If your goal is to improve performance in your workouts, bad posture will hinder you at every turn!
Strength: Bad posture will prevent you from reaching your strength potential at the gym. Exercises like the bench press, squat, and deadlift all demand good posture. If your posture is lousy due to sitting at work all day, you will struggle to perform exercises with proper form. This will grossly limit your strength in the long term.
Cardio: If your goal is to get fitter, bad posture can make you less efficient at breathing. A rounding of the upper back associated with long periods of sitting will crush the rib cage and prevent the normal function of the respiratory system. This causes a reduction in V02 max and overall cardiovascular fitness.
Mobility: If your goal is to be more supple, bad posture is going to leave you feeling stiff and inflexible. Posture associated with a typical desk job leaves you with less range of motion at all your major joints. This means you will be more prone to injury, whether you are working out at the gym or bending down to tie your shoelaces.
Everyone wants to look more attractive. For many people, it’s the sole purpose for training! improving your posture is guaranteed to enhance the look of your physique, regardless of your end goal.
Symmetry: Symmetry is sexy! Studies have shown that both men and women find symmetrical bodies more attractive than asymmetrical ones (1). Unfortunately, if you’re stuck at your desk from 9-5, you likely have more muscular imbalances, making your physique less symmetrical, and less attractive.
Muscle gain: Bad posture can severely limit you when trying to build muscle. How can someone expect to build powerful pecs if they can’t engage their chest on a chest press? How is someone supposed to build an Instagram booty if every time they squat, they feel nothing in the booty? The answer is they can’t! Developing a strong mind-muscle connection is a crucial part of training, and bad posture will make this extremely difficult.
Fat loss: Bad posture will also mean you are less effective at burning fat. We already know posture affects our strength, our cardiovascular fitness, our mobility, and our ability to build muscle. This accumulative reduction in training output will mean you are burning fewer calories and ultimately burning less body fat. Desk posture will also give you a fatter looking mid-section due to a reduced function of your core muscles, causing your stomach to hang out. Can you relate?
Nobody wants to be in pain! If you are in pain right now, there is a good chance your posture is to blame. When we spend long periods sitting, our body alignment changes, our muscles and joints ache, and it hurts. Not only do we experience neck and back pain, tightness in our hips and shoulders, but these new compensated patterns increase our risk of injury. The only way to fight this chronic cycle of pain, is to address the root cause of the problem. Fix your posture!
Non verbal communication: You may already know that your posture communicates non-verbally to others. Someone with an open posture, who stands tall with a wide-open chest, will come across as happy, confident, and approachable. Someone with a closed posture, who rounds their back and slouches forward in their seat, will appear unsociable, timid, and depressed. Your body language could be the reason you struggle to socialise with friends, or why you never seem to give off a great first impression to new clients. Your posture is always talking, what is yours saying about you?
Mindset: You may not already know that your posture doesn’t just communicate to those around you; it also communicates to you. Our body develops an association between our posture and mood. When one is in a slump, so is the other. Studies have shown that people with depression can alleviate symptoms by improving their posture. Bad posture means you are more likely to experience negative emotions and stress. Stress plays a part in many chronic diseases and makes us less efficient at building muscle and burning fat. When we are stressed, we sleep less, which means we feel tired, miserable, and more stressed! Know that feeling? Bad posture can also impede the function of our nervous system and circulatory system, blocking the flow of critical nutrients, which can have an impact on our mood.
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