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Last week we illustrated the importance of set-up and endpoints as the foundation for proper form.  This week, we continue our focus on proper form by describing one of our favorite postural cues, Maintain “I”.

Proper posture is key.

The many benefits of having correct posture are often overlooked. Correct posture places bones and joints in alignment, which in turn ensures that muscles are used properly. When the body is working the way it is designed to, good things happen. Pain is reduced, muscular endurance is increased, and each exercise in your workout becomes even more effective!

Some of us naturally maintain good posture, while others don’t. Even those who may be “naturals” can begin to lose their good posture after years of too much sitting. The good news is that, for most of us, posture can be improved through corrective exercise and self-awareness. A great strategy you can use is learning how to maintain “I”.

How to maintain “I”.

Imagine the capital letter “I” painted on your torso. The top portion of the letter is represented by a horizontal line running from shoulder to shoulder. The bottom portion is represented by a horizontal line running from hip to hip. A straight vertical line running down your spine connects the two horizontal lines. Your letter “I” should be straight. This means your shoulders, hips and spine are level and neutral. Your letter “I” should also be tall…as tall as you can make it.

Maintaining “I” will set you up to have a tall spine, allowing the muscles of your core to function optimally. When your core is functioning well, everything else has a better chance to function correctly and risk of injury is lowered. Once you find your “I”, it is important to maintain it throughout your movements, with your hips and shoulders moving in unison. If your shoulders turn right, your hips should turn right with them.  We must avoid “loosey-goosey” movements where our “I” wobbles and gets out of alignment.

Maintaining “I” is critical to maintaining good form when training. Remember, the posture you train with is the posture that you are teaching your body to live with. Expect a steady dose of cues to maintain “I” this week at One on One!