When I was growing up, we were expected to keep good posture. The "Posture Nazi" would jab us in the back when we were slouching to force us to sit or stand straight. It was annoying and painful, a rude way to ensure good posture. We were also screened at school for scoliosis by the school nurse. If someone was found with it, a call was made to the parents so that a doctor appointment could be made. I didn't grow up in the Victorian era, but rather in a rural community who held to certain standards. My 6th grade class was the last one for girls to be required to wear dresses and the boys to wear dress pants and collared shirts, for example. Although the methodology for gaining good posture needed work, I am glad that someone cared.
All I want is to lose weight and look good, you say? It simply takes one small tweak of a weak back and you will be down! Earlier in life, while my children were little and I was a little heavier, I threw my back out by using a shop vac when our regular vacuum sweeper broke down. Oh, my! I was in so much pain I wanted to use the grocery store scooter! But my pride got in the way. Early in the shopping trip was tolerable. Half way through, my kids who could barely look over the handle of the cart had to help push. I was down on the couch in tears with 3 very active kids bouncing around the house. I wasn't exercising at that time so my core was weak. This wouldn't have been a problem if I was exercising emphasizing core stabilization and posture. Working smart is central to all exercise.
Most of my clients have spinal issues. We always begin with looking at what is happening that we can safely correct or reduce the effect through exercise. It is important to know if you have pain, see the doctor first! Here are some terms and concepts that will help you:
Lordosis- aka. swayback, has an exaggerated curve in the lower back. The buttocks are usually very round It can also be accompanied by Upper Cross Syndrome with the chest caving in and the shoulders rotated forward and the head slightly forward. Although usually the shoulders are more in proper placement for better balance and weight distribution. Seen in a lot of people carrying an excess of abdominal fat. The belly leads the way.
Kyphosis-- has Upper Cross Syndrome always. the hips are tilted more to the back causing a flattening of the lower back and buttocks are more flat. Many of these people also carry extra fat in the upper back region. Correcting this one will help reduce the abdominal pouch.
Scoliosis--sideways curvature of the spine in an S or C shape. The hips and/or shoulders will not be even. Backpacks and unevenly loading weight of items carried regularly can cause or aggravate this condition.
By correcting and/or stabilizing these issues, many people can move more easily pain-free and gain better balance. Where to start? Have someone qualified do a posture analysis for you. Then work at sitting up correctly in your vehicle seat. They are ergonomically designed. Next, have a personal trainer or physical therapist work with corrective exercises for your specific issue. After you accomplished this, then you can integrate your posture exercise into a regular workout routine. Always get a doctor's release for exercise before this one. Personal training education and certification includes identification and correction postural issues. I try to incorporate the posture exercises through other exercises earlier than some fitness professionals simply because people tend to want to run ahead toward achieving what they want in the first place compromising the spine again or they ditch it altogether. The earlier back exercises I give are recommended for homework as ongoing maintenance. A lot of muscle imbalances can be corrected or avoided for freer range of motion in all areas of exercise and daily activities. You will be able to improve your physical performance whether your goal is weight loss, sports or body building.
God bless you!