There are many factors that affect posture, some you can’t control, such as age, but many you can. Fashion, riding, self-esteem, a sedentary lifestyle (driving, sitting etc) are all factors that you can control. High heels and riding boots can both negatively impact upon you’re riding. Constantly wearing high heels can ‘shorten’ your calf (gastrocnemius) and riding boots restrict your ankle movement. Whilst is may not seem particularly important for riding, remember best riding your forefoot should rest on the stirrup with your heels slightly lower than the toe. If you have ankle limitations and/or poor ankle flexibility then you may you may not be able to achieve this and subsequently reduce your balance and control.
Main factors involved in postural imbalance
- Habitual – mucking out with the same arm, carrying water poorly (hunched over shoulders), sitting and driving position etc.
- Repetitive movements – over training certain muscles and neglecting others. For example, too much jogging and not enough glute and core strengthening.
- Injury and surgery i.e. avoiding certain movements when you have hurt your back and scar tissue alters the tissue alignment
- Incomplete rehabilitation after an injury – being discharged too early or failing to complete the rehabilitation
Why should you care about posture and mobility?
Impairment or injury to our body rarely involves one structure
Impairment in one area will lead to compensations and adaptations in other areas.
This can lead to muscle tightness and weakness
Which will sadly lead to overload, dysfunction and injury
Some steps you can take
- Exercise in a full range of movement
- Use compound movement patterns such squatting, lunging and planks (pain free)
- Improve your conscious standing/seated/yard chores posture
- Dynamic and developmental stretching