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What is your anatomy plumb line telling you?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Having a good posture gives you optimal load-bearing on your body. Likened to an architectural plumb line, no builder is going to erect a wall that is skewed, resulting in a structural disaster for load-bearing.

I had intended to keep to a daily 10,000-step routine during the circuit breaker. Not very successful in the first month with the notion of staying home as much as possible. Subsequently, I realised not moving as much as I was used to was not doing good for my body even though I had been pretty religious with my Pilates workout.

Muscles can stiffen up quite easily. An important element about muscle is its elasticity which gives you your flexibility. For some, when muscle elasticity is reduced, the feeling of (and I hate to use this term) being stuck in movement could well turn into a reality.

Knowing then that the circuit breaker wasn’t going to end anytime soon, I started brisk walking and endeavoured to have five days in a week of 10,000 steps each day. The keyword is “try”.

In one of my long walks, I was intrigued by the beautiful ground drained dry during the circuit breaker. Taking my first step in, I thought I should place myself against the many tall beams around to see how I stacked up against my plumb line now.

An anatomy plumb line is an imaginary vertical line perpendicular to the ground. Often used in postural analysis to gauge how one’s posture is compared to an ideal posture.

Why do we need to know how we fare against the plumb line? Likened to an architectural plumb line, no builder is going to erect a wall that is skewed, resulting in a structural disaster for load-bearing.

Having a good posture gives you optimal load-bearing on your body. Of course, many factors come into play when it comes to anatomy: age, height, weight, activity, just to name a few. Knowing our own deviations heightens our body awareness of how and why we can or can’t move in a certain way.

Our body is created to move in multiple ways including flexion (bending forward), extension (bending backwards), lateral flexion (bending sideways) and rotation.

Are we looking to return to an ideal posture? I haven’t come across a body which is totally symmetrical. But knowing that perhaps we have depended on one side of the body far more than we should, indicating that we have deviated from the ideal posture, could help you to rectify the postural habit before aches and muscle tightness kick in, which could also lead to restrictive movement in the long term.

Back to my own quick plumb line analysis against the beam, I definitely felt more effort to get my rounded shoulders to open up; and tightness around my lower back as I tried to keep a neutral spine against the metallic beam. These are just obvious messages my body was sending me that I had been in a sedentary position – lazing on the couch with my mobile phone – a little longer than ideal!

I also felt more tension on my right lower back. That could be an indication of bad posture while I had been baking and cooking a lot more while staying home.

Knowledge is powerful. So is body awareness. It liberates you to do what is good for your body. And, only you have the power to do so!

If you would like to find out more about your posture and what exercises to focus on for postural improvement, get in touch with me for a chat.

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