See, that’s the reason I find taking pictures of yourself or ideally, videos, during workouts so extremely helpful. It has nothing to do with me being horribly narcissistic (well maybe a little bit?) and everything with me being determined to find weaknesses to counter and improve them.
While watching my captures from the current Recovery Week Exercises for Insanity I noticed, again, that my upper back has a tendency to be slightly rounded. I first noticed this during my plank and push-up form and also during standing hamstring stretches. It’s specially obvious if I compare the form to Shaun or anyone else on the DvDs (I compare my form daily to make sure I am not hurting myself or cause muscle imbalance by working out with improper form).
So, I went back over the books and references I have and also asked Mister google for help. Now a word of warning, google is definitely not the place to look for scientific correct write-ups but it can help you start off in the right direction. I prefer having references from books and officially published papers to compare with information I find on the net. As long as you don’t just blindly believe what you read on the net and have studies to compare information to you should be OK. If in doubt it’s always best to ask a professional though.
All this rambling leads to the following: Due to me sitting pretty much all day (and for an extended period of time also during the evening), I tend to slouch and have bad sitting posture. This can lead to Postural Kyphosis. Roughly explained, it means that because of bad forward sitting posture my upper back area has gotten weak and my chest muscles got tighter and more contracted then they should be . That’s what the hobby PT in my figured out anyway (just with a bit more details about which muscle groups are affected and how to counter it).
So my plan of action is the following for this particular problem:
- Make sure I have a better posture while sitting (sometimes hard because it leaves me with sore muscles).
- Get up and stretch often during long periods of sitting
- Do Chest opening stretches in the morning and evening
- Make sure I pull my shoulders back, straighten my back during exercises and don’t let them round out in general
Since the workouts I am doing right now are laid out for full body conditioning I am automatically doing exercises which will help me strengthen the back and improve my posture as long as I do it with proper form.
All this makes it most of the time harder to do the normal exercises as I have to remember additional things on top of the normal cues from the workouts. However, I am determined to improve every possible aspect of my health and poor posture is a very important part of it.
I already pin-pointed a lot of weakness and managed to improve and work with them thanks to my “Self Diagnosis by Videos and Picture”-Method.
You should try it. However, as I mentioned, be careful and if in doubt please contact your PT or specialist!