If you are a habitual hanger like me, then this post is for you.
Like I mentioned before, this posture is not optimal because it brings your body’s centre of mass out over your feet instead of over your heel and that can put unnecessary stress on the soft tissues of your arches. But unfortunately, there are other negative effects too. When your upper body is not stacked directly over your pelvis because your pelvis is hanging forward, your hip joints don’t bear weight in the same fashion (the weight of your torso and head is no longer lined up over your hip joints). That’s bad because not enough weight-bearing exercise leads to a loss in bone density. In Canada, the most common sites of osteoporotic fracture are the wrist, spine, shoulder and… HIP. (Want to learn more? Click here to see what Katy Bowman has to say about it). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg… this “Hanging Out” can also contribute to pelvic floor troubles and lower back and pelvic girdle pain (topics we’ll talk more in-depth about later).
So what can we do about it? I’m going to give you one simple tip to start today!
Bring your weight back over your heel. Untuck your tailbone and let your junk come back to the trunk, instead of somewhere in the passenger seats. It’s going to feel like you are sticking your butt out. You’re not really – take a look side-on in the mirror so you can see when your hips and knees are back over your heel. And then practice. Practice, practice, practice! It’s going to feel weird for awhile until you can train yourself out of the hanging habit (trust me, I’m working on it right now). Start by seeing how often you catch yourself hanging, and then pull yourself back.
Every little bit helps, and it’s worth the effort. The gratification might not be instant, but your feet and hip bones and pelvic floor will thank you later! (No one wants fallen arches, osteoporosis or incontinence!)
Oh ya, one more thing. This posture only gets worse if you are pregnant or carrying babies around! But that’s even worse because you are carrying more weight – either in or on your body. Use the extra weight as an opportunity to get stronger!
In the wise words of Katy Bowman, “Back that thing up, will ya?”
And just in case you need a visual, check out this quick video.