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  Postural uniqueness; is your exercise programme helping or harming you

We’re all different and we need to recognise this before venturing out and trying to copy someone else’s workout or carrying out a ‘one size fits all’ programme given in many of the commercial health clubs and magazines these days. Have a look around you, at your family, partner or people just walking down the street. Although you’ll notice similarities we’re all different shapes and sizes and present our own unique postural identity.

Our posture presents itself as a result of our own unique genetic makeup and lifestyles and this affects our overall health and well being. By lifestyle, we mean a combination of your occupation, nutrition, family and relationships, past times, exercise program, sleep habits and overall daily stress and our ability to cope with our daily lifestyle and pressures involved.

These factors need to be addressed before venturing out and starting an exercise programme that in turn could make your short and tight muscles even tighter, your long and weak muscles even weaker. Over time this will just exasperate your postural imbalances and could ultimately bring on degenerative changes and pain.

We’ve all seen the classic posture, hunched upper spine, forward head and rounded shoulders bought on from hour upon hour seated at your desk job, in the car or slumped on the couch. This is just reinforced by then going to the gym and repeatedly doing set after set of bench presses and crunches (god forbid on an Ab roller!), reinforcing and strengthening you in this hunched position.

How do you know if your exercise programme is helping or harming you? Ask yourself these questions.

How does your exercise program make you feel, does it bring on any joint or connective tissue pain during or afterwards?
Do you feel your posture is changing for the worse?
Are you recovering from your exercise program or is it leaving you feeling wiped out for days?
Do you suffer insomnia after training?
Are you improving and getting the results you want from your program?
Sound familiar? If any of these are relevant to you then it’s time to get a corrective stretching, mobilization and exercise programme prescribed. It’s time to build functional mobility not dysfunction.