Ok, now that I have your attention, let’s talk about what’s wrong with this photo.
I follow a fair number of fitness people on various social networks and have noticed trend in these types of “strong is the new skinny” type of photos that are spread around.
I’m not talking about the fact that these images, while designed to motivate people for a healthier lifestyle, support physical ideals that are beyond the reach of most people and ultimately perpetuate low self-esteem and unhealthy habits in order to try to reach these goals. (ok, I just did talk about that, but who’s counting)
The problem I’d like to point out is the excessive lower back curvature you see, mostly on the behind shots like this one. Without a doubt, that posture makes her bum look nicer. But if we have girls and women looking at these photos and wanting to look like these lovely ladies, I’m concerned that we are promoting poor posture in favor of a more attractive doopa.
What you see here is excessive lumbar lordosis and anterior pelvic tilt. The lumbar region of the spine does have a natural curveture, but when you stand with your pelvic tilted forward towards the ground, the curve in your spine increases.
Prolonged lordosis can also cause the curve in the thorasic region to exaggerate (kyphosis) in order to compensate. When you stand improperly, your muscles need to work a lot harder just to hold you upright. Before you know it, you have back pain and a lot of work to do in order to fix it.
Last fall I noticed a bump on the back of my neck. Turns out, after years of hunching over a computer, I’ve developed kyphosis and a forward head. This worked the reverse way and caused slight lordosis in my posture. To correct this, I’ve had a lot of back strengthing to do, redesign of my workspace, and have to pay close attention to how I stand and walk. I also have some of neck extensor muscle issues because I’ve spent so much time hunched over and looking down. I’m left with this noticeable bump that might be arthritic or might be the beginnings of a dowager’s hump. Awesome.
Because of this experience, I notice poor posture all over the place. It’s become a bit of a charge for me. So when I see photos like this, I worry that this posture is seen as normal. It’s not, and you shouldn’t stand or walk like that.
Yeah, it’s just one photo and her bum really looks nice, who doesn’t want to look at that. But my hope would be that the people who feel they are ‘fitness gurus’ and spread these photos as a motivational service would instead discuss and promote proper posture and why it’s critically important, especially as we age.