All Posts tagged slumped posture

Working out incorrectly!?

I was in Las Vegas the other day at a Chiropractic convention and I spent some morning time in the hotel gym. Ninety percent of the people in the gym were using machines… I was really disappointed so few people were using free weights. I advocate free weights and kettlebells. It was like being in the Matrix Gym on Westwood Blvd. in 1985. 

People moved along very slowly and took long breaks between sets. I advocate very short breaks between sets, usually 20-30 seconds. One minute is a long break for me.

I did not see anyone really pushing heavy resistance. I saw lots of people doing 20 reps at a time. I advocate lifting heavy enough resistance so that the 6th or 7th rep is the max. I want to see people build muscle to increase there resting metabolic rate. 

I saw lots of people doing cardio – the treadmills, ellip and bike machines were busy. So when clients ask me “How did I get this pain?” I ask them “How many hours do you sit at work?”  If they sit at work and have  a desk job, they probably sit in awkward or slumped postures (for 8-10 hours a day). These people don’t need to sit on a cycle machine, and then sit on more machines and exercise – and they don’t need to do  bench presses and curls. 

Working all day in a seated position results in short hip flexors, short pecs, and short biceps. This is the exact posture that causes most clients to suffer from so much neck and back pain.

So if you are going to spend time in the gym, your objective should be to reverse the effects of hours of sitting, and hours of poor posture and lack of a variety of movement. Don’t magnify the poor posture by picking exercises that you are sitting down in. Get up on your feet… do exercises that strengthen the muscles that keep the shoulders back, not the ones
that pull them forward. We need more rowing-type exercises to strengthen the muscles that pull the shoulder blades back.

I did not see one person in the entire gym of a BIG hotel connected to the convention center stretching. Who are these people getting advice from? If you sit all day you better be spending time stretching out your hip flexors. 

If you want to look good as you age avoid forward head posture and rounded shoulders. Work the back side with rows and pulls, because those muscles are the ones responsible for making sure that you stand erect.

Next time you see me in the gym…let’s talk!


‘Round back’ or ‘humped’ back treatment protocol

Spinal extension exercises prevent natural progression of kyphosis.

Ball et al.

Department of Physical Therapy Education, School of Allied Health, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas, KS, USA.


The angle of kyphosis increases with age with the most rapid increase occurring between 50 and 60 years. The progression of kyphosis was prevented in women ages 50-59 years who performed extension exercises three times a week for one year. INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to (1) measure the progression of the angle of kyphosis with age and (2) determine whether spinal extension exercises prevent progression of hyperkyphosis in women 50-59 years of age. METHOD: Part 1: Cross-sectional study of changes in posture with age, determined by measuring spinal curves in 250 women 30-79 years of age. Part 2: One-year prospective, descriptive analysis of the effect of extension exercises on posture in women 50-59 years of age. Depth of the cervical curve (CD), area under the thoracic curve (TA), and height were measured using a device developed at Kansas University Medical Center. Changes in CD and TA in women compliant with extension exercises were compared to those in non-compliant women. RESULTS: Kyphosis increases with age in healthy women, with the greatest difference observed between women 50 and 59 years of age. The progression of kyphosis was greater in women who did not perform extension exercises compared to those who performed extension exercises three times per week for 1 year. The difference in change in CD and TA between the two groups was highly significant (CD p = .0001, TA p = .0001). CONCLUSIONS: Kyphosis increases with age in healthy women. In this study the greatest difference in the angle of kyphosis was observed between the fifth and sixth decade. Exercises which strengthen the extensor muscles of the spine can delay the progression of hyperkyphosis in the group included in this study, i.e., women 50-59 years of age.