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Bodyweight Will Calisthenics fix posture problems.

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I just bought Complete Calisthenics to follow, but I have some questions that aren't addressed in the book. I have pretty poor posture that I've tried working on mostly through being mindful of it, which has helped a lot though not as much as I want. Will the exercises aimed at strength and such in the book or any other Calisthenics regimen also improve my posture naturally, or do I need to find specific exercises to do so?


Level 5 Valued Member
It might, depending on what your particular postural weaknesses are and which exercises you perform. Calisthenics is a very general thing - a whole modality of physical training. For instance, if all I did was pushups I would be doing "calisthenics," but it would probably not lead to fixing a slouched upper back. Throw some rows in there and maybe it'll be a different story. But, some will still need more targeted exercises to help with posture.

What helps me the most with posture is actually just being mindful of it and assuming the correct posture when I notice it's off. No amount of strength training has made it that I automatically assume good posture. I still have to try, but strength training makes it so that I don't have to try so hard. It's a hard answer that you might not want to hear. Depending on your situation, it might not even be the right answer, such as if you're truly lacking the strength to obtain good posture.

Training for Life

Level 5 Valued Member
This might sound a bit high-flying, but I've come to the notion that posture is really a reflection of multiple interrelational layers of personal habits you are holding. These habits include subconscious/reflexive muscular or structural tension and relaxation (eg. you have tight traps and neck area or sleepy, inactive glutes), long periods of out of alignment isometrics (eg. you are sitting on a desk, tensing your traps and letting your butt go to sleep) and different psychological states (eg. you are constantly afraid, hyper-alert, fight of flight and stressed out, causing you to tense up, or you are lethargic and phlegmatic, causing you to overly relax). This is based on what I've learned during the past few years of research by reading up on the topics of mobility, flexibility, tension, posture and the like, and doing empirical research with a sample group of 1.

That said, I don't think calisthenics alone will "fix" your posture, but it can be helpful. Learning both how to generate tension (Strongfirst is the place for that) and how to relax will help. Moving your body in versatile ways, both powerfully and with grace, will help. Being aware of your body alignment and posture during your day will help. Understanding your psychological states of mind and working on those will also help. The bottom line is that no single modality will "fix" the posture, which is a collection of habitual layers, but instead one must address the entire collection.

On a side note, I once met a person who had undergone an Ayahuasca ceremony some time before. He told that before the ceremony he felt very uneasy and uncomfortable in his own body, and that the Ayahuasca showed him how to be in his own body. This changed his posture, gait and the entire way he moved. Not saying everyone should do it, but definitely goes to show the strong connection between one's posture and state of mind.
Thanks y'all, these are both very good replies. I'll give them some more thought, but I think this sets a good course. Do y'all have any resources you've found particularly good on posture correction?

Training for Life

Level 5 Valued Member
Thanks y'all, these are both very good replies. I'll give them some more thought, but I think this sets a good course. Do y'all have any resources you've found particularly good on posture correction?
For the tension training with calisthenics, check out the Strongfirst Bodyweight Fundamentals -course (link can found on main site) and/or the book Naked Warrior by Pavel. Both teach same fundamentals, book goes to more depth and the course has excellent videos plus program design information.

For general mobility, check out Original Strength. They have a great book and an excellent free Youtube channel that’s enough to get you going. Alternatively you could take a look at qi gong, yoga, pilates etc. I also see ”Flexible Steel” being mentioned here quite often, but have no personal experience with it.

For relaxation or getting rid of extra tension, you could maybe do some breathing practice, stretching (Kit Laughlin is a good source in Youtube), some shades of yoga (yin yoga and the like) or maybe some qi gong.

Based on my experience, I think it could be most beneficial to pick two modalitities (eg. one for strength and one for mobility/relaxation) that resonate with you the most and stick to those for a while, trying to really master the basics. I don’t think any of the courses, programs or systems is absolute best or worst.
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Level 6 Valued Member
Any training has the potential to strengthen postural muscles that are weak and thus contributing to poor posture. That being said, posture is much much more about what you’re doing throughout the day than what you do for exercise. Posture is about your physical *habits* more than anything else, ie the way you walk, stand, sit and the way you breath in all of those things.

so, by strengthening weak muscles you have the potential to make fixing your posture that much more easy, but if your habitual patterns don’t change, it’ll likely only go so far.

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Personally, any strength training modality will improve posture as long as you learn and use good form while you train. Posture is a natural offshoot of many factors, but one of the strongest is maintaining good "form" under force of gravity.

As you learn how to apply force via your skeleton your posture will likely improve even if you don't work at it. If you stay mindful on top of what you learn through exercise, good form becomes a lot easier to maintain. You will at least be conscious of when its slipping.


Level 4 Valued Member
If improved posture is a serious goal then you should definitely check out the Gokhale Method. Cannot recommend it enough, it has improved my posture (and thousands of other's) dramatically. It also saved me from 10+ years of very debilitating back pain which was ruining my life and training. I have tried literally everything and this was the only thing that made lasting improvement. It gives a really fundamental understanding of what good posture is. It has helped me a lot in my training as well.
It isnt, however, a quick fix and demands some work but its well worth it.
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