Moving in the Right Direction  


Of the 4 postures pictured, which best depicts your posture?

As a movement therapist and consultant, I can make a lot of exercise suggestions just by looking at someone’s posture. Let’s take a few words to observe these 4 general postures.


Kyphosis refers to the convex curve of the upper back, and lordosis refers to the concave curve of the low back. The convex upper back will often produce:


  • lengthened, often weak, upper back and rear shoulder muscles
  • tight chest and front shoulders
  • tight back of neck and weak front of neck

The concave low back will often produce:

  • weak abdominals & rear upper thigh muscles
  • tights low back & front upper thigh muscles

Flat Back

Flat back posture is fairly self-explanatory. Rear upper thigh muscles can be tight and front upper thigh will usually be weak. Back of neck will usually be quite tight.

Sway Back

The weak areas for this posture are most likely front of hips, upper back and front of neck. Tight areas could be back of thigh, chest and front of shoulders.


The ideal posture is where we want to work towards. We want to be able to stand sideways against a plumb line (like the picture) and have our ear above the middle of the shoulder which lines up with the middle of the hip, through the middle of the knee and then drop slightly in front of the ankle.

Pilates and yoga exercises work directly with the alignment and mobility of the spine, with the intention of moving the spine towards ideal alignment.

Ideal posture is a posture that has developed a balance of strength and flexibility around the 3 areas of the spine and the joints of the arms and legs. When our strength and flexibility is in balance, we will have more endurance, muscles won’t atrophy as easily with age, and the body will be more efficient and effective at performing every day tasks, as well as, more challenging tasks like heavy lifting and fast movements.

And, good posture just looks really good. So start your weight loss/beauty program today with exercises that help your ideal posture.

For your comments, visit www.sculptpilates.ca

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About the Author

Lori Rockl graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Political Science. After working with the Federal Government through two elections, she escaped back into her gifted life of fitness training and now owns a successful Pilates & Yoga studio. Although her clientel tell her often how much they learn from her, Lori would tell you that she is the one that learns the most from her clients. For Lori, the study of the mind-body connection is an infinitely fascinating study. She has found that Pilates and yoga are excellent tools for healthy living and incorporate those tools into her marathon and triathalon training. Please contact lori at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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