T Nation

Slumped Shoulders and a Muscle Belly


Age: 28
Weight: 240 lb
BF: around 22%

First thing I should let people know - I have scoliosis (genetic) where my spine curves to the left of my back and pushes outward, slightly forcing me to bend over. My current goals are to get as straight as perfect posture as possible and to tighten my gut.

My left shoulder and arm is smaller than my right arm while my left oblique is huge compared to my almost non-existent right oblique. I believe that this comes from the benches that I did (I now do almost exclusively pushups & dips) - because my back jets down and to the left of my back, I always bench rotated with my left shoulder higher than my right.

My default standing posture is that of forward slumped shoulders with a slight lean forward - I have to remind myself to stand with perfect posture. I often find my shoulders tight and shrugging upward and have to consciously tell them to relax.

My belly is part muscle, part fat that jettisons out beyond my chest and seems abnormally big. When I first start doing squats & deads, I did it the way I thought Westside Barbell and Louie Simmons did it - breath deep into your gut and brace outward to get core stability. I did a lot of deads and squats this way until I stopped because of my scoliosis.

What are your thoughts/opinions? Should I focus more on stretching? Do you know any good resources I could use?

Major farmer’s tan.


Side shot.


Back shot

This HAS to be a troll job.

Nuff said.

[quote]PhilosopherKing wrote:
My belly is part muscle[/quote]

Does anyone remember Fat T-man’s thread where he claimed his love handles were “large back muscles?”

Young man, if you are for real, thats NOT a muscle belly. YOur body has developed a case of visceral fat (underneath the abdominal muscles) giving you the “pregnant belly look”. YOu are in serious danger, please lose some weight for your health’s sake. Please get some bloodwork done and take care of yourself. A physique rating is the last thing you need.

And the scoliosis thing looks serious too, get that checked out after dropping some weight.
YOu are a large framed guy and probably have some size underneath all that blubber but its almost impossible to make it out and is IRRELEVANT both to your health as well as your appearance due to the ton of fat youre carrying on top of it.

NOT a troll job. I posted my pics here because I didn’t know where else to post it on this forum. I needed people to see my physique in order to be able to properly critique me. Speaking of which, thank you for yours. I really do appreciate any and all feedback.

[quote]UkpairehMombooto wrote:
Nuff said.

PhilosopherKing wrote:
My belly is part muscle

Does anyone remember Fat T-man’s thread where he claimed his love handles were “large back muscles?”

Young man, if you are for real, thats NOT a muscle belly. YOur body has developed a case of visceral fat (underneath the abdominal muscles) giving you the “pregnant belly look”. YOu are in serious danger, please lose some weight for your health’s sake. Please get some bloodwork done and take care of yourself. A physique rating is the last thing you need.
[/quote]

What kind of bloodwork would I need to get done? Where can I learn more about visceral fat? Thank you for any help.

[quote]
And the scoliosis thing looks serious too, get that checked out after dropping some weight.
YOu are a large framed guy and probably have some size underneath all that blubber but its almost impossible to make it out and is IRRELEVANT both to your health as well as your appearance due to the ton of fat youre carrying on top of it. [/quote]

This is why I like T-Nation - brutally honest but if you know how to take it, an extremely valuable resource.

Kurt

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=visceral+fat&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

Knock yourself out.

[quote]LiftSmart wrote:
http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=visceral+fat&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

Knock yourself out.[/quote]

Lol. I was talking about quality resources that people trust - some of these sites are pseudo-info/pseudo-marketing.

Again, I’m betting youre doing ok muscle wise. I can;t make anything out clearly, but somethign about your overall shape suggests that you lift regularly. That muscle will stay and will make you look good after youve dropped all the flab.
So forget about the muscle you have for the moment. You have thick forearms and broad shoulders, awesome. Now its time to slim down a LOT.

Since you hinted that you have a hard pregnant belly…I speculated that you may have visceral fat. I’ve had my students report that interval training on the treadmill seems to target visceral fat effectively but I have no evidence to back that up. In any case, the rules are pretty much the same.

Diet, lift hard and heavy, and do cardio regularly.
Take supplements for insulin sensitivity, add some alpha lipoic acid to carby meals, and restrict carbs around lifting sessions, cut calories to drop a pound or so every week (you’ll drop more initially).

Go for a walk at a normal pace for 30-40 minutes everyday. This alone can tilt things in your favor.
In 6-8 months when you get to around 200, you should feel much much better about the way you look. Post pics then.

[quote]PhilosopherKing wrote:
Kurt[/quote]

How did your back get like that? Making too many Wonka bars?

Unbelievable…

No rating from me.

Very simple. Lower the simple sugars and breads,eat more protein and healthy fat. Workout, drink plenty of water, eat veggies. Lift fee weights and do cardio. Do all of that and I GUARANTEE you’ll look like a different person in 60 days.

I also have scoliosis, but I can tell you brother that it shouldn’t hold you back. Yes it can promote muscle imbalance which I can discern from your pic, but know that you can aggrevate it with improper form and routine.

First of all look at how you stand. Perfect posture goes like this:

  • Weight should be focussed on your heels, not toes.
  • Knees should be in a relaxed slightly bent position.
  • TILT your pelvis forward, don’t push it forward. This helps with core stability and helps line up your lower abs, rectus abdominis and the transvers abs(very important for overall stability).
  • Pretend a string is pulling your chest out from the top of your sternum.
  • Your shoulders should be relaxed and rolled back (once your chest is forward you shoulders should do this on their own) now you’ve engaged support from your lats and erector spinae group.
  • Let your chin drop naturally and relax your neck.

Try walking like this, try working out while maintaining posture integrity: its like riding a bike, you’ll never forget it after you choose to remain concious of it.

I’d encourage a cleaner diet, drop the shitty carbs and fats. Make a change, lean meats and veggies. Water, water, water. Good luck with everything bro.

Ok, I’m just talking out of my ass here…but I believe surgery is a solid option for correcting scoliosis. With a twisted back, you’re ALWAYS going to suffer from muscular imbalances and be limited in how much weight you can use. Simply imagining a thread through your spine does NOT negate the fact that you have an unnatural load distribution. I wish I knew more about this condition, but go see a doctor.

[quote]UkpairehMombooto wrote:
Ok, I’m just talking out of my ass here…but I believe surgery is a solid option for correcting scoliosis. With a twisted back, you’re ALWAYS going to suffer from muscular imbalances and be limited in how much weight you can use. Simply imagining a thread through your spine does NOT negate the fact that you have an unnatural load distribution. I wish I knew more about this condition, but go see a doctor.[/quote]

You sir are correct. Surgery is a very good way to help correct scoliosis, though my inverted spinal curvature was mild. Idiopathic (unknown cause) Scoliosis is quite common, people tend to develop inverted spines in their juvenile or adolescent years. The back doesn’t twist per say but curves towards/away from the axis of the body. Curvature is measured in degrees so a more mild case of scoliosis would fall between 0.1 and 10 degrees. Anything greater then 20 degrees might mean surgery or a back brace, but since the OP is well past his adolescent stage he might need to seek the former.

Imagining a thread through your body is not what I stated, I just wanted to give good tips on posture as requested. Stretching and proper conditioning, form, etc will definitely give the OP a leg up. It helped me treat and correct my scoliosis without surgery or a brace. Go see a doctor and get some answers for your condition dudeman.
Thanks for the feedback UM.

I still think it’s a troll job.

[quote]Eddie_would_tow wrote:
I still think it’s a troll job.
[/quote]

Think what you like :).

Kurt

[quote]Eddie_would_tow wrote:
I still think it’s a umpalumpa job.
[/quote]

me too

[quote]AquilaV wrote:
I also have scoliosis, but I can tell you brother that it shouldn’t hold you back. Yes it can promote muscle imbalance which I can discern from your pic, but know that you can aggrevate it with improper form and routine.

First of all look at how you stand. Perfect posture goes like this:

  • Weight should be focussed on your heels, not toes.
  • Knees should be in a relaxed slightly bent position.
  • TILT your pelvis forward, don’t push it forward. This helps with core stability and helps line up your lower abs, rectus abdominis and the transvers abs(very important for overall stability).
  • Pretend a string is pulling your chest out from the top of your sternum.
  • Your shoulders should be relaxed and rolled back (once your chest is forward you shoulders should do this on their own) now you’ve engaged support from your lats and erector spinae group.
  • Let your chin drop naturally and relax your neck.

Try walking like this, try working out while maintaining posture integrity: its like riding a bike, you’ll never forget it after you choose to remain concious of it.

I’d encourage a cleaner diet, drop the shitty carbs and fats. Make a change, lean meats and veggies. Water, water, water. Good luck with everything bro.
[/quote]

Thank you