T Nation

Posture Correction...Brace


#1

Hey guys
doing a lot of rear delt, rhomboids, rowing movements but 15 years working in front of a computer with terrible posture at 6ft4in has made me hunch unless i constantly pull my upper back up.

Is this kit a good idea to improve my posture?
http://www.posture-support.co.uk/acatalog/posture_brace.html


#2

I have mixed feelings on the bracing. I think if it is used properly, I can be beneficial at the start (emphasis on "at the start"). It can help stretch the anterior muscles some to stop them from pulling you forward into the kyphotic posture so much. BUT you also need to make sure to continue to strengthen your posterior muscles. In addition, when you are stretching those anterior muscles, you want to be actively contracting the posterior muscles at the same time, so when you wear the brace, contract your upper/mid back musculature when you remember to do so. I am also a fan of dynamic mobility and t-spine/rib mobilization drills.

Be sure to check your form on your rows and upper/mid back movements. Are you retracting and downward rotating your scapula with all of your rows and pulling movements? That should be the initial motion with each pulling exercise to emphasis proper muscular activation and posture.

In short, yes the brace can help, but don't rely solely on it.


#3

In support of what LevelHeaded says, braces, dunno - the only time i've worked with an athlete to use any kind of device has been where there is such an injury and pain that temporary support is required to function.

Since it doesn't sound like that's the case, i'd strongly encourage giving a mobility program a go.

There's an expression and i wish i knew the source "we get the bodies we deserve"

likewise the SAID principle - specific adaptation to imposed demand: our body adapts to what we practice.

BUT on the plus side, we're adapting all the time. So you can re-adapt your body out of your desk jockey effects with practice in re-educating your joints on how to move out of that effect.

you also have woolf's and davis's law on adaptation working for you, too.

IT's less about "constant pulling" than movement practice and strategies to keep moving.

I have lots of folks telling me when they come in with sore shoulders etc "i know i have lousy posture" and heh, that's largely ok - don't care how you slump sometimes; it's how do you move? Do you move?

So, staying mobile - ensuring that for all that flexion, you get complementary extension - you can come back.

2 things i'd suggest specifically for your issue
1st and foremost: dynamic joint mobility program - there are a bunch - i personally like z-health
here's some info - up to you.
http://www.begin2dig.com/2009/10/move-or-die-movement-as-optimal-path-to.html
http://www.begin2dig.com/2008/09/z-health-r-phase-not-your-daddys-joint.html

2nd - kettlebell swings and kettlebell turkish get ups are fabulous for the kind of muscle work level headed describes. Enter the Kettlebell (http://bit.ly/9BvSdq) is one v.good program to get going with that approach. IT's one several of us user with a lot of our teams: swings and get ups; swings and get ups.

http://www.begin2dig.com/2008/08/refined-hardstyle-turkish-getup.html

hope that helps.
mc
http://begin2dig.com


#4

I strongly discourage the brace. If you use the brace, you stang to get weaker by relying on the brace instead of proper posture. Because you are so tall, I am suspicious that your work station may not be optimal for supporting good posture. You should consider:

  1. Adjusting your desk height
  2. Adjusting your computer height
  3. Adjusting your seat height

These are of course in addition to postural stabilization/strengthening exercises.

Beef