today that standing up especially straight is necessarily the way to go … or has any survival benefit … or, if it does, that it will necessarily be comfortable … Consider your spine. It is essentially the same spine owned by every mammal in the world. And nearly all of those mammals carry their spine horizontally. So where did we ever get the idea that we should stack our vertebrae one on top of the other? There is no obvious sign that our anatomy has significantly or effectively adapted to the upright position. For instance, the connective tissues of our abdomen are still similar to those of the quadrupeds: they are generally suited to holding our guts suspended below our horizontal lumbar spines, not for holding them like a sack tied to a vertical pole. Much more discussion of this idea can be found in the article Natural Imperfection. So I reject the “stand-up-straight” definition of good posture. Good posture is not necessarily about straightness! And yet it is essentially the only widely used definition, even by people with supposedly very sophisticated opinions about posture. You may think I’m blowing the guru-thing out of proportion, but it is literally true that there have been successful entrepreneurial empires based mainly on trademarking and selling the importance of straightness and a method of getting there and staying straight, and then there are probably ten times more successul businesses that may not be devoted to posture straightening in particular, but use it as one of their founding assumptions or marketing bullet points. I am not saying we shouldn’t stand up straight. I am just pointing out — again, in yet another way — the uncertainties associated with any idea about posture, even this most basic and universal one. There is good reason to doubt anyone who claims to know that good posture is a matter of being well-aligned.
posture correction exercises 2

Posture Correction Exercises

Vulnerability versus “the posture did it” If it’s so easy to induce muscle sensitivity by fighting gravity and adopting awkward postures, why aren’t we all in agony all the time? Lots of people live in gravity! (Everyone but these lucky people.) And many people frequently have awkward postures, but never have pain problems. So why me? Why so many others? And is poor posture really the problem, or are some people just excessively vulnerable? It’s probably both, but I’m skeptical about posture as the direct cause of anything. The range of asymmetry that people can tolerate is probably quite wide, highly variable, and generally narrower with age,32 but the average healthy person can probably easily tolerate “poor posture” with no problem. And if poor posture can’t really hurt a healthy person, it’s not much of a demon, is it? People who get pain from trivial postural strain — people like me — do not have a posture problem so much as we have a pain problem.On the other hand, more vulnerable people, people who get pain from trivial postural strain — people like me — do not have a posture problem so much as we have a pain problem. A vulnerability. The greater the vulnerability, the more it’s about the vulnerability and not the posture — awkward postures are just another thing that triggers pain (even if we are quite careful). It doesn’t really seem like posture is what needs troubleshooting there. I’m a bit doubtful that anyone is wandering around in pain as they age because they were sloppy with their posture in the past. Instead, I suspect some people start to notice vulnerability to previously harmless postures … and then everyone gets there eventually. The “worst” postures become problematic sooner, of course, but I doubt they are the cause — just the messenger, and the message is, “You don’t handle physical stresses like you used to.”

Posture Correction Exercises

If it’s so easy to induce muscle sensitivity by fighting gravity and adopting awkward postures, why aren’t we all in agony all the time? Lots of people live in gravity! (Everyone but these lucky people.) And many people frequently have awkward postures, but never have pain problems. So why me? Why so many others? And is poor posture really the problem, or are some people just excessively vulnerable? It’s probably both, but I’m skeptical about posture as the direct cause of anything. The range of asymmetry that people can tolerate is probably quite wide, highly variable, and generally narrower with age,32 but the average healthy person can probably easily tolerate “poor posture” with no problem. And if poor posture can’t really hurt a healthy person, it’s not much of a demon, is it? People who get pain from trivial postural strain — people like me — do not have a posture problem so much as we have a pain problem.On the other hand, more vulnerable people, people who get pain from trivial postural strain — people like me — do not have a posture problem so much as we have a pain problem. A vulnerability. The greater the vulnerability, the more it’s about the vulnerability and not the posture — awkward postures are just another thing that triggers pain (even if we are quite careful). It doesn’t really seem like posture is what needs troubleshooting there. I’m a bit doubtful that anyone is wandering around in pain as they age because they were sloppy with their posture in the past. Instead, I suspect some people start to notice vulnerability to previously harmless postures … and then everyone gets there eventually. The “worst” postures become problematic sooner, of course, but I doubt they are the cause — just the messenger, and the message is, “You don’t handle physical stresses like you used to.”

Posture Correction Exercises

Posture Correction Exercises
Posture Correction Exercises
Posture Correction Exercises

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