Primal Posture June 2017: Training your dog and your posture

May 30 2017

If you are lucky enough to live with a dog, you probably enjoy a dog walk several times a day… unless you suffer with back pain or other aches and pains. Yet the regularity of dog walking is a huge opportunity for developing better postural health - improved alignment, biomechanics and gait - if you know what to do.

If you are lucky enough to live with a dog, you probably enjoy a dog walk several times a day… unless you suffer with back pain or other aches and pains. Yet the regularity of dog walking is a huge opportunity for developing better postural health - improved alignment, biomechanics and gait - if you know what to do.

By learning to use your feet and buttocks, and positioning your pelvis, spine and upper body well, you can finder greater power and freedom in your walk. And when you do bend to pick up that ball, or unclip a lead, you can do it pain-free. Bending can be transformed from something likely to trigger a ‘back episode’ into the healthy movement it should be - one that keeps the right muscles strong, hamstrings long, and hip joints mobile. 

See below how the back remains straight as the bend happens around the hip joint - the knees can bend as necessary. Arms and shoulders remain in place, and don’t drag the upper body and shoulders around. With a little ingenuity, your daily dog walk becomes a great posture workout!

Truly functional posture also enables you to engage your deep spinal and trunk muscles to protect the back when, say, throwing a ball, or to spare your shoulder if your dog pulls on the lead - though that’s best addressed by training Fido not to!

Finally, enjoy some relaxation alongside your four-legged friend. Here’s a shot from the vintage film “Lassie Come Home”. Joe is reclined with a lovely long spine and pelvis rested back, not tucked under. If you would like to see more examples of inspiring posture, Esther Gokhale's Book, “8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back” is an excellent self-help manual - or sign up for a Free Workshop at www.gokhalemethod.com:

Tues 6th June, 10am, Spicer & Cole, Glos Rd. Sun 25th June, 4pm, Bakesmiths, Whiteladies Rd