One more quick post on posture and then next week we’ll move on. 😉
Upon first glance this posture might look like a good one… but it’s not ideal!
In an attempt to get my shoulders back over my hips and “stand tall”, I have thrust my rib cage forward and up. It helps my girls look a little perkier, but it is also creating an unhappy thoracic spine. The forward motion can create a shear force in the spine, and our vertebral column (including all its soft tissue) just isn’t really set up to handle that kind of strain repeatedly. The rib cage thrust is one of those no-no’s that is really going to add up over time.
Here’s a quick tip you can start thinking about today. Use your fingers to find the bottom of your ribs on the front of your chest. Walk your fingers along the ribs toward the middle until you almost get to your sternum/breast bone (if you’ve ever taken any CPR training, think about how you landmark for the xiphoid process, but don’t go quite that far).
If its easy to get your fingers under your ribs, that’s actually a sign that you are shining your high beams a little too brightly. Time to turn them down. See if you can gently lower just the bottom of your rib cage so that your fingers can’t easily get under the ribs. Sometimes it helps to imagine that you have a basketball in front of that xiphoid process and you are gently softening your rib cage to round over the ball – but only a little bit!
If you find yourself adopting a strong military-type posture, check to make sure you aren’t thrusting your rib cage forward. If you are hanging out on your hips, make sure you don’t over correct into a rib cage thrust when you are backing things up.
Time to take a quick peek in the mirror and see how you are doing. 🙂