In our modern lives, it can be very difficult to maintain perfect posture for long. Most of us spend a lot of our day sitting – whether at at a desk, travelling, relaxing in front of the TV or computer games – all of which can encourage us to slip into poor posture. Even our sleeping habits are often poor.
With a little practice and a few simple strategies, though, it is possible to remain in good posture throughout your day. Doing so will certainly help your golf immeasurably, but it will also improve your health and the quality of your life in general – it will decrease your risk of injury through your whole body, including your lower back, hips, shoulders, neck, elbows, knees and ankles. It will also increase your energy levels, and even help you look younger and better.
The key is to build good habits so that you sit less, stand and walk more, and reset your posture throughout the course of the day. With just a little practice, good posture will become second nature.
What is Perfect Posture?
Perfect posture is discussed in detail in Golf Swing Drill 101 – Setup: Perfect Posture and Connecting to Your Core. It can be summarised as follows:
- Keep your shoulder blades pulled back and down.
- Elevate your chest.
- Keep your tummy drawn up and in.
- When you are standing, your body should form a straight line from your ears, through your shoulders, your hips, your knees, all the way to your ankles.
- If you’re seated, you should form a straight line from your ears, through your shoulders, to your hips.
Most of us spend a lot of time in transit, whether it’s on planes, trains, or automobiles.
The trick to maintaining perfect posture in the car is to force yourself to do so. Adjust your mirror to where it should be when you have perfect posture, force yourself to maintain good posture in order to see through it.
If you’re on a train or plane, get up every 20 to 25 minutes and stretch. The Standing Back Extension Exercise is perfect for this. And while you’re waiting for your plane or train to arrive, or perhaps you have a bit of a layover between flights, then go for a walk rather than sitting in the waiting area.
Try to spend as little time sitting as possible, if you have the option to stand or walk while you meet with a colleague, do so.
Take a break from sitting and stretch every 20 to 25 minutes. You need to extend your back regularly when you are spending extended periods in the seated (flexed) position. The Standing Back Extension Exercise is perfect for this.
If you’re in a long meeting where you’re required to sit, reset your posture every 15 minutes. Do this by squeezing your shoulder blades back and down, as if trying to draw them into your back pockets, while activating your glutes. This will help you to counteract the forces pushing your body into a hunched over (flexed) position.
If you sit at a desk, adjust your chair so that your knees are at the same height as your hips or slightly lower.
Position your computer monitor straight in front of you so that the angle of your chin is flexed down about 20 to 30 degrees.
Adjust the brightness of your computer screen so that it is proportionate to the room. If it’s darker, decrease the brightness.
After a long day at work, often followed by a long journey home, it’s can be very tempting to just collapse into a couch or chair and sit some more. But sitting for long periods, even while relaxing, can be damaging.
If you’re watching TV, make a habit of getting up during commercial breaks. Walk around a little and stretch, or do some self-massage with a foam roller.
Use only one pillow, and choose a high quality one. When you have more than one pillow, your neck will be out of alignment all night, and neck pain will often be the result.
A good trick can be to place that extra pillow between your knees, though it’s difficult to keep it there all night. This helps to keep your hips in proper alignment as you sleep.
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