Seniors Posture Test

The Seniors Posture Test is designed to help understand the parts of your body that may be out of alignment.  It's a good idea to get someone to help you with this.  In fact you can analyze each other!   Joseph Pilates used to say that, as we age, our trunk disappears into out hips.  I would add to that and say our head disappears into our shoulder.

Ask a friend to help you. Stand barefooted in your natural stance.  It helps to have horizontal and vertical indicators behind you (eg window or bookshelves) for comparison with measurements.  You'll find links to each stretch below.

 Back View:         

  • Check to see if shoulders and shoulder blades are level or not.  If not, see Shoulder Stretches and Back Stretches..
  • Check to see if head is upright, tilted to the left or right.  If a correction is needed, see Neck Stretches.
  • Check alignment of hips.  You need to have some sort of horizontal marker (window frame perhaps) behind you to judge this against.  Check to see if one hip is higher or lower than the other.   If one hip is lower and out of alignment, there are a number of stretches for you.  You need to check out Hamstring Stretches, Hip Flexor Stretches, Psoas Stretches and Ilio Tibial Back Stretch.
  • Check your feet.  Is your stance paralell or do your feet turn out or in.  Leg Stretches, Ilio-Tibial Band Stretch. 

Side on View:

  • Check your lower back.  If you butt is disappearing and hips seem thrust forward you'll need to do Hamstring Stretches and Lower Back Stretches.    If your hips seem to be further back and butt is proturding a bit too much, you may benefit from doing Hip Flexor Stretches
  • The muscles implicated here if they are curved forward are pectorals (pecs). You need a chest opening exercise and the best for that is using a balance ball - simply, lie back over the ball with arms out wide - and breathe. If you upper back is rounding out a bit too much, you need Back and Shoulder Stretches
  • Check the position of you head.  If it is trusting forward you need to focus on Neck Stretches. Muscles here include the scalenes at the front - which pull the head forward.
  • TIP  Stand tall. Allow your shoulder blades to roll down your back.  Imagine a nice ripe peace under your chin (this puts your head in place).  
  • Another little tip for do several times a day, is to image an invisible string in the crown of my head, pulling me upwards.

Often, but not always, it is tight muscles that have the ability to "pull" bones out of alignment, particularly hip and knee joints.  Is this why we have so many hip and knee replacements now.  

In my experience, there is one thing you can do, if you do nothing else.  And that is to stand well. 

1. feet parallel with each other and hip width apart.

2. knees not locked, but a little "soft".

3. shoulders relaxed, and shoulder blades sliding down towards your waist

4.  imagine holding a nice soft peach under your chin (this will bring you neck and head into alignment.

And VOILA!  The perfect you!  

Neck Stretches

To Posture Correction Exercises


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