We now live in a technology based age where our bodies are much more sedentary, slumped, sitting or stooped over for many hours. If we aren’t perpetually mindful and instill good posture onto ourselves and loved ones, especially children, whose bones and joints are still growing and molding into the form and posture they sustain for prolonged hours, we will become a stoop slumped species that not only looks less attractive but will also have limited organ function i.e lungs and breathing. Additionally, consequences of using smart devices, laptops and other situations that promote poor posture include neck and joint pain, headaches, shoulder impingement and portrays less than optimal body image.
The 6B’s: A Guide to Safe Movement and Good Posture works for every situation and movement pattern throughout your day and in your life. From bending, lifting heavy objects, to cooking, walking, reaching, fishing, exercising and sports, the 6B’s concept will help you protect your spine and your body. The 6B’s concept starts at the “Bottom” and works it’s way up your entire spine to help you- Move Better, Feel Better and Live Better!
Start at the Bottom and activate your pelvic floor (the area between your tailbone and your male or female anatomy or perineum). Draw up or pull up the muscles down there. This is known as a Kegel exercise. As you perform this exercise keep your buttocks muscles relaxed. Be sure to practice drawing these muscles upward like and elevator but be sure to release them as well, like contracting and relaxing any muscle in your body. Consider this group of muscles the foundation of your spine.
Your transverse abdominus (tA) is the most important muscle to protect your lower spine for safe movement patterns. This muscle is below your belly button and above your pubic bone. You can find it and activate by placing your hand on your lower belly and either coughing, fully exhaling through your lips, corseting or “drawing in” your belly.
The area between the lower front rib cage and the hooks of your pelvic bones on your abdomen. Find the landmarks, connect the dots, you have the front part of your box. Your “core“ is a 3-dimensional box comprising of your entire abdominal area, pelvic floor, low back and sides of your body. Keeping your “Box” open and square will protect your low back and help support ideal posture and alignment with all of life’s activities. To set your box, try pulling your ribcage up away from your belly button, think “up and long”, avoid leaning backward.
4. Shoulder Blades
Now, pull your shoulder blades back and down, as if you were tucking them in your back pockets.
Check in with your head and neck, it should be relaxed with good freedom of movement. When you check in you will look like your favorite hood ornament bobbling your head around gently. Note: This is a check in not a continuous movement pattern, just a check-in cue.
Very important! Remember to breathe. Try pursing your lips while you exhale and use your lower abdominals (tA) to help completely exhale your full breath.