Stand up straight boy..Poor Posture..Im not surprised? Fix it now!

USP - Stand up straight boy, poor posture

Observe many of the youth and adults in society and you’ll see many varied and interesting postures. As a result of occupation/poor ergonomics (sitting down), program design and exercise selection (anterior dominant bench and biceps curls and squats), life style (lack of movement, video games, computer work etc), developmental disfunction present during childhood-optimal posture is rare (1).

Poor Sitting Posture representative of most office jobs!

Why should you care about posture anyway?

Poor posture is one of the leading contributors to pain, injury, disfunction and reduced sports performance. (1)

Not a day goes by where you don’t hear a well meaning parent telling their son or daughter “to stand up straight”..and usually the person attempts to stand up straight and it lasts for about 30 seconds before they resume their normal resting posture.

The load placed on the body with various postures

One of my earliest mentors Olympic/World Champion Speed Coach Charlie Francis used to say that, “If it Walks right, looks right, it’ll fly right”, basically referring to an athletes posture that if their posture is perfect, the athlete will generally be more biomechanically efficient, use less energy to perform same the tasks, more resilient to injury and perform their sport better (2).

Joey Hayes and Charlie Francis
Charlie Francis and Olympic Sprinter Ben Johnson displaying perfect posture
For an athlete that is 200cm+ Kurt Tippetts’ posture is perfect!

What is optimal posture?

Optimal posture is defined as a straight line extending down the side of the body from the ear lobe, the shoulder, hip and knee joints and fall just anterior to (in front of) the ankle bone (1).

Various postures

So how do we enhance our athletes posture and accelerate their performance?

We have all of our athletes undertake a thorough physical assessment which includes a postural screening. The postural screening provides us with information that allows us to identify tight and or weak muscles that are compromising an athletes posture. We then design an individualised training program with exercises targeting those areas of tightness or weakness that have been identified to elicit positive changes and improvements in posture and performance.

Donnie Thompson Bowtie-fantastic way to improve posture and enhance shoulder health!

Neanderthal no more…I’m sure you’ve seen it, that hunched back, round shoulders on athletes and the general population alike. Poor posture especially the aforementioned upper crossed syndrome, tight pecs weak back, internally rotated shoulders…so what can you do about it…yes you can help alleviate it and correct through targeted strength and conditioning work, flexibility and soft tissue work….however that only takes up a small portion of your day in other words there is 23 other hours for the postural demise to occur…enter the bowtie an ingenious device developed by elite powerlifter Donnie Thompson.

The Bowtie is a simple but effective accessory for helping athletes train and maintain superior posture. In a time when the average person spends much of their day working at a computer, looking at a cell phone, or stuck driving in traffic, the problem of slouching—and the shoulder pain that comes with it—is all too common. The Bowtie attacks this issue by applying firm compression to the pectoral tendons and reducing strain on the muscles behind the shoulders. When worn during warm-ups or as you move through your squats, bench, deadlifts, etc, the Bowtie not only helps limit some of these aches and pains, but also trains more consistent form. Along the way, your muscle memory is rewired, as the brain encourages better posture in your day-to-day life.

The Bowtie is designed specifically for serious athletes, and is made from a heavier, stiffer webbing material than the Bowtie (which can be worn throughout the day over longer periods). The Bowtie can have a noticeable effect on reducing common shoulder pain and pec tightness, while also reducing the risk of more serious injuries down the road.

The standing Vari-Desk is a great way to reduce the impact of sitting on the body!

We also recommend to many of our athletes to use a standing desk such as the vari-desk to alleviate many of the problems that come from sitting for extended periods of time.

All the best,

Joey Hayes

1. Chek, P. The Golf Biomechanics Manual.

2. Francis, C. The Charlie Francis Training System.

3. King, I. Foundations of Physical Preparation.