How to Have Good Form:
Posture Reset Exercises
How to Have "Good Form"
Having “Good Form”—or good posture—when you Lift Weights, has a lot to do with how you currently hold your body…
How are you currently holding your body when you work at a desk??…How are you currently holding your pelvis while walking and standing??…In your body right now, which muscles are tight and which ones are hyper-extended?
How you do anything is how you do everything is a Tao wisdom saying—and the same holds true for having good posture. It’s so important to have “good form” when you Lift Weights so that you don’t injure yourself (and have to get OUT of a flow with working out)…and/or so that you can actually activate and strengthen the muscles you’re wanting to activate and strengthen.
The Dangers of “Bad Form” or Bad Posture with Lifting Weights
As much as I LOVE lifting weights—one of the major challenges with it, is that if you don’t have “perfect form”—meaning doing the strength training moves WITHOUT using the optimal human body alignment—
You can put yourself at-risk of making existing posture problems worse, when you add weight to these movements.
Current posture Habits?...and Remedies:
If you’re in a current habit of holding your pelvis or any part of your body in a certain way—it can be challenging to all of a sudden fix this posture habit when you step into the gym and pick up a pair of weights.
As a personal trainer—and someone who’s dealt with injuries from dancing resulting from poor posture and body alignment habits I inadvertently developed growing up kind of tall, having a slight sway back and knock knees, working and writing at a desk way too much…and now the advent of cell-phone-scrolling posture on top of desk work time too…
I have to tell you that I’ve experimented with multiple modalities to try to help fix my posture and have good form—not only when I lift weights & dance—but also when I sit, stand and walk, too.
And, over the years, I've been sharing different modalities within my program and with clients to help teach good posture/form too.
These modalities pale in comparison to a lesser-known kid on the block:
As a dancer—I have to say that I've certainly tried Stretching/Yoga which I've found to NOT be a long-term remedy for correcting these muscle imbalances & improving my posture. More about why stretching is not the best remedy for improving your posture/form BELOW…
I’ve also done multiple years of private Pilates lessons, which has helped transform my posture, although I would say the key to this was having one-on-one attention from a really knowledgable coach. This isn’t the most practical, affordable or accessible solution for most people…
Plus, I’ve also seen short-term relief with Chiropractic care and good results from one-on-one muscle rebalancing strength training coaching (again, finding someone who rocks at this, plus the cost and time are not as practical as the modality I’m about to suggest)…
And the Posture Reset modality winner is…
I have to say that the practice and idea behind a completely different modality, called Clinical Somatic Therapy—is BY FAR my favorite and recommended way to really reform your posture and develop a healthy balance in your body…
Somatics are essentially a powerful series of body movements that can indeed allow you to have Good Form when you lift weights…and when you walk, stand and sit, too.
Clinical Somatic Therapy to the accessible rescue
That’s why I recommend practicing the following Somatic Movements in the evenings—and really re-learning and re-connecting with the best body alignment possible—so that you CAN have excellent FORM, or posture—throughout your day and when you Lift Weights.
I recommend these Somatic Exercises rather than doing passive stretching...
And the core reason why I no longer recommend Passive Stretching in combination with Lifting Weights or Dancing.
The core reason is because you can injure yourself if you don’t have great form…and because when you stretch a muscle, as Somatic teacher Sarah Warren explains, our Stretch Reflex or Myotatic Reflex is triggered:
“Never heard of it? Think again. Your stretch reflex has actually been tested by a doctor, though maybe not since you were a bit younger. When your doctor used that little hammer to hit just below your knee, making your foot kick up, [they were] testing your stretch reflex.
The stretch reflex is an automatic nervous system response to stretching within a muscle. The reflex provides automatic regulation of skeletal muscle length. When a muscle is lengthened beyond a point where it can comfortably stretch, muscle spindles (sensory receptors in the muscle) are stretched, and their nerve activity increases.
Neurons then immediately send a message to the muscle fibers to contract to protect the muscle from being torn.”
So essentially—when you stretch your muscle, your body tries at the same time to limit the stretch to protect your from over-stretching or injuring that muscle—which when all is said & done, does not help you release and re-align your body.
Instead, it sets up a protective “war” inside your body—where you want to lengthen your muscle with the stretch, but your body is keeping your muscle tight to prevent you from overdoing it.
You can get “good” at stretching & negotiating this inner muscle war—but it isn’t as effective at helping you to reset your Posture to a natural functional alignment.
Rock these Movements instead
Clinical Somatics is a practice that helps you re-train your nervous system—through a series of movements called “pandiculations” that help your body reset to the best human alignment points with your pelvis…while releasing tension or activating the muscles in your chest, abs and glutes.
These exercises are fascinatingly subtle—but after you do them, you can really feel the power of this reset.
Below are some free resource videos to practice this Somatic Reset—and in my experience, this is the best method for developing good posture & excellent FORM and safety with Lifting Weights.
I’m currently working towards being a certified instructor myself—and at the same time—right now I can share some free and excellent videos that share Somatic foundational movement that you can practice every night…
Please explore these Resource Videos from Esther Ekhart below, to practice nightly.
I recommend practicing these movements at night—after you have finished the majority of your movements for the day…
And I do recommend learning more, beyond these free resource videos!
Free Somatic Movement Resource Videos
to practice nightly
Plus, here’s how to keep learning more:
The Pain Relief Secret by Sarah Warren
This short book shares about the history and purpose of Somatic Movement therapy—and the book comes with free videos as well, to help re-set certain common posture problems and aches and pains.
Clinical Somatics Level One course from Sarah Warren
This is a two-month online course from Sarah Warren teaches you the Somatic Movement exercises one-by-one…and then puts them together into daily practices. Very powerful and incremental way to learn and practice Somatics…re-set your posture…and have excellent FORM.
Let's Get Started...And Please Ask Questions! Be sure to check with your doctor or primary body care provider, to make sure that you are able to do these exercises. And please ask me any questions you have in the FORUM...and enjoy!