The importance of posture in your workout
Each January, people flock to gyms and training programs, determined to get in shape, return to fitness and lose weight. Then: ouch! A hurt, an ache, an injury. Or, alas, no results. Often, that is due to bad alignment and bad posture.
Q: What does proper body alignment mean in terms of working out?
Proper body alignment means maintaining good posture and core stability, no matter what movement or exercise you are performing.
Q: Why is proper posture important when you’re in the gym?
Good posture has been proven to improve all levels of human performance. Studies show that when you are aligned, your body moves with less effort and mobility, stability and strength improves — and you become more efficient at transferring energy and strength up and down the kinetic chain (foot-to-ankle-to-knee-to-hips-to-spine-to-scapula-to-shoulders-to-arms). Therefore, stress of training stays within the muscles of your body and reduces joint stress and injury.
Q: Any advice to people headed to the gym about body alignment that can help them avoid injury?
Be aware that your body will mold to the posture you are in at the end of a rep. Ask yourself…is that what I want to look like? Compare how closed and slumped forward you look finishing a front fly to how open and tall you look at the end range of a reverse fly.
Also, one of the most important moves to master in fitness is a proper hip hinge. Most movements in core and posture training (squat, lunge, etc) involve moving properly from the hips, instead of rounding forward and using your back, which is the cause of many low back injuries in training and sports.