Having Back Pain?…..Stand up Straight

First, I want you to take a simple test to determine whether you are standing correctly or not.

Here’s what to do:

Stand up.

Now grab your butt. Is it tight?

If your glutes aren’t contracted, you’re standing all wrong.

And that could be why your low back hurts, and why you just can’t seem to get into correct form on your favorite exercises.

Most people stand lazily, with their shoulders slumped, their weight shifted into their right hip (all people are predisposed to favor their right side), or with their hips forward and back arched, and their feet flared out.

Here’s the problem with that…..


When you frequently stand that way, your body almost gets ‘stuck’ there. This position becomes your body’s “home”

So when you hit the gym, you’re in trouble!!!

Your compromised stance can lead to immobility, making it impossible to use correct form in many exercises

Lift with bad form and you not only increase your risk of injury, but you also diminish your gains. For example, if your hips can’t move in their full range of motion, you won’t be able to get into a low squat position.

To compensate, your torso must tilt forward, which causes the bulk of the weight to shift into your low back.

The Right Way to Stand

The “ideal” way to stand is with your feet forward instead of flared out a way to achieve this is by actively trying to “screw” your feet into the ground, glutes and abs slightly contracted, and shoulders rolled up and back. Try to maintain this position for as long as possible whenever you are on your feet.

When you inevitably tire and you will, don’t return to your regular, old standing position. Instead, prop your foot on a low box or bench in front of you while keeping your shoulders externally rotated and your glutes activated. The more you look like a pirate captain (“Captain Morgan”) the better. Do this with both feet, switching when you need to.

Image result for standing with foot on stool at work

In order to prevent your shoulders from rounding, readjust them every so often, too. Practice the external shoulder rotation cue: Place your palms on your pecs.

STOP. Keeping your shoulders in this exact spot, drop your arms to your sides. This is where your shoulders should be every time you stand.

The biggest point:


You want to move often and check in on your posture whenever you stand.

And whatever you do, don’t sit back down.

Are you or someone you know suffering from low back pain please share this post with them.

If you would like to read more about dealing with back pain injuries check out our free report. Click the following link to get your free tips report on how to deal with back pain.


For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 703-723-6758.

Matthew DiFede, PT, DPT

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