The Geometry of Poor Posture


A nearly ubiquitous observation of our lifestyles shows a human species that is collapsing forward. Sitting doesn’t demand being upright. Our narrow, hand held focus on cell phones, computers, and the like have supported the forward roll of our shoulders and flexion in our thoracic spine in ways we may not understand it’s true magnitude until years down the road. We’re collapsing.

Sure, shoulder pain, thoracic immobility, and the simple fact that it is visually uninspiring are plenty cause for concern, but you’re an athlete. You’re interested in performance. You can deal with pain. You aren’t trying to win a Most Flexible of the Year Award and, to be honest, you think you look damned good when you’re out there competing.

What if I told you the basic geometry of habitual poor posture strips you of performance? What if no matter how skilled you were, how strong you get, and how excellent you play, run, swim, throw, catch, that you’re worse that you could be from the outset based purely on this issue of posture? Are you interested now?

Not being able to lift, jump, throw, push, pull, etc from an organized upright position leaks power, contributes to injury, and surely doesn’t apply force well. A squatter will never be able to keep the barbell close enough to over his/her mid-foot to reach his/her potential. A lineman will never be able to erect enough to square up to his opponent and drive arms and elbows the way his postural advantaged opponent could.

This issue is so widespread that the reality of correcting it is two fold. Erect yourself and find good posture habitually. Surely, cell phones aren’t going away any time soon, so we’ll need to counteract these habits. Thoracic extending mobility drills and other ways to find extension in the mid back is critical when life is largely spent with the pendulum swung towards flexion and internally rotated shoulders.

What’s your strategy to posture up?



Logan Gelbrich