Archive

Category Archives for "Posture"
13

Chin Check: Get Better Posture-Part 7

If you are like most people, you want to get ahead in life. The metaphor exists for a good reason. Many people literally stick their head ahead as they advance in life.  Such “get-aheaders” are technically called “forward head thrusters.”  Guess what? Odds are good (or would that be “bad”?) that YOU are a forward head thruster. How can you know? And what does it matter?

To find out whether your spinal alignment has (mal)adapted to a desire to get ahead, take the quick chin check we show in our video.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzwJHbOGMuw[/youtube]

 

Sure, you might not like the momentary double-chin look. Goodness knows I, Kymberly am not so keen on that video side view of my triple chin (what I will for you lovely readers!). But you will like the benefits of that bowling ball known as your head being balanced over its support system instead of awkwardly perched in front of it.

Centering your head over your spine will increase comfort, decrease neck tension, keep you nicely extended, and save the planet. Or at least your posture.

 

Readers and Viewers: How much space did you have between your finger and chin? “Fess up.

32

Seated Posture: Part 6 Sitting Pretty

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: I am loving your posture videos! I sit at a desk all day and I’m wondering if you would do a video on posture while sitting. Also, I find it easier to slouch at the computer (I sit on a backless stool) and I’m wondering why sitting up straight seems to take more energy? I am in my early 30’s and when I stand up straight in the mirror, my body looks lovely…and when I am doing my normal posture it looks schlumpy and not as nice. I’d love to change this and I appreciate your help ladies! :)) Sibby, Miami, FL

Schlumpy

Seated Schlumpy

Dear Sibby: We are of the mindset and age that 30 year olds should look lovely, and mostly do. We know we did! Since you asked so nicely, we shot a posture video with three starter suggestions on achieving anti-slouching when seated.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLQVxZPBVBU[/youtube]

 

 

 

 

The real key though, is awareness, which you seem to have. We deduced this first by your compliment about out posture series videos 1-5. Obvious awareness! Second, you know when you are schlumping, you know when you’re up straight, you know when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for posture’s sake. (Make you think back to any holiday songs?). Third, you actually noticed that sitting in good posture takes energy. This level of awareness is your first, and best step to meeting your posture goals.

A few tips in addition to the video insights:

  1. When wanting to sit naturally and less stressfully, think “tall and extended with your heart lifted” rather than “straight.” The spine has natural curvature so a straight back would actually be out of alignment. Kinda painful too by the end of the workday.
  2. Good body alignment DOES take energy because we need activated muscles to achieve optimal spinal position and muscles are energy users, big time. However, the body seeks energy efficiency (secret body code for – how can I do the least?) Relying on joints, tendons, and ligaments to support a given position (this “schlumping” you confess to) is calorically (energetically) efficient.  Sure, we pay the price later in sore joints, wimpy muscles, and posture that makes us look waaay older than 30!. As we sit hunched over, we are not using abs and back muscles.
  3. Check the relationship between your body and your work station. If the ergonomics are off, that is the first thing to change. Is your work station too low relative to your stool so that you have to hunch to reach the keyboard?
  4. Lastly, stand up every 15-30 minutes. This simple movement will remind you of your posture and get you out of any bad sitting habits at least temporarily.

Saaaay, are you schlumping while reading this? Lift your heart puhleeeze!

Readers: What do you do to remind yourself to sit lifted? What word have you made up to beat “schlumping”? (which we pretty much like and plan to adopt).

Nominate Alexandra Williams for a social media award in the Shorty Awards!

Nominate Alexandra Williams

for a social media award in the Shorty Awards

16

Fix Your Posture – Part 2

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Posture

Who Stole My Good Posture?

We bring you a guest posture maven for your viewing and “stand up tall” pleasure — our mom! She made us what we are today — alive! Oh, and lifted up posturally, thanks to her nagging, reminders, dance background.

Check out how our mom transforms herself from an active senior to frail little old lady back into a force to be reckoned with in less than 1 minute. Learn our quick zip trick to look 10 years younger in less than 10 seconds.

Agents, talent scouts, and publicists – our mom is available for media interviews and bookings.  Ya gotta admit she’s pretty cute!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2lSdV6CHjg[/youtube]

 

 

Photo credit: Creative Commons

20

Fix That Posture!

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Short. Sweet. I am either talking about this post or myself! We shall see. And you shall see…how to fix some common posture issues.

Trapezius

X Marks the Trigger Points on the Traps

First of all, we’ll start with the most common issue – forward and inward rotation of the shoulders. That’s the techhie way of saying, “Hey, your shoulders are rounded.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM-uFoJLpXM[/youtube]

1. Roll them up and back, shawty!

2. Strengthen the muscles in the mid-back so you’ll be straight up.

That’s it for today. Go do your exercises. And you’re welcome for the lovely combo of my striped shirt (to make it easier for you see if I’m standing up straight and symmetrically) and those Hawaiian-themed curtains. You’re especially welcome for the fact that my son likes to cut my head off in videos! What can I say – he’s a teen!

And I’ll take a moment to share a secret with you – we were listed on Shape.com as one of the Top Ten Inspirational Fitness Facebook fan pages. If you haven’t checked it out, please give it a look-see lookie-loo.

Picture credit:Trigger Point Relief 

6

Posture Assessment from the Side

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

You might be level- headed, but are you level-hipped and level-shouldered? What do the right and left sides of your body tell about your stance if we take a sidewards glance? Are you a “posture cheater” who displays a sneaky telltale clue that gives you away when you fake standing tall?

Even he likes his posture

Assessing posture from the left and right - simultaneously!

Part 3 of our Posture series takes a look at posture from both sides now to figure out how you stand (Joni Mitchell was no slouch). We know where you stand–on top! Or lifted nicely once you add our tips on assessment!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltlgT9LjXf0[/youtube]

 

 

 

 

For the record, that is not a peace sign K lays on A at the end of this short video, but bunny ears. Hop to it, sis!

 

Photo credit: Creative Commons, kittykaht

 

16

Want Picture Perfect Posture? Part 2

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Posture Assessment

Do you think this outfit matches my posture?

Recently we did a post about finding your natural posture. Well, whaddya know, we got a bunch of requests to show what comes next in assessing posture.

Alexandra: So we asked our friend Cathleen Clarke (the group fitness director at the Spectrum Clubs in Santa Barbara) to film us, after making her do a pinky swear not to publish any video of us fighting.

Yes, it’s about 3:33 long, but worth every second, especially the part where Kymberly moves that messy pile of hair from my neck! And isn’t 333 half of 666? And twins are each half of something! So it’s the perfect number, considering one of us (not naming myself) was recently called a “cheeky devil” in Swedish.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkbDjyHBOtM[/youtube]

 

Kymberly: As long as those cheekies are level and symmetrical, we’ll go with that! So whether you are a trainer, trainee, curious person who wants to understand posture better, or merely a voyeur, we hope you can use our tips to assess posture from the front and back. Of course you also want to assess from both the left and right sides. (Yes, BOTH sides as our bodies don’t always tell the same story left and right, believe it or not. But we want to give you something to look forward to in the video sequel.)

Meantime, we will leave you with this thought: if your nipples are pointing down and your kneecaps are pointing in different directions from one another, your posture just picked a peck of pickled position!

Readers and viewers: Wonder why some people have great posture on one side and everything askew on the other? Part 3 coming if there’s popular demand. And by that we mean lots of comments, gifts, requests, stumbles, applause. You know the drill.

Photo Credits: Creative Commons – leo.jeje

15

What’s Your Natural and True Posture?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Posture

Is This Perfect Posture? Where's the Cleavage?

Do you want to improve your posture? Are you keen to enjoy the happy, comfy, confident body that good posture brings? Do you want to instantly look 5 pounds thinner? Ok, so now we have your attention.

To get where you’re going, you need to know where you start. Or something like that. We were tempted to start with “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Perfect Posture,” but you might have thought we were pickled.

Your first step is to know your current posture — unchanged, unmodified, no artificial sticks-up-the-wherever added. But how can you establish your normal stance without already thinking about trying to “correct” it?

Cue the trumpets as Fun and Fit talk you through an easy way to get to your regular, 100% all natural beefcake posture. Once you have that established, you are in the perfect position to make assessments, observations, and improvements. And with enough comments on this post, we might make those video sequels showing you how to assess and progress. For now, don’t mess with what you have going now. Just know what you are dealing with. Us! And You!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtBWUFx9rrA[/youtube]

 

Posture

Posture: Going, Going, Gone

Photo credits: Creative Commons

9

Can’t Kickback with Kickbox Back Pain

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

I have been taking aerobics classes from Alexandra for the past few years. This summer I finally graduated and now I won’t be! Sad. Anyways, the other day at a kickboxing class I kind of tweaked my back. I didn’t work out for a couple days hoping to let it feel a little better, and so now I think it is okay. But sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night my back kind of hurts. I was wondering is there a best sleeping position to help with posture and back?

Thanks! Lily

Sleep on your back or side

A Back Ache Might be the Least of Your Worries

Alexandra: Thanks for the compliments, Lily. I shall be sure to lord it over my sister. Kickboxing and back pain are sadly a combo about as common as college life and parties (but you graduated, so wouldn’t know anything about that)! Way back in 2000 (wow, did they have kickboxing and pain that long ago?) I wrote an article entitled “Injury Prevention in Kickboxing Classes” for IDEA Fitness Source (now IDEA Fitness Journal) that showed that injury rates to the back from kicks was as high as 23%. Can you believe it? Me neither. I was so young then and am surprised I knew how to do research. Guess I was precocious.

 Kymberly: Forget talking about kickboxing, Ms Precocious Thang. I think Lily’s real question has to do with sleeping position and reducing back pain. Lily: I do like the part where you pretend to have liked my sister. She is actually a rather nice person deep down. Deep deep down. Any-who…. my suggestion is to lie on your side with your knees slightly bent. Place a pillow between your knees to keep your hips and therefore spine aligned. Read this article on reducing back pain while sleeping, keeping in mind that one goal of the article is to sell the nifty pillow. If you buy it, get me one too, will you?

 A: Here’s my point: In addition to sleeping in a better position, you want to avoid hurting yourself in kickboxing again, I assume. Even though you won’t be in my classes anymore, I can still repeat my nags: use your core, chamber your moves, no leg flinging, and keep your kicks low. If you do everything I say (like that’s ever happened anywhere, anytime), you might avoid pulling your back muscles next time.

Punch & Kick using your Core

Take That, Shish-ke-bob Man

K: Let’s also chat a moment about any repeat back tweaks, especially if you want to get back into your kickboxing program and are a little hesitant. If you hurt your back again, take an easy walk or get on cardio equipment for a low resistance, low intensity ten minute walk the days immediately following the tweak. You can see more on how to minimize muscles soreness in our posts, “My Calves Got a Big Stiffy,” and Running, Be Sore No More”  (I am assuming “tweak” means “sore muscles,” not something else involving vertebrae or ligaments or suchlike.) By raising your core temperature and heating your muscles with the cardio activity, you may reduce the nighttime soreness. Unless you work out just before bedtime, in which case you will have insomnia and not be able to sleep anyway, so you won’t have to worry about being woken up by back pain. Problem solved! Feel free to send us your next question about timing exercise so you can get to sleep!

A: I’ll just point out that you wouldn’t have gotten hurt in MY class, Miss Lily!

Readers: Have you ever kicked too high or with bad form and ended up with back pain that prevented you from sleeping properly?

Photo credits: Creative Commons

20

Proper Form for Uphill Walking

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

 

Since we go for walks on a regular basis up in the hills above Santa Barbara, we thought we’d share with you some tips about the wrong, and right, ways to walk. Did you know there even was a proper walking technique? Watch and learn, grasshopper; watch and learn:

Once you’ve practiced
* swinging your arms in opposition
* bending at the ankle
* keeping upright at the waist and hips with good posture

you’ll be so good you can even Walk This Way:

Happy Walking!

Walking in S.B.

Yay, I ditched my sister on our walk!

 

13

Fitness + Desk = FitDesk

fitdesk.net

 

Alexandra: It’s an exercise bike with a pad where you can buckle your laptop in and go for a stationary ride! Well, K & A love to multitask, especially if we can combine our love of exercise with our addiction to weird stuff we find on the net dedication to our craft.

We were told by the developer that we could exercise and do our emails, tweets, gaming and work, while keeping our elbows and hands comfy. Guess what? It’s true. Because we are so twitchy, have such bad eyes, we thought the computer would be hard to read if we pedaled at anything faster than a mosey. But it really does have a smooth ride. And the FitDesk is especially fun and comfy if you get someone else to assemble it! Preferably someone with mad skills.

It’s Portable – Yes, it truly is. You can take it to the mountains,

FitDesk is so portable

Go wireless with the FitDesk

 

to the driveway,

FitDesk in the driveway

I park my FitDesk in the driveway.

 

to the backyard,

Pedal in the grass, but don't graze in the grass.

Hey, don’t turn on the sprinklers while I’m on the dating sites!

 

to the living room,

Arrival day of the FitDesk

Is the devil dog watching me get fit?

 

even to the beach.

Just don't forget your FitDesk

You can whale watch with the FitDesk, just not too close to the cliff! Ha! Just kidding. Forgot it.

Er, okay, maybe we forgot to take it to the beach. But you see how I almost look like I”m riding it? That’s gotta count for something.

And the best news? You never have to worry about getting so into your online farm game that you forget where you’re going and pedal into one of these!

don't ride your bike into the canal

Yes, people ride their bikes into the canals all the time! Stupid farm game!

 

Kymberly: The reality is that we as a nation are spending more time sitting. Bet you knew that.  We want to be active; we want to feel mobile and happy in our bodies. But working, driving, eating, watching tv, sitting at computers, and other mawduhn activities are only increasing our need to move while working. Fortunately, we (meaning people in general) are pretty ingenious and tend to find solutions so we can do it all! FitDesk is one such solution. In fact, I predict that FitDesk and other such multi-task, office-appropriate solutions are the wave of the future. You can pedal at a moderate pace that keeps you sweat-free in your office attire. Relieve the pressure from thinking you have to get an intense workout from the FitDesk; think of your time on the FitDesk as “not sitting” time vs “exercise time” and you will be ahead of all your plunked down coworkers!

A couple of initial questions come up for sure:
1) What does the thingie ma jingie cost? Around $200, but go to the website to check details and accuracy.
2) Even with its adjustable settings, the FitDesk is lightweight and smallish. Can it handle a 6’5” guy who weighs over 250? Glad you asked as that describes my husband, whom we talked into test riding this baby. Yes, he fit and could pedal away while using the laptop; No, he was not all that comfy so the machine may max out for tall, big (though good looking!) guys.
3) Is it worth buying? What price is your health worth to you? FitDesk seems to be filling the niche of low-priced, low key, low tech workstation workout machines. Sure, you can spend more and get something bigger and heftier. But we like that the FitDesk provides a great option for most budgets. Bottom line is that your bottom line will thank you! We give it our “purchase and pedal” thumbs up!

Readers: What do you think? Are you ready to take it for a whirl? And how much time do you spend sitting down?

Photo credits: Kymberly herself! Dang me if she doesn’t refuse to get in the pictures!