Your trainer doesn't know why we can’t do most of the exercises with correct form, because her form isn’t right, either. Her shoulders are rounded, her head is forward, her form is poor, and she walks like a duck. She teaches what she can do, not always what’s right. Look around you.
The structure of the body is a series of right angles, a ladder, where the joints of the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are the rungs of that ladder. If one of those rungs is out of line, we’re in trouble. If the “ladder” of the body is out of kilter in one place, muscles start compensating.
Initially, it's so subtle that we are not even aware of it. We find out about it the hard way. When we fall, our shoulders hurt, our back goes out, or we can’t play tennis or golf anymore. Then, we are in the jaws of real pain, perhaps the beginnings of chronic pain.
Chronic pain problems can arise from leg length discrepancy, herniated disks, rounded shoulders, poor posture and general overuse. Many arise from accidents, falls or misjudgments, and are exacerbated because of well-intentioned but wrong therapies.
Most chronic pain is avoidable. We don’t have to suffer daily pain. There’s nothing in nature that says arthritis is a foregone conclusion or that osteoporosis is a certain rite of passage for half the older population. Believe that and it will be a first step toward a healthy body.
We can maintain grace and movement all our lives — all we have to do is pay attention to our bodies, to be aware of how we move, sit, stand and work. Just as we make commitments to our partners, families, careers, and communities, we must make a commitment to our own good health and physical integrity.
Civilized people live in shoes, right? No one goes barefoot and gets the feet working. However, no exercise regime starts with exercises for the feet. Most Americans can’t put on a pair of socks standing and balancing on one foot. Yet, no exercise regime begins the client’s day with this movement! Look around you. Ask why not!
In succeeding articles, I’ll show you how to use the mirror to look at your posture, form and movement. I'll also tell you how to use your eyes and your discomfort to alert you to exercises that will prevent today's minor problems from being tomorrow's major problems. You'll learn to look around you.