Before we can really start to define posture we need to define some basic concepts such as balance, spatiality and anti-gravitational forces in the body.
Posture is consequently the term that includes all mechanisms and processes that allow us to hold a position in space with the least possible use of energy. There are different body postures that apply, for example the standing position, the sitting position and the lying position.
The various physical and anatomical entities that allow us to hold the posture can be divided into two main components or systems:
Comprising of the bones, the muscles, the tendons and the connective tissue bands. These allow the body to adopt and hold a specific position and also guarantee the body sufficient support and safety by allowing it to move within a three-dimensional space.
This system comprises the senses of sight, sound, smell and taste, and more importantly, touch, which is perceived through the nerves that travel down the spine and extend right to the skin. The exteroreceptors (eye, inner ear and, touch) and inner receptors (feeling in the muscles, joints and tendons) and especially the highly sensitive hands and feet, allow the brain to gather relevant information about the spatiality and produce bodily adjustments second after second, to create a situation of physical balance.
There are also other systems that concur in creating physical balance but these two are the most important.
Through posture, the body in a three-dimensional environment must have the following abilities
Each of these factors can be influenced by psychological or emotional states of the person involved. Balance is also not something static; it is a continual dynamic adaptive process that allows for maximum bodily efficiency. A sedentary lifestyle and bad habits can drastically influence the basic posture and cause incorrect bodily positions and movements.
The standing posture is one of the basic human postures and it must allow an effective balanced unloading of the weight as well as the least possible waste of energy. In today’s society bad postures are becoming ever more frequent. This is caused by work, shoes, mattress, emotional state and lack of movement.
The position of the head, shoulders, wrists, hips, knees and ankles should all be vertically aligned. Even so, one could have all those parts vertically aligned and still not have a good posture because there could be a problem on the horizontal axes or on the rotation of the body parts.
The correct posture is important in sports. A failure to implement correct postural patterns increases the likelihood of an accident and penalizes the movement that you want to perform, for example kicking a ball whilst unbalanced is difficult and also inefficient.
In working with loads and weights during bodybuilding you must find the best positions to get the weight off your joints as well as find positions that allow you the maximum output power and the best technical gesture possible.
The muscles can be divided into groups by work and by function, in other words they can be divided into phasic muscles postural muscles. The phasic muscles allow the real movement to take place while the postural muscles serve to guide and control the movement. The postural muscles don’t get much training in the gym, especially if you use exercise machines. In order to train postural muscles it would be best to exercise as much as possible using free weights or without weights, and trying your best to control and balance the movements as much as possible.
Wrong postural attitudes can be divided into two main categories; the paramorphisms where the posture has origin from a wrong attitude and can be corrected by postural exercises and educational therapies and dysmorphism where the problem can only be corrected through surgery or orthopedic treatment.
The paramorphisms can be changed by using your willpower while the deformity of the second groups can’t. Antalgic postures are those where pain is caused by the poor posture itself.
In conclusion one can say that your posture is a set of elements (anatomical, physiological, mental and emotional), which together give a result which is not a fixed or rigid attitude but a continuous evolution of adaptations and transformations that stem from a continual search for efficiency and energy saving.