Is your posture making you fat?

Hundreds of clients come into my clinic each year looking for health, fitness and weight loss solutions. A large number of these have associated postural deficits which add to the “look” of being overweight. This article looks at the “Donald duck” posture – which is presented as a lumbar lordosis with or without an associated pelvic tilt.

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We’ve all seen it, a person with relatively normal sized arms and legs but they carry a big belly and/or a big butt. The image on the left shows what appears to be a lumbar lordosis (excessive curve). There also appears to be an anterior pelvic tilt which is where the pelvis tips forwards like a bucket spilling water out the front. There is also a thoracic kyphosis and a forward head on this image, but for now we are just looking at the 2 aforementioned lower curves.

In brief, this type of posture is emphasised by all or some of the following: long and weak lower abdominals (with or without a weak Transverse Abdominis), long and weak glutes and hamstrings, short and tight hip flexors and rectus femoris (the ‘quad’). There may also be a shortening of the Quadratus Lumborum and spinal erectors. All of these muscular imbalances pull the pelvis and spine out of neutral alignment and create this duck like posture. Along with the posture, a weak TVA (core) and abdominal musculature doesn’t provide any support for the abdominal organs which hang to the front of the body causing the extra “pooch”.

Now, there may be some associated excess body fat along with this posture, but the posture enhances what we see in photos and in the mirror. So the question is, are we seeing mostly the body fat, or are we seeing mostly the imbalance in the posture.

An easy to follow and maintain weight loss program will reduce the body fat, but the postural curves are still there and this is what many of us see when we look in the mirror, or try on pants only to have our belly still hanging over the top of the waistband. Does this sound like you?

A complete postural analysis and a simple program of corrective exercises will correct the faulty posture, and this, along with your weight loss program will create the body you want to see in the mirror.

So go and jump in front of the mirror now and ask yourself – Is your posture making you fat?