Have you heard the saying:
Train how you want to look.
For some reason, that simple saying has stuck with me more than almost any other exercise coaching advice.
Think about it. Who has the best-looking physiques? The runners or the people lifting iron?
Next time you’re at the gym, have a look at the people on the treadmill vs the people lifting barbells and dumbbells.
There are far too many cardio bunnies afraid of lifting weights because they don’t want to look bulky. Let’s just put that myth to rest right now. Muscle gives you shape, it’s your diet that makes you bulky.
Now I totally understand if you just LOVE to run. Then by all means, do what you love. But if you think you have to run to lose weight and get fit, then we need to talk!
But whether you’re a cardio bunny or a beast in the gym, there is one exercise tip you should be implementing: Good Posture.
Most of us don’t normally give much thought to our posture. It’s automatic – we rely on our muscles to take care of it for us. There are a lot of muscles that are involved in maintaining proper posture, and paying attention to them 24/7 would be overwhelming.
So, what is ‘good’ posture, anyway?
Think of your body like a mountain, with its base at your feet. The mountain rises up tall through the front of your body – your shins, quadriceps, core, chest, and shoulders – and then goes down your back, hips, hamstrings, and calves.
All of those muscles work together to hold your body in place, keep your balance, etc.
They even can affect your breathing. For example, if your shoulders are rounded forward and your chest muscles are tight, it can be hard to expand your lungs for a deep breath.
That’s why it is super important to think about your posture when you exercise. After all, you are working to make your body STRONGER, and you want to make it stronger in an upright, aligned posture, am I right?
Now, it’s time for that extra ‘exercise tip’ I mentioned above.
The next time you pick up a set of weights, crank out a set of core exercises, go for a walk or jog, or do any kind of workout, take a good look at your posture. If you can’t do a quick posture, check in a mirror, and take a moment to at least think about it.
1. Are you standing tall with your core engaged? Are your shoulders back, chest up, and legs strong?
2. Are you reinforcing patterns that you don’t love so much, with your shoulders rounded or your joints locked?
When you start training your body the way you want it to look, you’ll reinforce your mind-muscle connection and you’ll reap the benefits.
Your posture will start to improve 24/7 (even outside the gym), your core will get stronger, fast – and there’s a good chance you’ll notice a boost in your confidence, too.
Train how you want to look and feel. Good posture not only makes you LOOK more confident, it can make you FEEL more confident!
Who doesn’t want that?
P.S.: The 2nd photo is Shellie Edington, a 5x CrossFit Games master in her 50s. You can follow her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/shellie_edington/
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Share your thoughts and best practices on how you maintain good posture. Comment below!