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View Poll Results: Have you succeeded in improving your posture?
Yes 7 28.00%
No 8 32.00%
Don't need to, I have good posture 8 32.00%
Other 2 8.00%
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Have You Improved Your Posture?
Old 10-07-2010, 10:10 AM   #1
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Have You Improved Your Posture?

I've always had bad posture, and know how I should stand or sit, but I've never been able to make a permanent change in my posture.

What about you?
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:18 AM   #2
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Al, you're using the wrong handlebars on your bike. Shop garage sales for a set of these:
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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I somewhat improved my posture.
Ballroom dancing for few years made me hunch less and keep my head above my shoulders (had a tendency for "turtling" before).
It works for standing & walking, almost no impact on sitting position, unless I make a conscious effort to sit "straight".
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
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Just practice the "brace". Nords can elaborate on the finer details. As a Plebe he had plenty of practice.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:49 AM   #5
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iposture.com - Posture for Life

I tried this last year when they went on sale for $50. It does seem to work while I'm wearing it, but I found myself getting annoyed at it's obtrusiveness sometimes. Your post motivated me to dig it out again and I'm wearing it now. I've only used it for a couple days at a time, so don't know if the effects will be long term.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:03 PM   #6
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That's a current project of mine, and I've made good progress, if I do say so. For one thing, I had a forward lean that interfered with my running, since it kept my stride short. I've been doing 15 minutes of strength and stretching exercises every morning, and now after more than a year of that, I'm feeling better about walking, as well as running --- more balanced.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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The martial-arts injuries begin to pile up if you don't have good posture/form, and as you strengthen those muscles your posture improves.

It's like any other habit-- it takes time & practice to change your behavior or your posture. Start with five minutes a day, or every time you get up out of a chair, or every time you feel a twinge.

This website (and her books) have been a big help in analyzing the causes of the symptoms and using exercises/drills to fix them:
The Fitness Fixer™ INDEX
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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I'm trying to. After working at a desk for 30+ years and watching TV and reading in a slouchy way, my head and neck was starting to precede the rest of me. Taking Pilates has really improved my posture AWARENESS. I only had about 8? lessons but those lessons really made me aware of my posture and balance of the body (how unbalanced muscles can affect the posture).

I picked up a couple of el cheapo books at our library sale the other day. One on the Alexander Technique and one called Peak Performance Body and Mind by Dr. Scott W. Donkin. Haven't read much yet, but, I kinda became interested in this type of thing after being introduced to Pilates.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happy2bretired View Post
I picked up a couple of el cheapo books at our library sale the other day. One on the Alexander Technique and one called Peak Performance Body and Mind by Dr. Scott W. Donkin. Haven't read much yet, but, I kinda became interested in this type of thing after being introduced to Pilates.
When I lived at Venice Beach I had an Alexander Technique teacher for six months or so. It was very powerful. Just remember-"longer and wider"!

I had plenty of money to burn and the Alexander lessons were interesting in that they really do increase your awareness of where your body is, and what it is doing. I think it didn't ever catch fire in the US because it requres thought, which is always a hard sell to Americans.

My argentine tango partner and I try to help one another with posture awareness during dancing, as standing tall makes your dance look and feel so much better. The posture is different, more natural, than the exaggerated backward bending of "ballroom dance", but still fairly straight. Another aspect of both tango and life is that you have much better balance with your head up and body erect. I think this may be increasingly impotant as the years go by.

I have one question I hope someone can answer. When you are walking down the street with your eyes on the horizon you look great, but how do you avoid tripping on sidewalk cracks or stepping in poop? Especially at night?

Ha
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:46 PM   #10
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My mother used to tell me I had bad posture (but what teenager listens to their mother on advice like this). Wind forward 10 years after I'd left home, and I had all sorts of back and neck problems, and now doctors and osteopaths were telling me I had bad posture, and I had "flatback", my hip was tilted and my neck was on crooked !!

At age 35 I had lower back surgery which was a real turning point. During recovery I went to "back school" every day for a week and shortly after that I took up yoga and pilates and really concentrated on being aware of my posture at work and at home.

This last 10 years I have also added weight training and exercise classes that target the different muscle groups to keep joints well supported.

These days I believe I have pretty good posture but it is a continuous effort to maintain it. The company I worked for was always very good at providing good seats and had an industrial hygenist on staff that was red hot on ergonomics. In fact, for the last few years I had a desk that would raise high so I could stand while working at the PC. There were a couple of us that took advantage of this feature.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:02 PM   #11
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Thanks. I'm skeptical that I can make a permanent change, but I'm going to try. After our two-week trip, I went back to usual practicing schedule, and my neck was very sore the next day. You can see my "forward head" problem here:



It's been getting better, but today I practiced for 2-3 hours without ibuprofen, then went on a 3-hour bike ride. That was a bad combination, and I'm sore now.

The Dr. Bookspan pages are good (How To Fix Your Neck, Shoulder, and Upper Back Pain) and that's the advice I've been trying.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Thanks. I'm skeptical that I can make a permanent change, but I'm going to try. After our two-week trip, I went back to usual practicing schedule, and my neck was very sore the next day. You can see my "forward head" problem here:



It's been getting better, but today I practiced for 2-3 hours without ibuprofen, then went on a 3-hour bike ride. That was a bad combination, and I'm sore now.

The Dr. Bookspan pages are good (How To Fix Your Neck, Shoulder, and Upper Back Pain) and that's the advice I've been trying.
Al, this may not be helpful, but you are clearly looking down at the keyboard. Are you composing? I have mental pics from years of hearing jazz in clubs and at festivals, it it jumped into my mind that blind pianists usually have good posture -think of George Shearing! So here are Shearing, and Ray Charles, as well as some sighted pianists who seem to have good posture. But I think it may be impossible if one looks at the keyboard.

My ex is a professional classical piano/pipe organ player, and I don't think I have ever seen her looking down except very early in the process of working out a piece.

So here are some good postured pianists, that I have personally seen: Shearing and Ray Charles, as well as sighted musicians Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Erroll Garner.

George Shearing Quintet - Bing Videos
ray charles - hit the road jack - Bing Videos

Sighted:
Count Basie.. Corner Pocket - Bing Videos
duke ellington & his orchestra - take the "a" train - Bing Videos

Erroll Garner-The Lady is a Tramp - Bing Videos
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:49 PM   #13
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My posture is perfect for my lifestyle. Sitting on the couch, my legs up on the coffee table, laptop perched firmly on the belly, dog on the lap. What more could I ask?
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:58 PM   #14
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I only think of my posture when on the golf course. It helps in a good golf swing. This is my visual image.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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My ex is a professional classical piano/pipe organ player, and I don't think I have ever seen her looking down except very early in the process of working out a piece.[/URL]
+1. my mother and father manipulated their young children by teasing them with a piano, making a large investment in a baby grand and then refusing to let their children quit taking lessons once they found out sitting at the piano practicing while other kids around the neighborhood played together during the summer sucked. i finally wiggled out of it some 8 years later. my wife also plays the piano/organ. we never look at our hands. it's usually focused on the music ahead at eye level.

as a cycling note, and i'm sure you know this, but cycling posture is rounded and kind of hunched over to have the joints act as "shock absorbers."

i also second the yoga. while i'm still under 30, between sitting at a desk all day and logging 150-200 miles/week on a bike, my 5-6 hours/week of yoga practice is refreshing and has done wonders for my lower back and shoulders.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Thanks. I'm skeptical that I can make a permanent change, but I'm going to try. After our two-week trip, I went back to usual practicing schedule, and my neck was very sore the next day. You can see my "forward head" problem here:
You could buy a pair of really dark sunglasses and adopt a Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder style...
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:39 PM   #17
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My posture is perfect for my lifestyle. Sitting on the couch, my legs up on the coffee table, laptop perched firmly on the belly, dog on the lap. What more could I ask?
Hey, I resemble that remark....

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Old 10-08-2010, 06:01 AM   #18
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I also sit on the couch with dog glommed on and computer on my stomach. Previously I sat in an Aeron chair at a desk in my kitchen as I was tethered to the broadband, but my son set up a wireless router and it has been downhill for me since then.
I need to think about my posture more as I have had some recent issues with shoulder and neck stiffness, and I think it could be related in some part to how I sit. My Mom used to admonish me to "not sit like a turtle". I was also a little pigeon-toed as a kid so it was "point your toes out" when walking in my sturdy Buster Browns.
I do try to make a weekly yoga class at my gym and I love how it makes me feel. I am one of the worst in the class and I am by no means the oldest.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:49 AM   #19
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Something that I try to watch is how a sleep. I'm a side sleeper and since I've become more aware of my posture, I noticed that I sort of curled myself up in a semi ball position while on my side during sleep. (head curled down into my chest and legs pulled up kinda a fetal position) I'm trying to hold my shoulders back more now keeping my spine more in a "neutral" position. The book I mentioned above also touches on sleep position calling for a "open sleeping posture".

One of the things I've learned with Pilates is the position of your pelvis is what really affects your posture. How you hold the pelvis (neutral, posterior tilt or anterior tilt) that effects the curve of your spine and posture.

Gotta keep working on my core to support my spine and hopefully keep my posture from deteriorating as I age. That's my main goal.
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