T Nation

Doing Something Wrong


#1

I am posting this because I'm losing hope to find a simple and concise recommendations for correcting posture. I googled, and I read (including about Neanderthals on this website), but most resources are difficult for a newbie.

My main goal is to correct my posture; then grow some muscle. I'm a software engineer and spend 10 hours a day in front of a computer. Naturally, this does not help my already bad posture. I suspect I have the whole package: lordosis, kyphnosis, forward head posture, you name it.

About 3 month ago I joined a very good gym. I go there 3 times a week and spend about 45 minutes there (at lunch time). I also swim twice a week. I'm working mostly on my back with various retraction exercises: rowing, cable, etc mostly using machines. I try to exercise all muscles of lower, mid and upper back.

I must be doing something wrong with my exercises - although I see muscles growing somewhat, the posture does not really change.

I would greatly appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction.


#2

Top right. Google "posture". Start reading.

Read the stickies for your work outs.

Lots of info there.

Congrats on starting and doing something about it.

Now, go forth and educate yourself

Good luck.


#3

i've been doing it for the past month. I learned about relevant muscle groups, exercises, etc.
i'm trying to implement it in the gym, but, like i say, i'm probably doing something wrong.

Thanks for the reply.


#4

you can start a lifting program, focus mostly on your pulls, it will balance your posture.


#5

Well, you are only 3 months in, I don't think posture changes happen very quickly. Keep at it for a while, I very much doubt you are doing more harm than good.

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/hips_dont_lie_fixing_your_force_couples

This is a good article to take a look at as well, I recently had someone point me this way for a problem of my own.


#6

it might be the case that most of what is going wrong is the 10 hours a day you spend in front of your computer. as someone or other said, even when people do their mobility exercises religiously and correctly progress can be slow given how much of the rest of their time is devoted to messing their posture up.

are there things you can do about your computer work?

e.g., are you able to stand up sometimes (do you have a height adjustable work station)? can you squat sometimes? etc.

i find that the biggest thing for me is not moving around enough. can you set a timer so you get to stretch things out for 5 minutes every hour?


#7

Thanks. Since i'm completely new at this, i'll google specifically for lifting programs.


#8

Thanks a lot. I read this article. Hopefully, i'll be able to understand it.


#9

Thanks for the reply.
I was thinking about it too, and i'm trying to do something about it.
1) i raised monitor to level of my eyes so that i don't have to move my head forward too much
2) i'm thinking of using medical tape attached to spine to help me maintain posture while working
3) i'm trying to do periodic stretches, but i must admit that i often tend to forget about them

I'm worried though, that after spending more than 30 years reinforcing my bad posture, the changes could've become permanent (skeletal), or even be congenital.


#10

the changes might be pretty entrenched, but i think it would still be possible to correct them. working hard on mobility stuff, for sure. also trying to fix up the computer situation.

sitting isn't so good for us. it places the hip flexors (the part that attaches the front of the upper leg to the pelvis and spine) in a shortened position. the glutes / butt gets all stretched out, too, and it goes to sleep. the abs get stretched (protruding gut) and weak and the lumbar spine is also shortened. 'proper sitting posture' where you don't slump is better than sitting posture - but basically the body isn't designed for sitting at all. it is designed to squat. and to move around periodically (like you make postural adjustments while you are sleeping).

lumbar support might help you not slump. a rolled up towel or something to put behind your lumbar region to remind you not to slouch. it won't do much for your shortened hip flexors, though.

i've just today re-discovered mobilitywod (you should be able to find it via google). 10 minutes per day - short youtube clips of what you are supposed to be doing / aiming for and a bit about why. what i've looked at so far seems mostly focused on the hips and shoulders - the main problem areas. might be worth a look (i think the idea is to start from the beginning - so the oldest pages). what i've seen of it it explained and demonstrated things very straightforwardly. luck.


#11

just pick a normal, proven program like 5/3/1 do tons of direct rear delt work for assistance moves and strech you chest a lot immediately postworkout.

Also consider getting some ART or deep tissue massage on your chest and front delts


#12

After reading this article, I came to a realization that I certainly have anterior pelvic tilt. I don't know if it's the only, or even the main cause of my lordosis, but I decided to work on correcting it.

I understood that I need to loosen my hip flexors and erector spinae, while tightening my hamstrings and abdomen. I started targeting those muscles with machines, and also doing stretches for hip flexors and erector spinae. If I consciously try to adjust my pelvic to a neutral tilt, it does seem to help the lordosis, so I need to work on fixing it in the right position.

As I said in the initial posting, I WAS doing something wrong. At the very least, I was working hard on tightening the erector spinae which only aggravated the lordosis by pulling my pelvis forward. In some articles I found that weak erector spinae is responsible for kyphosis, so the only question is whether it's worth working on erector spinae to correct the kyphosis, or leave it until the lordosis is improved.