Whether you have been exercising for years or just starting out, you hopefully have been hearing some cues in your workouts. Does something like this sound familiar? "Keep your knees bent, abdominals tight, and draw your shoulders back and down". Your trainers have been trained to remind you about proper posture, not just for looks but also for safety. When your body is aligned properly, you experience less muscle fatigue and pain.
The hard part is that most of us weren't brought up knowing what proper posture looked like, or felt like. To be honest, when we get into that position some of us feel very awkward. This is why your trainers keep cueing those important focus points, there is added energy to your overall well being when your body is stacked up the way it was meant to be.
Do you want another reason to follow those cues your trainer gives you? When you hold your abdominals tight and draw your shoulder blades back and down, you immediately narrow your waist, visually shrinking your size a little. Try this experiment in the privacy of your own home:
- Stand in front of the mirror with your abdominals exposed
- Relax your abdominal muscles, let your shoulders drop forward and take a look
- Now, tighten your abs and pull your shoulders back. What difference do you see? Do you feel different? More confident? Do you have a little more energy?
Think about a slight contraction in your abdominals and walk tall, you will not only look better but you will feel better too!
Farel Hruska has over 16 years experience as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She is the National Fitness Director for Stroller Strides holding Stroller Strides certifications throughout the country and supporting hundreds of instructors nationwide. Hruska is a national educator and presenter in pre/postnatal fitness education. She is also a CEC provider for the American Council on Exercise and Aerobics (ACE) and The Fitness Association of America (AFAA). firstname.lastname@example.org