Stand Up Straight…your posture is making you look short and fat

posture Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

Ladies and gentlemen, as this politically incorrect illustration demonstrates, your posture is making you look short and fat

And no one wants that. Certainly not me.

shrek1 Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

Me – before postural realignment

shrek after Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

Me – after postural realignment

Okay, I still kinda look like Shrek, but did you see those new buns O’ steel I got???

Why Is Your Poor Posture Making You Look Short and Fat?

Two of the most common postural flaws I see are:

Postural Flaw #1  -  Anterior Pelvic Tilt

anterior pelvic tilt2 Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

Which leads to Lordosis

lordosis Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

Unfortunately, Anterior Pelvic tilt & Lordosis manifest themselves as a protruding Gut and Butt. And no one likes that.

slouched Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

Postural Flaw #2  -  Kyphosis

kyphosis Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

Kyphosis and a ‘forward head’ position makes you look hunched over and appear shorter. And once again, no one wants that.

kyphosis1 Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

But wait…it gets worse

When you are unwise enough to put kyphosis together with lordosis, you end up with…

  • the whole looking fat and short thing PLUS,
  • headaches,
  • neck pain,
  • bicep tendinitis,
  • dry mouth,
  • pain under the shoulder blades,
  • mid back pain, lower back pain,
  • lateral knee pain,
  • torn knee ligaments,
  • hamstring tears,
  • plantar fasciitis and
  • sciatica.

Booooooooo!!!!!

This is what you should look like.

good side1 Stand Up Straight...your posture is making you look short and fat

Here is a postural analysis video that should provide additional detail.

So What Do I Do About It?

The short answer is that you need to stretch some muscles:

  • Psoas
  • Iliacus
  • Rectus Femoris
  • Tensor Fascia Latae
  • Spinal Erectors (special care here)
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Teres Major
  • Anterior Deltoid
  • Subscapularis
  • Upper Trapezius
  • Levator Scapulae
  • Suboccipitals
  • Sternocleidomastoid

and strengthen other muscles:

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • External Obliques
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Mid/Lower Trapezius
  • Rhomboids
  • Pectoralis Minor

The long answer will require you visiting a physiotherapist or an osteopath or some other postural guru.

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.

9 Comments

  1. lizetteb1

    February 1, 2012 at 7:25 am

    This is the best post on the topic that I have seen. I know my posture leaves much to be desired and I try to get my kids to watch their posture too. Doesn’t help that we are a pretty short family to start with! LOL!

  2. Pam Allen Pilates Instruction

    October 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Good thing we're all doing Pilates!

  3. Pam Allen Pilates Instruction

    October 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Great article on why you should stand up straight…check it out!

  4. Thomas Johnson

    March 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Great post. I’m definitely keen to see another post that goes into the question “so what do I do about it?”

  5. David

    March 12, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I love your post. You have enough detail about proper posture that anyone can understand. I was going to put something like this on my site haven’t had time.
    Keep up the great work.

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  7. Nancy

    October 22, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I have horrible posture and am well aware of it’s effects on my appearance overall, but I’m just awful at correcting it. A close friend of mine is an acupuncturist
    and said fascial tissue can get “stuck” after so many years of habitualbad posture, and she suggested 10 or 12 sessions of Rolfing or myofascial massage. Since I have been losing a lot of weight and exercising a lot this last year, some regular body work might be a good idea anyway. I’d love to hear if anyone has any experience with the above types or anything else.

  8. Travis

    January 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I have been having back pain for years. 37 and a runner about 15 miles a week. i sit at a desk during the day. thought it was the running maybe it is the sitting. this article makes a lot of sense about the tilt of the pelvis. helpful stuff. thanks.

  9. lacy

    May 29, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    well I’ll be damned.

    welcome to the wonderful world of posture!

    that was an interesting post…and lots of food for thought. there’s more to “stand up straight” then i originally thought. ;)

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