March 13, 2018 2:10 pm
Updated: March 16, 2018 4:45 pm

Week 9 – Reid Wilkins takes on the YMCA Community Health Challenge

Reid Wilkins reflects on the importance of posture in this week's YMCA Community Health Challenge blog.

Reid Wilkins/630 CHED

Nine weeks into the YMCA Community Health Challenge, and I still hear the same four words from my personal trainer regularly.

“Keep that chest out!”

READ MORE: Week 6 – Reid Wilkins takes on the YMCA Community Health Challenge

Turns out, I have horrible posture. I’m always rolling my shoulders forward, a problem which gets worse as I get tired throughout a workout.

“Poor posture is a huge problem,” said Damien Clarke, my trainer at the Don Wheaton YMCA. “When our body is holding weight abnormally, it causes issues. Simple movements can become difficult to perform when the body is maligned. We can have discomfort or pain when things awkwardly rub together, and it can look terrible as well.”

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It’s okay to lean forward, but it should be from the waist rather than curling your upper back and shoulders. This doesn’t just apply to working with weights and to upper body exercises. As you can see in the video, I need to be conscious of it even when hopping from side-to-side.

READ MORE: Week 7 – Reid Wilkins takes on the YMCA Community Health Challenge

Damien often reminds me that I should “feel that pinch.” He means I should have my shoulders back so I can feel a bit of a pinch between my shoulder blades. Of course, this is something many of us aren’t used to if we’re sitting in front of a computer all day.

“Many people with inactive jobs can see a lot of issues with posture,” Damien said. “Repetitive motions can also lead to poor posture. We get better at that motion, rather than better at normal movements.”

READ MORE: Week 8 – Reid Wilkins takes on the YMCA Community Health Challenge

Consider how you’re sitting as you read this. Shoulders back or rolled? Chest out or sunken? Maybe it’s time to “feel that pinch!”

Follow along each week until the end of March as Reid attempts the YMCA Community Health Challenge.

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