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  Posture-movement awareness:   your standing posture type Pilates Information
Pilates Alexander Technique
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Required items
  1. A wall with some vertical lines on it.
  2. A friend with a camera, ideally on a tripod.
  3. A swim suit or other clothing that shows the shape of your body.
Your Standing Posture Type:- Procedure
  1. Stand bare-footed and side on to the wall.
  2. Relax in the posture that feels natural to you.
  3. Have your friend take a picture.
  4. Date the picture for future reference. You can then take photos at some time in the future, so as to observe progress.
Comment on Prevalence:
Frequency of the posture types as observed by myself at supermarket checkout queues:-
  • Swayback: Approximately 30% of men and 20% of women.
  • Kyphosis-Lordosis: Approximately 20% of women and 15% of men.
  • Flatback: Approximately 10% of men and women.
  • Only 5% of persons may have the optimal posture depicted to the left, with a further 15% coming reasonably close(3).
(Scroll right>>>>....)

Picture: Ideal Posture
Picture: Swayback
Picture: Kyphosis-Lordosis
Picture: Flatback
Comment on the Musculoskeletal Abnormalities:
The "Poor Posture" pictures above have these two features in common:
  1. Thoracic kyphosis (hunchback) with head "forward and down". (The head is straining forward - as though to read the computer screen - observed in 80 to 90% of people).
  2. The Gluteus maximus is weak, and the hamstring muscles are overstrong and shortened. (The hamstrings are taking on the work load of the lazy Gluteus maximus).
© Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project (scroll up^^^^.....)
The universal cause of "poor posture"....
In fact these postural deficits (weak Gluteus maximus and kyphosis with head forward and down) are so common in modern western man that there must be a universal cause. The pictures to the right are of the Kalahari Bushman. The standing picture depicts very strong gluteals and a minimal thoracic kyphosis with head forward. The squatting picture shows no sign of kyphosis with head forward. Could these "good" postural traits be due to barefoot walking and squatting? The author argues the case elsewhere(5). Bushman, large Gluteals jpg

Bushman, no Kyphosis jpg
  1. Shirley A Sahrman: "Movement Impairment Syndromes" Publ. Mosby, 2002 ISBN 0-8016-7205-8
  2. The Official Body Control Pilates Manual Available from:
  3. Wilfred Barlow: "The Alexander Principle" Arrow Books Ltd. Reprinted 1987 ISBN 0 09 910160 2
  4. Kendall, McCreary, and Provance (1993) - Muscles: Testing and Function Publ. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins ISBN: 0683045768
  5. Bruce Thomson: Engage Gluteus maximus!