Change Your Day with Neutral Standing Posture

neutral standing postureNeutral standing posture is important to how you look and feel. Good posture projects the image of a confident, relaxed, capable individual. It aligns your body in the best possible way to fight gravity. Plus, when your joints are aligned correctly, movements feel fluid and effortless.

When you feel like your day is going south, take a couple minutes and refresh your standing posture. This will help you shake off bad habits, open up tight areas, and project the image of the confident, capable person that you are. Now, walk around for a bit in your new posture. Leave any negativity behind you and move forward.

As you continue through your day, notice other times of the day when you are standing. How is your posture? What can you improve?

Improving your standing posture will not only improve your day, it will improve your overall health. So often, we let our body get into bad habits. These bad habits can cause stress on our joints and pain. We don’t even know that these bad habits exist because we’re not paying attention.

For example, when I wash my hands at the sink, I have this crazy habit of locking my knees and thrusting my hips toward the counter. I had no idea that I did this until I started getting pain in the back of my knees. Then, I started paying attention to my standing postural habits.

Naturally, when I’m washing my hands, I’m thinking about washing my hands. I wasn’t concerned about my knees or hips, yet my form while washing my hands was causing pain in the back of my knees. Try to pay attention to your standing posture every time you are standing.

Strive to bring yourself to neutral, accepting that–for better or worse–where you are today is not where you were yesterday or where you will be tomorrow.

Finding a neutral standing posture

  1. Check your feet. You should stand evenly on both feet, with your body weight hitting right in front of your ankle.
  2. Look at your knees. You should be able to see your kneecaps. If they are sunken and level with your shin and thigh, put a soft bend in the back of your knees.
  3. Check your hips and pelvis. Put a pointer finger on each side of the front, top part of your pelvis. Look down. If one finger is forward of the other finger, your pelvis is rotated. Use your abdominals to rotate to neutral. Now, put your thumbs in that divot that is found on the pelvis, at the base of the spine. Stretch your hands to reach your fingers around to the front of the hips and try to get the fingers on the spot they just left. Use your abs and glutes to get your fingers and thumbs on the same plane.
  4. Check your rib cage. Find your bottom rib and place your pointer fingers on approximately the same spot on each side. If your rib cage is rotated, engage your abdominals to bring it to neutral.
  5. Look at your shoulders. Frequently, a subtle outward rotation of the head of the humerus (arm bone) will open the chest and put the shoulders back in neutral.
  6. Check your head placement. The center of your ear should be in line with the center of your shoulder, with your head level.

For more information, read my previous article, “Assess and Improve Your Posture.”

Neutral standing posture video

This is one of those times where you will want to read this article and watch the video. In the video, I go into more specifics about what to check and how to make adjustments.

What questions or comments do you have about neutral posture? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.