Today I wanted to speak to you all of the big difference I've noticed from how people have been treating me lately after I started reading more on human anatomy, biomechanics, and muscular imbalances.
Being 20 years old and almost 3 years into lifting, I've made much progress. My numbers on the PFTs are getting great in terms of push-ups, pull-ups, and so on and also my lifts are progressing fairly well in terms of relative strength if I do say so myself.
However, I started really getting interested in actual biomechanics and reading online about human movement, posture, and others things of that sort. Through this reading online and self-evaluation, I came to the conclusion that I had an internal rotation of the shoulders due to an imbalance of my back muscles and chest muscles, a forward head posture issue, and an anterior pelvic tilt that also through everything even further off balance.
Biomechanics can get pretty complicated, and I am no chiropractor nor a kinesiologist but I believe we can save ourselves a few couple hundred bucks by looking into these issues ourselves and stretching and workout on these issues.
So first off, I started looking into forward head posture, which you can get a quick glimpse of [here] (http://thewellnessbank.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Forward-Head-Posture.jpg) and also [here] (https://modernchiropractic.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/head-weight-posture.jpg).
If you would like a full article on the subject of forward head posture, you can read [here] (http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=54612).
Next time you're out just look around. Most people from looking down at their phones all day, sitting around on their computers, or watching TV and looking down at desks have developed this problem.
Some YouTube videos on the subject that helped me out in fixing it:
[Fix Ugly Forward Head Posture] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htuCUJmfsdw)
[Corrective Exercise for Forward Head Posture and Upper Crossed Syndrome] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA3O0NVb-sk)
Doing the stretches from this video made me feel like a damn new man, around the 7 minute mark the stretches begin... [Fixing Forward Head Posture] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvTakqZ-9WU)
Now, for the internal rotation of the shoulders. For a long time I thought deadlifts and weighted pull-ups were enough for back, and I half assed the rowing movements and never did barbell rows. I got to the point where I was getting compliments on my back being shredded and was benching twice my bodyweight, but the stablizing muscles that pull the shoulders back were too weak and resulted in me having a bad posture. Strong front delts, weak rear delts=bad. You look submissive when you're hunched over and kind of like a little chimpanzee more than a strong man. A lot of people simply tell you to try and roll your shoulders back, but this often dismisses the actual underlying problem and gives you a quick fix. We have to put conscious effort into strengthening the weak muscles and fixing the muscular imbalances compromising our structural integrity.
I started incorporating rows and learning to do the movement properly, instead of just throwing weight around and pulling the barbell to to my stomach without proper muscle contraction.
Instead of thinking of your hands pulling a barbell to your stomach with barbell rows or any rows, think of your elbows touching behind your back. Don't forget to retract your shoulders and squeeze as you do. Check this video out: [7 Dumbest Barbell Bent Over Row mistakes] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkmlAp776Bk)
In this Athlean-X video, he has a good point of not simply pulling your shoulders back, but thinking of your sternum as a glass of water. Thinking of your chest as like an empty space, like a microwave, and thinking of keeping it straight up so that no water spills is a much better cue. Keeping the sternum upright will lead to your shoulders naturally rolling back so that your thumbs point straight ahead of you.
[Perfect Posture in 5 steps] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQqgf8kB6R8)
Great, now we're looking good!
Our last little issue: anterior pelvic tilt.
Here are some quick pictures to give you an idea of what it is: [example 1] (http://www.somastruct.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/anterior-pelvic-tilt.jpg) and [example 2] (http://dannykennedyfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Anterior-Pelvic-Tilt.jpg)
This definitely isn't an optimal position, it causes your but to stick out, along with your stomach and gives you a very awkward look. This is also very common.
Here's a good article explaining the whole issue and its causes with some videos of corrective exercises and stretches you can do. [4 Great Exercises for Correcting Anterior Pelvic Tilt] (http://www.somastruct.com/4-great-exercises-for-correcting-anterior-pelvic-tilt/)
Alright RP, these are some common muscular imbalances and issues people have with posture. When I fixed these on myself, I had people constantly telling me I look buff as hell and that I beefed up out of nowhere. In reality, all I did is change my posture and fix some underlying issues. Quick fixes of just being told to tuck your chin in and pull your shoulders back often aren't enough, and with the complexity of the anatomical network one can find himself feeling very confused as to what to do. Luckily, we have the internet and sites like YouTube to guide us.
After fixing this, I noticed people treat me a lot differently. I believe it's that difference between feeling really confident inside and also being able to portray it with a powerful, strong way of carrying yourself that signals good health, strength, and confidence. I'm getting a lot more looks from people in the gym and approaches by girls.
I hope this has been a great help to you all and will take the necessary steps to correcting these issues to not only prevent injuries or degenerative issues down the road, but be able to portray the attractive, strong, masculine figure that you all are.
Edit: March 20, 2017:
Some of you guys have been messaging me on further ideas for the forward head posture issue, I came across a good page with a few corrective exercises and ways to strengthen certain muscles, which you can check out [here] (http://posturedirect.com/forward-head-posture-correction/). Another good page is [this one] (http://www.lumobodytech.com/blog/how-to-prevent-and-correct-forward-head-posture/). Some of you may benefit from learning to sit properly at your desk jobs by observing [proper desk posture] (http://share.upmc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CRS412054-posture-illustration_v5.jpg) and preventing [this position] (http://neurohealthchiro.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/bad-posture-guy-desk-300x190.jpg) which may have lead to you guys having developed forward head posture.
Also, take a look at proper ways of holding your [smartphone and browsing] (http://cbsnews2.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/2014/11/21/d1309389-7734-48be-b321-74a530368141/43a07381556f4e85746147fe16136542/bad-posture-620w.jpg), some of you guys do this for hours at a time so it is worth a look. You may have to hold it a little higher and rely on using your eyes more, so it will feel a bit awkward at first but remember it's worth it, for your spine's sake. Otherwise, sitting like [this guy] (http://i2.cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/120919070215-text-neck-forward-head-posture-story-top.jpg) for extended times is going to wreak havoc on your neck (as you may be doing right now). If that doesn't put it in perspective, [check this out] (http://healthyhabitshub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/posture.png).
Remember, we may be correcting years of bad postural habits. Depending on how progressed your issues were, it may take a little more persistence and work through muscle releases and development of underdeveloped muscles. The key is to be consistent with it and be patient, and the proper posture will start coming to you. Constantly checking yourself throughout the day and getting in proper posture when you catch yourself slouching our tilting down or staring really low at your phone is a must, but it will become natural to you eventually. Best of luck.