The back: Upright against gravity . . .

Throughout the course of each day (or night, depending on your work schedule) the body is (being) subjected to the ever present force of gravity. This force is ever active and relentless. As the major force on earth, it is what provides the impetus for the body to develop and activate the musculo-skeletal structures. This activation maintains the integrity of the body. However, our exercise habits and our postural habits give rise to imbalance between the chest and the back. In many cases, the back musculature is proportionally weak when compared to the chest musculature. Emphasis must be placed on keeping the strength of the back in proportion to that of the front.

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The force of gravity anchors everything to this earth existence. it is constantly pulling the body down. Without muscles and bones the body becomes a puddle of mush, under gravity’s influence. The bones (skeleton) provide structure to the body. Muscle serve double duty to sustain the structure and to move the body. The constancy of gravity makes it necessary to engage the body in a manner that efficiently supports the body. It is through awareness of how the body is oriented to gravity that allow for effective bodily positioning.

Daily activities can do one of two things. They can lend to the weakening of the back (and core) muscles or they can assist those muscles in maintaining the body’s structural integrity. Sitting with bad posture contributes to the weakening of the back and core muscles. Constant cell phone use leads to lengthening and weakening of the neck and upper back muscles. If a strength training regimen is focused on the front of the body, those muscles will be strong and shortened. This creates an imbalanced back body in reference to the front body.

Scapular Elevation with Arms Overhead

Scapular Depress and Retract with Arms Overhead
Deep space between the shoulders and the ears. This is great scapulothoracic rhythm.

 

The chest musculature is the easiest group to work on. There are, typically, more machines in the gym for, more exercises geared toward and more emphasis placed on developing the chest muscles. To push items away from one’s self, to hold objects against a wall, for instance, to pull something down toward the body (from the front and the side). However, these muscles contribute minimally to good posture. Through overtraining the chest posture is negatively affected and increases to ill-effects of gravity on the body. To effectively work the back muscles, ingenuity, awareness and, of course, consistency is required.

Gravity is the main force effecting the physical world. It pulls everything that is on earth toward the center. The human body is particularly susceptible to gravity. Being the only animal on earth that navigates in a completely upright position, it is important to maintain the integrity of the  human posture. Activities that one engages in, be they sitting, exercising, moving about, can benefit the body when adequate attention is given to executing them. Being lax in any activity is not conducive to establishing proportional strength in the back body as relates to the front body. The back body is most important to the body but is most neglected!!

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