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Posture and Weight Training

Incorrect posture during weight training can do you more harm than good.

Make every movement, especially in the beginning stages of weight training, with your muscles, spine and skeleton aligned properly. This is important because your posture in weight training will determine the way look and feel as a result of weight training. Slouching even slightly can not only make your appearance bad, but it also can stress the wrong muscle groups and cause them to be out of balance and painful.

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Let your arms hang freely at your sides. Balance your weight evenly between your feet. Firm your front thigh muscles by using them to draw your kneecaps upward. This makes a strong foundation with your feet and legs, and gives you a feeling of stability and confidence.

Your pelvis is the main support of your spine, so position it correctly, and you will keep your back healthy. Balance your pelvis evenly on the legs. Keep your pelvic rim neutral, without tucking the tailbone under or overarching the lower back. The pelvis should be parallel to the floor.

Extend your spine by pressing your feet into the ground. Then, stretch your legs upward starting from heels, up the inner legs to the pelvis. Using the strength in your abdomen, pull your navel in toward your spine and up toward your ribcage. Breath deeply and evenly. Continue to lengthen upward, relaxing the diaphragm.

Open your chest as your spine lengthens upward. Relax your shoulders down and extend the back of your neck. Look in a mirror to make sure your head doesn’t jut forward. Your neck should be an extension of your spine. Keep your jawbone parallel to the ground.

Continue lengthening your body from the foundation in your feet through the top of your head.

For exercises in a seated position, make your sit bones your foundation. Sit tall, keeping your lower back neutral, and extend your spine, lengthening through your neck to your crown. Support this position using the strength in your abdominal muscles.

With consistency, you can teach yourself perfect posture. Maintaining this position in weight training will develop balanced strength. Practice it several times throughout the day for a minute at a time. You’ll feel light and free, and you may even get a little taller!

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