I work with a lot of clients who spend 8-10 hours a day at a desk or in the car. Needless to say, most of them don’t have perfect posture. Whether it’s low back pain, an inability to reach overhead or an unattractive forward head position, we spend a lot of time working to fix these postural issues and get them back to a “neutral” position from head to toe.
But it’s not just desk jockeys and average Joe’s who slip into bad posture. Athletes deal with plenty of movement dysfunctions too, often brought on by the intense movements of their sport. And the longer you wait to address poor posture, the greater the chance it leads to injury or a reduction in performance.
Luckily, as Eric Cressey often writes, strength training is a great way to make proper movement patterns “stick”. The nervous system learns new movements more effectively when you make them challenging (i.e. adding weight, instability, slowing down the movement, etc.), so the weight room is often the perfect place to introduce postural corrections.
Including mobility/corrective exercises in the warmup is my favorite way to address poor posture because if we can fix it before we load it, we’ll get stronger and stay safer. But there are also plenty of ways to use big, heavy barbell exercises to improve posture too.
In my latest on Stack.com, I’ll show you four exercises to fix bad posture and help you move better.