hip flexed on Monkey bars
straight monkey bars

Here I am hanging on the monkey bars. Can you tell the difference between the three photos? The first photo I’m rib thrusting. Notice anything else?  I don’t have a neck! My lats are so weak that my shoulders raise up around my ears.

I’ve been a chronic rib thruster most of my life. It’s a way for us to hide the hunch back (hyperkyphosis) in our thoracic spine. You may think you are correcting your alignment by thrusting, but every time you lift your chest to “stand up straight” (think military stance) you shear your vertebrae which will lead to a decrease in bone density in the area. The vertebrae are one of the four main areas in our body where we develop osteoporosis, the others are the wrists, head of the femurs and the ribs. Ribcage thrusting also causes unnecessary stress to your nervous system. What runs through the vertebrae? The spinal cord!

The second photo shows me in hip flexion indicating a shortening of the lower psoas. This indicates that a person is a chronic tailbone tucker.  Here is a video Katy Bowman did to demonstrate tucked vs untucked pelvis.

The third photo is me pulling my ribs down (as best I can) and relaxing my psoas.

The one thing these three photos have in common is that I’m biting my lower lip. It’s interesting to see where we hold stress in your bodies while hanging or doing balancing poses.

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