Whether a less aligned posture can cause body pain due to imbalances, is not certain. However, the importance of a good posture are many; such as a a better looking posture, feeling of self-esteem, reduced risk of injuries, less tension in muscles and possibly also better technique and results from workouts thanks to a good movement pattern.
Your core concludes of four muscles, which task is to support the spine and the pelvis.
- The diaphragm
- The pelvic floor
- The corset muscle, transversus abdominis, the deep abdominal muscle
- The multifidi (deep spinal stabilizers)
You can imagine this by a can of soda. The diaphragm is the top of the can, the abdominals wrap around the can like a corset, the multifidi (deep spinal stabilizers) on the back, and the pelvic floor muscles support the bottom of the can.
These muscles are supposed to work together regardless of what you do. The function of the core is connected to your breath, and your breath is connected to your posture.
But when you’re standing in a less good position, for example having a large inward curve in your lower back; it’ll effect your breathing. Therefore it’ll affect your core function.
Speaking about posture and pain. As much as a good alignment is crucial, there is no research that supports a good correlation between certain postures and pain.
Every time you breath, you’ll activate your core muscles. When you breath in properly and use the diaphragm, it’ll descend, your rib cage will expand and give space for the lunges at the same time as the belly expands. Simultaneously the pelvic floor and the deep abdominal are being stretched and, the inner organs are pushed down and the intra-abdominal pressure increases.
When you breath out, the diaphragm is ascending, the pressure on the inner organs decreases, as well as the intra-abdominal pressure decreases. The pelvic floor ascends and the abdominals are tightened and pulled in to support the spine. When you breath out, the body will become more stable.
Remember this, and practice it during you training!
The pelvic floor
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and connective tissue that sit inside the pelvis. It acts as a floor in our pelvis and as button in our can that we imagined earlier.
Pelvic floor muscle functions:
- The pelvic floor muscles constrict the urethra, vagina and anal canal, it supports these organs to function as they are supposed to.
- They provide support for all internal organs.
- They are part of the deep stabilizing system, which usually includes the diaphragm, the deep back muscle multifidus, the corset muscle transversus abdominis.
- They respond to breathing and changes in intra-abdominal pressure. Ideally, the pelvic floor will act as a trampoline, support the pressure and not be slack as a hammock. You may imagine the pelvic floor as a diamond shape, with each corner attached to the pelvis. The pubis bone in the front, the tailbone in the back and then the right and the left side. Then imagine bringing all of those points together and bring them up as an elevator.
The Corset muscle, transversus abdominis, the deep abdominal muscles
This muscle is located underneath your straight outer abdominal, and the two layers of obliques. The muscle can be imagined as horizontal lines and is like a corset, and it acts like a supportive belt. When you breath in, the diaphragm contracts and descends, increasing intra-abdominal pressure (see more about this below), which leads to lengthening of the abdominals and pelvic floor muscles.
When you breath out, the diaphragm ascends and the pelvic floor muscles and abdominals naturally follow by drawing up and in. When this happens and the intra-abdominal pressure is distributed in all directions, there is a natural interplay of these muscles to provide spinal and pelvic support and stability. But this is not the only function of the muscle, but also to keep the inner organs in place, where they should be.
Your position as you stand, walk and sit along with how your joints and muscles are related to each other dictates your posture.
To get good training results, it’s important to understand this part. Because we need to know which muscles are working, and we need to feel which muscles that are working. In order to strengthen a muscle, you need to feel contact with it.
The glutes originates in the upper part of your pelvis, and connects to the backside of your thigh bone. The glutes consists of three muscles on each side:
- The Gluteus Minimus, the small one, which moves the leg out to the side and stabilizes the leg when you’re standing on one leg.
- The Gluteus Medius, the middle one, which extends and rotates the hip outwards.
- The Gluteus Maximus, the big one, which extends the leg backwards, rotates the leg
Typical pain areas caused by a poor posture, and example of exercises to do:
- back pain
- shoulder pain
- hip pain
3 exercises for you posture