Looking up and Feeling Great!

By Jennifer Sharpe, owner of JS Health & Fitness in Alameda CA (510) 523-4833

Looking at today’s standard of heath you would never know we came from a species of

what we would now call Bodybuilders. But it is true, we started out as thick beings, even the women, because the state of our bodies depended on our survival. Even today we are all athletes. We need to re-think how we carry ourselves, lift objects, sit, and eat. All these activities increase our health if we use proper form. It takes a healthy body to maintain life and the health of your body that will the quality of your life. If you find that you are lagging during the day, wake up tired, do you feel like something is missing? By just adding several minutes of exercises a couple times a week ( for results my clients start with 20 minutes X 3 times per week) and realign your posture you will feel more energy and alertness throughout your day!

The first assessment I do with my clients, is observe their standing posture and then their alignment in how they sit, move and exercise. The structure of their misalignment will decrease blood circulation, breathing, digestion, while increasing repetitive stress

syndromes, Dowager’s, fatigue, and spine injuries. Dowager’s Hump is the curved upper back that develops from spinal fractures that result from untreated osteoporosis, you see it on your grandmother’s neck to upper back in the spine area as a abnormal hard growth. But you might only see the symptoms of these postural misalignments, like numbness or tingling in extremities, headaches, can’t pick items up with your hand, jaw problems, and I could go on. “Proper posture needs to be highly emphasized during training”, Paul Chek says from the C.H.E.K. institute.

Alternating Superman-An exercise for the supporting muscles of the whole the spine

‘A balanced posture is defined when the earlobe, tip of the shoulder, hip joint and outside bump (malleolus) of the ankle all line up on a plumb line. The center of the knee is slightly in front of that line’ At the side view you should see the ear, shoulder, hip, and ankle bone all line up, but in my clinic I normally see the back of the head line up with the shoulders not the ears, the hips in front of the shoulders. This is due to head compensating to keep the eyes even with the horizon, think back to how the body survived- the eyes must see predators approaching, At the front view you want to see the

Bridge- a great whole body strengthening exercise, especially the back, abdominal, and triceps of the arm

nose line up with the middle of the chest, the waist of your pants even and the feet placed on either side of the middle of the imaginary line from the nose to floor. But what I normally observe a leaning one way of the upper body, the head cocked and one shoulder lower than the other, the spine problems start here with all the structure problems I have mentioned above.

The female body is subject to more stress and strain than that of a male’s, due to their physical make-up, that is why women wake up feeling like their bodies are a general feeling of discomfort. But both sexes need to watch body alignment because pain for anyone is mentally stressful, debilitating, and lowering your quality of life.

When I see low back pain patients, I see a common trait in all of them, incorrect posture. Posture in standing and moving through daily life, which we call ‘functional posture’, diet, and locking of the knees. Go figure! Locking your knees or what we call Hyperextension of the knees, places weight from the glutes (butt) to the lower back, placing strain on the muscles and ligaments surrounding the back bone is not equipped. In training my clients, I re-align and strengthen their standing, sitting (which is another article in itself!!), with exercises and factual movement patterns (life movement) with the use of free weights, Swiss balls, Yoga, Pilates, with CHEK corrective exercises and Diet (Metabolic Typing- balancing the fats/carbohydrates/proteins for each individual) . I use minimal Cardio workouts with my clients, because the body gets used to cardio and expends less calories each time as you become more efficient. “What they are in effect doing is creating a body that can stand up to long sessions of cardio and can do so efficiently. Instead of devoting hours each week to cardio, substitute half of that time with resistance training. You will be creating a muscular, fat-burning machine.” Says Paul Chek. My clients do 5-6 compound exercises in a workout session with increased repetitions and decreased rest periods, depending on the client’s posture strength- remember it is about maintaining the proper posture throughout the day, including workouts.

Jennifer is an Orthopedic Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Personal Trainer, and Lifestyle Metabolic typing Coach, She is in the top 5% of trainers in the world, and a Dressage Rider

In Health- Jennifer Sharpe!!

References Chek's lecture series, "Equal, But Not the Same,", “Scientific Back Training” 1. http://www.bio-tonix.com/BioE/Clinique.htm 2. Nutritional Lifestyle Management coarse, Eat, Move, Be Healthy lectures by Paul Chek

My Client’s at JS Health & Fitness around the world.

Bridge- a great whole body strengthening exercise, especially the back, abdominal, and triceps of the arm

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