Posture And The Length Tension Relationship

What is Posture?

Posture refers to the alignment and movement of the body. It is governed by our myofascial skeletal, and nervous system. When any of these systems aren’t functioning properly, we experience problems relating to our posture.

The length-tension relationship

Muscles and fascia operate best at their optimal length. Muscles that are too lengthened or “eccentrically loaded” are not able to contract effectively. The same is true for muscles that are shortened or “concentrically loaded” (see table 1). Muscles are designed to contract and relax in turn. If optimal length is not maintained, they will remain under constant tension, and this strain transmits to the surrounding fascia. We refer to this correlation between myo-fascia and their respective lengths as “the length-tension relationship.”

What is bad posture?

Bad posture is an undesirable alignment of body parts. It is undesirable because it requires our myo-fascia to maintain static positions that are outside their optimal length, resulting in less than optimal movement.

In the example, this person’s myo-fascia in the back are overly lengthened, and the myo-fascia in the front are excessively shortened, resulting in a forward slump. This reduces the function of all the muscles involved and leaves the individual more susceptible to injury.

What is good posture?

Good posture is a desirable alignment of body parts that allow our myo-fascia to rest at their optimal length. In the example, the length-tension relationship between the myo-fascia in the front and back is balanced. This improves the function of all the muscles involved, making this individual more resilient to the forces of gravity and the world around them.

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