You have done it! You have made the commitment to be healthier and stronger and have engaged in a regular workout routine. Step one is done! Pat yourself on the back, tighten your tennis shoes, and get ready for the optimal fitness results you have always desired!
Whether you are a boss at lifting in the weight room or prefer to sweat it out in a Zumba class, the American Posture Institute wants you to get the most out of your workouts. To achieve the results you desire, you must consider the effect that your posture has on your exercise performance. Smart athletes know the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” is not necessarily true. Though it is common to feel muscle soreness after a workout (often up to two days post workout), it is important to differentiate pain associated with muscle soreness and pain associated with postural degeneration.
Weak posture is the culprit of common gym injuries. Don’t let this be you. Avoid these common workout-related injuries by being Form Focused.
1) Strengthen your core: The primary cause of exercise-related injuries is weak core musculature. A weak core is synonymous with weak posture. When the deep abdominal muscles have more bulge than strength, the spinal alignment is inadequately supported. Lack of core strength makes the athlete susceptible to injury, commonly low back pain. Old-fashioned crunches won’t cut it to build strong core stability. Implementing plank maneuvers into your core training is the best way to strengthen your essential core musculature.
2) Don’t do too much too fast: Although motivation is great, it is also important to listen to your body. For athletic longevity it is better to be Form Focused than have the No Pain, No Gain mentality. When beginning a new workout routine consult a personal trainer of how many repetitions you should do per exercise, and have them check your form. Start with the basic moves, and gradually increase weights when you have mastered maintaining proper form.
3) Lift with intention: Always lift weights with intention, not lethargy. When re-racking weights, for example, take time to lift the weights correctly. Bending at the waste with a rounded spine to pick up a dumbbell off the ground is a very common example of an improper lifting technique. Habitually weak lifting techniques are one of the most common ways to cause serious strain to the lower back, or even a disc herniation. Don’t be careless, your posture is important even when transitioning weights between sets. Engage your core muscles, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs not your back.
You have made the commitment to get in shape. Now set yourself up for success, not burnout. Don’t throw in your workout towel due to a common gym injury. To get the body you have always wanted, you need to take care of the body you have always had. You will have your posture the rest of your life; take care of it now, so it can support you in achieving your fitness goals in the future. No pain, no gain?… not necessarily.
Dr. Krista Burns DC, DRHA, CPEP, CPS
Doctor of Chiropractic
Doctor of Health Administration
Certified Postural Specialist
Co-Founder American Posture Institute
Posture by Design, Not by Circumstance