T Nation

Looking to Fix Bad Posture


#1

I saw the "neanderthal no more" articles but I couldn't find any before/after pictures anywhere. I tried reading thorugh it but it's pretty confusing from a newbie standpoint. I've been trying to find out how to best fix my posture for a few years but everytime I talk to a physical therapist I feel like they really have no idea what they're talking about and I'm just wasting time.

I have the typical "computer guy" posture. I'm 22 and have access to a gym so all I need is some sort of direction. Should I look for a personal trainer that specializes in posture rehabilitation (if they exist)? Are there any workouts that I can see the results of others?

I'm just looking for a little direction. I know this will take months to see results so I really want to have something that's already proven to work. Thanks.


#2

Well you give very little information about what kind of posture you have besides "computer guy", whatever that means. Post pictures of anterior and posterior chain (front and back) also left and right sides of your body. Be in a relaxed posture state that you most feel comfortable in, don't try to correct yourself when taking the pictures.

If you feel uncomfortable with pictures it will be hard for anyone to lend advice on how to correct it. What has the physical therapist been telling you?


#3

I can't be sure what you mean exactly, but hamstrong, hip flexor, chest, and tricep stretches along with shoulder dislocates and scapular pinches have helped me.


#4

I'll try to get some pictures up. I'm just hoping someone knows of a proven fix that'll match them since I've been looking for 3 years lol.

The physical therapists gave very little information and seemed to give me a canned workout. They completely ignored some aspect that was very noticeable and couldn't prove they actually helped anybody. I see a lot of articles online from people in the lifting community so I'm starting to think if I want to get any results, a personal trainer is probably the way to go.

edit: alright old camera works. :smiley: I should have pictures up very soon. Sorry for the obvious frustration and I'm glad that I'm already getting responses.


#5

Be more specific here so we can see what knowledge base you "think" you have as well, and were you going in just for posture, or are you in significant pain?


#6


1


#7

I tried attaching and it didn't work for me. Here's the imageshack links. Beware, I'm a pretty hairy guy.

edit: First picture finally posted, I'll attach the rest.


#8

3


#9

4


#10

I initially went in trying to use pain as an excuse so it'd be covered under insurance (I do experience soreness in areas which I think are related to the posture) but eventually just went in trying to get my posture fixed. I don't know exactly what's wrong but they would ignore, say, the shoulders or the mid section. I started losing confidence since I want to try and fix everything at the same time.

Anyways, here are the pictures. I tried to be as relaxed as I could.

I know I can benefit from regularly working out but I don't want to do any further damage before I start fixing it.


#11

The most important thing about posture is that you actively monitor it throughout the day. Meaning you have to learn to cue yourself to sit up straight, shoulders back, chest up. No amount of working out is going to fix years of daily bad habits. Just keep reminding yourself to maintain good posture no matter how annoying or trivial it seems at the time.

Sitting at the computer all day tends to "pull" the head forward over time, and the chest muscles get shorter while the back muscles elongate a bit--at least this is my understanding. This produces the hunched-over look we commonly see today.

That said, I used to have really bad posture (still dealing with a little bit of forward head tilt) and the thing that helped my posture the most was probably lots of back work. I did (and still do) many, many pull ups, lat pull dows, barbell rows, and face pulls. I also de-emphasized chest work for a while... I did about twice the amount of back work vs chest work at the time.

Honestly, I thought your pics would be a lot worse though. I'd say you're good to jump right into a basic workout routine, but I'm definately no expert. I think worst it might do for you is nothing.


#12

It's a never ending battle for me. Simple things that help me:

  1. Do what Nate86 states and be mindful of when you are using bad posture, adjusting accordingly.

  2. Sit on one of those exercise balls if need be. You'll be forced to rotate your hips and keep back straight.

  3. Work on strengthening your back!

  4. Walk with your head up and looking forward, not towards the ground.

Edit: Also have a look at what you are sleeping on. My old mattress was a disaster ... broken springs and worn out. I would wake up every morning with back stiffness. Once I got a new mattress, I've had NO issues upon waking.


#13

Why are you so worried about your posture?

You are obviously weak and sedentary with very little muscle mass. That is reflected in the way your body holds itself.

Do you just want to be the sloppy hairy guy with really great posture?

How about you... (novel thought).. start bodybuilding and getting strong so that good posture is something you don't even have to think about?


#14

I've been mindful of how I'm sitting throughout the day but it doesn't seem to be enough to fix it. I have been lifting lately focusing solely on, from what I've gathered online, the weak and overstretched muscles. I just don't know if I'm doing enough or how to stretch all of the tight muscles that need to be stretched, especially around the hips.

Why can't I do both? I'm not really motivated to lift much now because having shitty posture is going to prevent me from ever be satisfied with my appearance. Maybe if you had terrible posture putting on some muscle would be enough to push it out of your mind but that's not how I am. I'm just hoping someone had a similar situation and can give me some tips on fixing it before I jump in the gym and possibly make it worse.


#15

You've got to be kidding me.


#16

^ That. He's not going to get better posture etc without hitting the gym.


#17

I am a Computer Guy too. What is keeping my posture good and my joints healthy is this book: "Ming Chew - The Permanent Pain Cure". It has diet, stretches and strength exercises. It has a a Personal workout advice for Office Worksers!


#18

^Do you think you had a similar situation as me and the book helped fix it? (rounded shoulders, head forward, pelvis tilted, etc)

So if I do an average workout that people starting without imbalances would use then it would all be corrected in time? Maybe my post wasn't clear but I want to eventually fix my posture and do whatever I can to get to that point. I know I have to hit the gym, I know I have to work out, but I want to make sure what I'm doing is going to help me reach MY goals.


#19

Sounds like you're overcomplicating things. As long as you have a decently well balanced exercise regimen, I highly doubt that working out could do anything but improve your posture. I mean it's not like after doing a bunch of pull ups and front squats your body is going to start falling apart. Just be sure to balance things out, don't just walk in bench a ton and walk out. Here, this article will tell you all about balancing out your workout at the shoulder:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/shoulder_savers_part_i
btw there are two more articles in the series

As far as balancing things out at the hip, I really don't think you have to worry about doing too many hip extension movements, since your hip flexors look pretty tight, especially in picture four. And speaking of your hip flexors, stretch the shit out of those bad boys. Like multiple times a day. Strengthen your glutes a lot, do core work emphasizing your lower abz, and that should do wonders for your pelvic alignment. Here's another article on that:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/core_training_for_smart_folks

But you already read neanderthal no more, you probably don't need me to go on and on about this and bringing your shoulders back and such. Just don't overcomplicate things. If your shoulders are rounding forward then exercises to bring them back will work. It's as simple as that.


#20

Hey look apparently comments on articles don't count as posts

Also, just do neanderthal no more, worst case scenario you'll end up with improved posture, a better sense of body awareness, and maybe a postural issue you could still iron out but will be much more equipped to tackle than you were before. You have literally nothing to lose.

And there's no one out there "without imbalances"