Exploring Active Posture

Active posture begins with imaging a cord attached to the top of your spine. The cord is pulled upwards and your spine follows, extending, lengthening, reaching skywards.

Consider for a moment, the posture of a child, your child. Their natural poise is evident. We begin life moving effortlessly, our posture tall and our spine aligned. Do you remember being that child? All movement was effortless. There was no back pain, rounded shoulders, jutting neck, protruding belly or joints without an adequate range of motion. When did we begin to lose touch with this natural grace?

The answer for most of us is quite simple: we stopped moving. Exercise for most Canadians is something we give up on whenever time constraints arise. Along with letting go of movement, we also drop fitness and its sidekick, active posture. Who needs to think about posture when we spend our leisure time collapsed into our devices?

As intrepid fitness park explorers, here’s your opportunity to reclaim your sense of purposeful, active posture. No matter what your age or capacity, anyone can set-up and feel an active posture stance. It’s easy. Your body is equipped with built-in sensory systems from head to toe constantly providing feedback on your movement. So, setting-up and sensing when you are in an active posture is just a few quick adjusts away.

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Let’s leave it to Windermere’s PE Director Brad White to demonstrate the steps and simple adjustments you need to make to engage in an active posture stance:

Ready to go deep into why Active Posture works?

You’ve learned how to set and maintain an active posture in the above section, now let’s take a look at why active posture works to stabilize and support the spine. We’ve prepared the infographics below to show how structures within the body act to support active posture. Let’s consider your body, from the shoulders to the tailbone, as two main compartments through which the spine travels. These adjacent compartments, the thorax and the abdomen, hold and support organs like our lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, intestines and many more. From the point of view of body hydraulics, these two compartments can be described air and fluid filled sacks that function to support posture by becoming relatively solid once “pressurized” by the corset of muscles wrapping the torso. The primary muscle associated with this compressive action is the transversus abdominis, illustrated below in situ from Wikipedia.

The main ideas from this article are…

  • Active posture is easy to do:
    Setting up an active posture stance is as easy as standing tall and imagining a cord pulling you upwards from the top of your head.
  • Active posture makes exercise safer:
    Setting and maintaining an active posture stance while working out improves your “feel” for the exercise and reduces chance of injury.
  • Active posture supports the spine:
    Your spine travels through two compartments within the body. These compartments act like “solid” blocks and add tremendous support to the spine while you maintain an active posture stance.

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