Planking with good posture!

What does this even mean?

I’ve been taught that it means to have your body straight, and strong, like a board. The more I learn about the body and the movements we are capable of, the more I think I understand how complex each of those movements actually are. The plank is definitely one of those complex movements! I think we almost need to break each movement down into its parts before doing the whole thing. A basic premise that I have been introducing in these ‘posture’ videos is to figure out how to contract the rectus abdominis (thus pulling the xiphoid process down to the pubic symphysis (or pubes)) while simultaneously contracting the spinal extensors to pull us ‘up’ into a tall posture. The same is true in the plank … it’s just that our ‘tall’ posture is now parallel with the floor! Finding the neutral pelvic tilt is also important. Everything changes a little bit, though because now your shoulders are weight bearing joints instead of ‘free.’

Latissmus dorsi

…or your ‘lats’ … really need to be engaged during this movement. (Don’t get me wrong. There are MANY other muscles involved in the shoulder movement here!) The lats might be the easiest one to think about first.

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Adding arms to posture

Talking about the bench press and looking at the Tricep extension

Raising our arms above shoulder level shouldn’t affect our posture, yet so often … it does! If you are using your lats to ‘stand up straight,’ you are locking your shoulders into an unnecessary position. Your intention is most likely to be engaging your back muscles, but what you’re actually doing is just extending your arms.

So, in this video, I want to explore the idea of using your spinal extensors to stand up straight and your shoulder muscles to move your shoulder!

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Muscle Misconceptions

a snippet from a larger lecture (actual lecture not available on-line)

  • I hope to make the rest of this lecture available on line at some point, but I thought this was an interesting enough tidbit to share.

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