More people than ever suffer from poor body alignment. Whether it results in injuries, chronic pain, or even just reduced energy, body alignment is something you should always pay attention to. This article will show you 7 reasons why yours might be off.
Old Injuries that Never Healed
If you lead an active lifestyle, chances are you’ve been injured at least once. Be it as simple as a muscle pull or as bad as a broken bone, if your injury never healed properly, you very well may have been using other muscles to compensate ever since. This could not only lead to improper body alignment, but the next characteristic on this list.
A muscular imbalance is whenever you have one muscle that is much stronger than and dominates over another. They could be antagonistic counterparts such as how an overdeveloped chest combined with a weak upper back can lead to rounded shoulders. It could also be cooperative muscles such as overly strong hip flexors dominating over the glutes or weak abdominals.
Regardless, when you have one muscle that dominates too much, it ends up doing too much work. This leads to other muscles continuing to be under-developed and/or becoming tight. All of this can be a perfect recipe for poor body alignment.
Continuing on from the last point, if you have poor posture, it could very well throw off your body alignment. This is because by allowing yourself to always stand, sit, or even walk in an improper way, you’re actively letting your body be in positions it’s not supposed to be in. Do this enough, and something is going to eventually get out of alignment.
No Focus on Flexibility
Most people who work out make it a point to focus on the weights, cardio, and even their diet. However, not nearly enough focus on flexibility. By actively and regularly doing yoga, pilates, or even just a simple stretching routine, you’ll keep your muscles pliable and your body limber. This can often prevent body alignment issues from ever cropping up in the first place.
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
This might sound like a silly cause, but continually donning the wrong footwear could lead to serious body alignment problems. Wearing the wrong shoes will give your feet inferior support. This could lead you to standing improperly or walking with a gait that’s not right for you. Even the smallest of adjustments could cause you the most harm over time.
Should you doubt the effects that walking can have, consider a study done at San Francisco University. It was already known that walking with a consistent slouch could lead to poor posture (see above). However, researchers found that students who spent their day walking while slouched ended their day lethargic and often sore. Conversely, students who skipped down the hall had more energy and experienced no symptoms of pain.
While this article is a list of potential causes of inferior body alignment, excessive repetition is often the cause of these causes. Sitting slouched while you watch a movie doesn’t lead to poor posture, but sitting slouched over a desk at work for 8+ hours nearly every day does. Bench pressing without doing adequate rear delt work this week won’t lead to rounded shoulders, but doing it every week for a year could. Look at anything you do with excessive repetition and ask yourself if it could be harming you.
You’re Being Your Own Worst Enemy
Unless you’re absolutely oblivious, you probably know (or at least suspect) if your body alignment is deficient. Symptoms can include chronic pain, fatigue, persistent joint aches, and more. If you have any of these things, but have not yet set out to remedy them, then that’s on you. You have to want to fix yourself before you actually can.
Luckily, it’s not that hard. A little bit of concentrated effort and some minor changes to how you do things or carry yourself will almost always lead to significant improvements. Get started today and you’ll be enjoying better body alignment before you know it.