Posture Training – Is it all just hype?
Here’s a video of me breaking down our purpose in using structural integrity (posture) training. We at FP are getting close to abandoning the term “posture”, as it has become a bastardized term by people who talk it but don’t walk it. In the coming months I will elaborate more deeply upon my findings as well as the findings of my colleagues who employ FP in their practices in the realm of structural integration.
Over the last few months, I have noticed that posture as a concept has been gaining some major attention. It seems as though the industry has been divided on its relevance however. Since there is plenty of “evidence” noting that posture training has no effect on things like pain, many of the experts in the movement field have dismissed it. Although I can see where people want to follow “evidence based” science to the T, we must consider that even the most “scientific” minds can have skewed perspectives on certain things. I do not mean to be offensive when I say what I’m about to, but it has to be said…
WHAT ARE YOU POSTURAL QUALIFICATIONS?
If you yourself as the scientist cannot stand and hold structural integrity, I’m not sure you should be conducting research on postural correction. I know… That’s a harsh claim and it will make some people very upset. But just think about it. Let me give you an example to explain myself a bit better, as most people would take what I’m saying as using an ad hominem to discredit the scientist, and not the research.
Let’s say we have a scientist who is a kung fu master, who wants to conduct a study on the effectiveness of boxing as an applied martial art. He has no prior successful experience in the field of boxing. Harmless right? He should be able to conduct this study, right? It should be respected, right? In my personal estimation, possibly but not likely. The variable most important here deals with whether this scientist brings relevant testing and relevant inputs of change into the organism. Since he has little to no experience, I myself would question whether this person is even fit for the task of tackling this study properly. Let’s say, if this person decides to replicate the mechanics of boxing FROM HIS INTERPRETATION OF BOXING, already the study is limited. It’s limited to how far he can perceive the boxing reality. This “scientist” might come to the conclusion that boxing is all a big hype, namely because he just does not know what he is doing. If this is how this scientist went about it, then it would be considered a bit ridiculous to anyone who has actually watched boxing and seen it work. To a person who has never studied, watched or even partaken in boxing? They might believe the kung fu master scientist. Sounds crazy right? Although this example seems a bit outlandish, in the field of exercise relating to structural integrity (posture) and 3 dimensional movement, this is exactly the scenario happening right now. “Scientists” in the field of movement who don’t know how to move relevantly or teach others how to move relevantly, conducting scientific studies on human movement. Hmmm… Not good.
We have scientists with no worthwhile experience or competence in a given subject conducting studies on things they really don’t know about. Coupled with that, we have a large population of people in the fitness industry who simply do not test the conclusions these “scientists” have made up until now. This has resulted in literally millions of people shunning new practices that could not only help existing practices in training, but maybe even replace existing practices. Yeah, I know that replacing does not leave room for many to make money off of what they are currently teach. Sorry, that’s the tin in my hat making me write that. As much as so many love “science”, it is fallible.
If I relate this boxing example to the “science” conducted about posture, it reminds me of the scientific studies of people attacking “unstable surface training” who have no idea how to use unstable surface training. The people who conducted these studies had little to no experience actually using these means of training before conducting these studies. It’s as though they just got the tool, did a bunch of traditional exercises on them, and then arrived at a conclusion that the tool was useless. In order to get a better result out of the study, there should have been thousands of hours of variables tested with training on unstable surfaces. This would more effectively rule out the possibility of other adaptations being made that could gain a person advantages with their movement. From my experience of doing “bad” unstable surface training to now learning what effective unstable surface training actually is, I would deem it relevant to retest this unappreciated aspect of movement optimization. We can’t treat unstable surface training as if there is no skillset involved in it. AS IF IT THERE IS NOT A RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO DO UNSTABLE SURFACE TRAINING. After years of experimenting and seeing marked changes in human biomechanics immediately after having someone doing an exercise on an “unstable” surface CORRECTLY (this is called testing the science), I have come to the conclusion that these “scientists” may have just been feeding the bias they started from. Maybe I wear a tin hat, but the history of “SCIENCE” is filled with ego battles, with people not wanting let go of the dogma that was feeding them status and money.
CAN YOU EVEN STAND STRAIGHT BRO?
In the realm of these “scientists” conducting studies about posture (structural integrity), my personal objections are relatable to whether these “experts” are even changing structure on a human body, or whether they are transferring dysfunction. Are you really extending from the T-spine when you “posture up” or are you distending your abdomen more to then promote more hyperextension in the lumbar spine… hmmm… Does the spine need more extension through muscle activation, or does it need more decompression first? After literally getting people in there 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s to stand with better structural integrity (we have objective protocols to measure this at FP), who have no understanding of biomechanics, anatomy or physiology, I wonder why a person with a PHD in a given field cannot do the same. Clearly if grandma (or Osteopaths or Physical Therapists who I aslo FP certify) can do it, a scientist with so much experience and knowledge about the body could right? Wrong. As of today, I witness many people with decades of experience in the field of exercise with horrible posture. Basic postural distortions on their own body when they stand and they walk. Ofcourse to many, this is not a big deal. But if you are going to conduct a study on posture, I myself would respect the testing a whole lot more if you knew how to institute impulses that changed posture on individuals. You know… You conduct research on things you actually know about. Things that you have tested for thousands of hours. You know… Just to make sure you are not misinforming people on things… Learning movement is easy when you know what you’re doing. Look at this website, you’ll see plenty of examples of this ease.
The point here is that you test things in which you know you can bring good insight on. In order to achieve good insight, you need experience in a given field. Well, you need relevant experience in a given field. In this context, if you are incompetent in the field of changing structure on human beings, the last thing you should be doing is conducting studies on posture. Stay within your boundaries “movement scientists” who have no idea how to teach people how to move. The burden is on the proof for these scientists. Until they can show the changes the changes they made on the test subjects in static and dynamic environments, they cannot call their posture analysis studies scientific. I myself call them bias to the old dogmas… Damn my tin hat…
At FP, we are now conducting our case studies over the next ten years all over the planet to show that the “scientists” are way off the mark with their assertions on posture. As of now we have hundreds of practitioners in 5 different continents now employing FP and the conclusions are contradictory to the ones found in these scientific studies. Ofcourse, lot’s of work needs to be done and more variables need to be instituted before we can determine a unifying principle for human structural integrity. Functional Patterns as a unit is on the case, and we are making some serious progress.
Questions intentionally, not habitually,