Whether you’re going to be a new mama or are already one (a new mom or mom of an 18-year-old) this is a must read!
The first thing to check in on before you begin moving your body in any way, is your body alignment. Especially, when working with weights or adding load during workouts. When your body is not in a neutral alignment, it can add stress on your muscles and connective tissues. These muscles and connective tissues are working double time keeping your body upright AND trying to support yourself since your posture is off and not in neutral alignment.
As a pregnant mom-to-be it can be challenging to keep a neutral alignment due to your growing baby belly that’s slowly shifting your body to have an arch in your back. This anterior pelvic tilt (lower back arch) posture creates tension in the low back which is why you may feel lower back or SI joint pain. This posture also puts excess pressure on the abdominal wall and the pelvic floor which could exacerbate Diastasis Recti or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction issues.
As a new mom or a mom of an 18-year-old, you may experience more of a rounded shoulder posture due to lifting, holding the baby, texting neck (looking down at your phone) or sitting in front of a computer all day. This posture can cause pain and tightness in the shoulders, neck and even contribute to some headaches.
So how do you know if you are in neutral alignment?
+First thing is to become aware of your natural postural tendencies. Stand in front of a mirror, notice your posture and how your body feels in this space. Is your back always sore or do you notice that your shoulders are rolled forward?
+Second, try the 5-point body vertical stacking method. This method is where you ensure there is a straight line from your ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle.
+Third, is the neutral pelvis where your ribcage is parallel to your pelvis. Keeping your hips facing forward (hips square) and not tilted upward (posterior tilt) or tilted towards the ground (anterior tilt).
Note these adjustments and become aware as you move throughout the day. Try to avoid hunching or excess arching your back. When sitting, try to sit up and have plenty of back support. When bending over to pick up your child or something off the ground, hinge at your hips and keep your spine long. When getting out of bed, practice rolling to your side and avoid crunching up abruptly.
As the saying goes... “practice makes perfect.” The more you practice and repeat the neutral body alignment, the more it will become your natural posture without even thinking about it anymore in your daily life and during workouts.