I’m not a ballet dancer, or a tightrope walker, or a model, or anything else that lends itself to excellent posture. My work involves spending all day hunched over my laptop, and a few times a week, I hunch over my laptop after work writing blog posts. My posture could use improvement. And that’s why I really like the PostureFit Bar, an exercise tool that’s based around maintaining proper posture. (Try saying ‘proper posture’ ten times fast!)
PostureFit was a sponsor at this year’s Fitbloggin’ conference in Denver (where I gave a kick-ass 5-minute presentation on stair racing that you can watch HERE!), and they very generously gave all attendees (including me) a PostureFit Bar. It’s a 3-foot-long bar that weighs 9 pounds (they have other weights available on their website), with a pad in the center that fits the curve in your neck.
The basic way you use the bar is to hold it behind your neck. Your hands grip the ends, and you stand straight, shoulders back, tits up… you know, all the things you do when you have good posture.
From there, you can do a whole series of exercises with the PostureFit bar that engage your neck, shoulder, and back muscles – all the muscles needed to maintain the posture you establish using the bar. They include a poster showing off all the different moves you can do:
And that’s a DVD that also comes with. There’s an introduction section, a Fundamentals section, and a workout, too. The workout is more difficult than I was expecting. It’s led by a trainer named Nate, and it’s a series of circuits featuring sets of three different moves. Some of them are quite challenging, like the land mine, or the forward lunges with punch outs, which I’m demonstrating in this blurry picture…
…but Nate is good at providing modifications for people of every fitness level. He also does a great stretching routine at the beginning and end, including a “scorpion” move that I’m nowhere near capable of doing (but I’m getting better).
I like the video because it’s different from a lot of other videos I’ve done. First of all, the people in the video actually sweat. Nate isn’t dicking around and staying pretty for the cameras – he’s really working, and his growing sweat stains are proof. Second, the video is low-budget, and looks like it was shot in the auditorium of the local high school. It doesn’t really matter – a good workout is a good workout – but I chuckle anyway, because the set dressing is kinda funny and sometimes the audio isn’t the greatest.
Nate’s kicked my ass a few times, thanks to the video, but many times I just use the PostureFit as one part of my workout. It’s a great tool for stretching, warming up, and cooling down, especially when the rest of my workout involves a more limited or repetitive range of motion, like using cardio equipment.
Mostly, though, I like doing something that’s so specifically catered towards posture, because I’ve never given it much consideration before, even though I’m an exercise enthusiast.
So, in the words of everyone’s grandma at some point or another: Stand up straight! And…
…Keep it up, David.