Poor posture is prevalent in older adults. As we age, it is common for the head to move forward and the shoulders to round, which can cause chronic back and neck pain. Our once swift and sure stride is replaced with a sort of shuffle (Griegel-Morris et al. 1992). Sadly, this kyphotic posture (characterized by extreme convex curvature of the upper spine) can increase the risk of falling. Often, individuals who develop these physical characteristics must rely on a cane or walker to ambulate.
Many fitness professionals confuse faulty lordotic posture with swayback posture (Kendall 2005). The scientific definition of swayback refers to posture in which the hips are swayed forward and the rib cage is swayed backward in the sagittal plane (Kendall 2005). Commonly, people picture the swayback of an older horse—which actually more resembles lordotic posture. Upon closer look at joint positions and at muscle length and strength, it is obvious that these postures are different.
The quality of your posture can make a big difference in your life. Good posture can make you look and feel younger, stronger and more confident; and can help improve your breathing, advance your sports performance, decrease your risk of injury and improve your biomechanical efficiency. And, over the course of your life, good posture can prevent painful physical strain in your joints.
In a previous issue of Inner IDEA Body-Mind-Spirit Review, we asked: When teaching your Pilates students proper head and cervical spine placement, what is the most common mistake and how do you help correct it? Here’s what you had to say.
Sabrina Aspesi straddles a wood and metal exercise machine that resembles a reincarnation of a medieval torture rack – complete with pulleys, chains and weight plates. Her torso bends forward and back, arms and hands pushing and pulling two large knobs in fluid, sweeping, circular movements – as if stirring a giant vat of milk.This is the Gyrotonic workout, a regimen that some fitness-in…