There is one move you can do to improve your posture, engage your core, align your hips, and lower your risk of injury while exercising.
Yes, one tiny move that can change everything! You can do it anywhere, without any
You’ve probably heard some Yoga Instructor, or Personal Trainer casually cue this at some point. People who move fluidly and effortlessly in their sport have learned this and have integrated it to their movements to make their sport look graceful and effortless. After you do it enough, it happens without even thinking about it. That’s why most Instructors don’t spend much time explaining it. This little move has become so ingrained that we don’t even realize we’re doing it most of the time.
Are you ready? Here’s the one thing: Pull in to your midline.
Yes, you’ve heard that somewhere. Let’s break it down and find a way to integrate it to your daily movement.
Standing with your feet about hip distance apart (natural stance), adjust your feet so they’re pointing straight ahead (as much as you can comfortably). Now look down and imagine a line cutting your left and right side apart. Energetically pull your feet towards that line and “pull yourself together”. Note: You are not actually moving your feet, just imagining that you are.
Now the magic happens. As you create intention to draw in, you start to pull up on the arches of your feet, your kneecaps lift, and you externally rotate your thigh bones. This creates space in your hips to allow your pelvis to find it’s natural alignment. As you bring tone to the arches of your feet, you also bring tone to your pelvic floor. Connecting your feet to your core allows you to stand a little straighter without forcing some unnatural posture.
This simple tip will immediately improve your posture. And if you do this while exercising, you’ll protect your weak links (low back, knees, etc) and all your standing exercises will become more effective.
Now how do we remember to do this while we’re trying to navigate lifting? If you practice this enough, your body will remember this position and connect from the feet to the core without even thinking about it. If you need help to start, try squeezing a yoga block or small playground ball between your ankles. Sometimes holding a block can give you the feedback you need to integrate the form.
Try it in front of a mirror. It shouldn’t look dramatic or forced. It should be a subtle shift towards a better-looking you.