3

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I want to eat like a caveman, but not look like one?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 04, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Does anyone have any tips on how to improve shoulder alignment and anterior pelvic tilt? My shoulders are extremely pulled forward and it makes simple things, such as cooking, hard and painful. I also have an extreme amount of lordosis caused by excessive sitting. I am beginning to feel a bit useless, because I can't accomplish some simple physical tasks, and I feel some of my lifts fail to improve because of this. Any tips?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:43 AM

I'm not advocating doing an overhead press with 150lbs or anything! Just like anything in life, you should start small, and work up. I'm really strong for my size, 5'6" 130lbs, and even I only OP 70lbs so far.

14d2a231fb261051a036a6ab6ca7bebd

(616)

on May 05, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Mmm... not sure about this one - at least, not at first. If a bridge is structurally unsound, loading it with weight is not a very good idea. Do some postural work to correct your underlying muscle imbalances and, once you've made some progress, start with the lifts recommended above.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:55 AM

Futureboy: I think so? I'm long past the point of caring how much it costs to deal with my back pain, so I don't recall the price. Ikco: Huh, ok. I might check into it.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:23 AM

he can be a little hard to listen to sometimes with his uber-california-ness, but the message and technique is damn good.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Thanks for the link.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Excellent blog. Thanks.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Thanks. I have read it already, and have implemented a lot of the exercises, but I don't have access to a gym at the moment.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:29 AM

no doubt. four years of being pregnant and/or carrying a chunky baby around and rocking them in my left arm literally ripped my shoulder blade so far away from my rib cage! im humpty dumpty!

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 04, 2011
at 08:11 PM

ugh bursitis sucks!

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 04, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I would say with Feldenkrais, even audio (we on da internetz so lookh it up) would be enough since in sessions the teacher leads you with his voice and very very rarely corrects you. It's a "there are no mistakes" philosophy.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Here's the link: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/neanderthal_no_more_part_i

446d2dddaeeccb2cc31a09cf20e40d46

(676)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:20 PM

oh, akd already posted this just now... Well, that must prove something! :p

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Alexander Technique is pretty expensive too, right?

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:09 PM

I don't have any advice right now ... but ... * hug *

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:54 PM

Thanks a lot Dave. I'll look into that.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:53 PM

True true hahaah

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:45 PM

Rob, I think you do want to look like a cavemen, just not the cartoon version... ;)

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12 Answers

8
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:42 PM

I suggest reading the book: "Eight Steps to a Pain Free Back" by Esther Gokhale. She studied the natural postures of hunter gatherers and ancestral cultures and developed her "Gokhale Method" to correct modern posture problems. Besides being an awesome book (cuz Mark Sisson said so!), it is also quite beautiful - a nice coffee table book (and not expensive).

You can even pick up some tips for free at her website (google her name - I'm too lazy to do it for you.)

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 04, 2011
at 04:54 PM

Thanks a lot Dave. I'll look into that.

4
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:15 PM

try the mobility workout of the day! it has really changed the way i move and feel. only ten minutes a day and its been a huge improvement. i had bursitis under my left scapula from my shoulder rolling forward so much. so painful. pregnancy and carrying babies did not help one bit. my chiropractor is algo a godsend. if you can find a good one, they are worth their weight in bacon i tell you.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 04, 2011
at 08:11 PM

ugh bursitis sucks!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:29 AM

no doubt. four years of being pregnant and/or carrying a chunky baby around and rocking them in my left arm literally ripped my shoulder blade so far away from my rib cage! im humpty dumpty!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:23 AM

he can be a little hard to listen to sometimes with his uber-california-ness, but the message and technique is damn good.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Excellent blog. Thanks.

2
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on May 04, 2011
at 06:22 PM

Excellent recommendations for Gokhale's book, Alexander Technique, Yoga and Feldenkrais (which is another movement/posture therapy).

Hopefully, the kyphosis is not to severe but still it'll likely take a multipronged approach to see improvement - first you'll work on the flexibility and strength to work toward straightening and elongating the posture, then work in earnest on backward flexibility:

1)improve muscle strength in the back (appropriate movement, heavy lifting - start slowly, avoid sitting when possible, stand and walk more)

2)improve muscle flexibility, decrease muscle tension (yoga, appropriate physical movement and sufficient magnesium)

3)improve skeletal alignment and flexibility in the back (yoga, chiropractic, Gokhale, Alexander, Feldenkrais)

4)insure optimal bone health in hopes of preventing any bone degeneration (or hopefully reversing it if there has been some) - test 25(OH)D to insure optimal levels in the middle of the reference range, insure sufficient vitamin K intake mostly through food but possibly through some supplementation as well (Guyenet has a good discussion on K supplementation), sufficient A intake (which imesho is probably not more than daily D intake when looked at over days and weeks), sufficient zinc, magnesium, selenium and boron. With the exception of zinc, D and magnesium, this should be fairly easy to achieve if eating plenty of organ meats and seafood in addition to muscle meats. In other words, don't rely to heavily on muscle meat but rather a balanced mix of organs (not just liver), seafood and muscle meat.

This may be helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyphosis

ETA: It's not clear from the post what your age is or if there is a medical diagnosis on board. Consider the terms you're using "extremely pulled forward", "severe lordosis", "normal activities painful", it may also be worth visiting an orthopedic MD as appropriate diagnositic imaging may give you very helpful information.

If the pain is due to, say, vertebral fractures from severe kyphosis rather than muscular tightness, then the path that treatment follows will look quite different and end goals should be modified accordingly.

2
446d2dddaeeccb2cc31a09cf20e40d46

on May 04, 2011
at 05:18 PM

http://www.mobilitywod.com/

This is part of CrossFit or at least it's a CrossFit coach who initiated it, but this is really great stuff. Start at day one. You'll learn about the workings of your muscles for a bit and every day there's a new 'Mobility Workout ofthe Day'/'MWoD'. Only thing you really need is a hockey-ball (preferably 3, 2 taped together and a loose one).

Do some of the things he describes in the video and you'll experience the difference. It's quite amazing at times and you just feel loads looser afterwards. Helps on the long-term, short-term any term and you can do it yourself! Just be careful to not stretch or push too far and injure yourself; it hurts, but it shouldn't start bleeding :p (that's kind of a joke obviously, but really it shouldn't start bleeding... Just go up to the point where you can remain in the position, don't 'bounce' in and out of a stretch, that'll tear you up)

I hope this will help with your problems! Good luck!

446d2dddaeeccb2cc31a09cf20e40d46

(676)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:20 PM

oh, akd already posted this just now... Well, that must prove something! :p

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Thanks for the link.

2
Medium avatar

on May 04, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Lift heavy weights.

Specifically, do deadlifts, barbell rows, squats and overhead press. Those will rock your weak lower back, glutes, hamstrings, lats and shoulders. You'll feel your posture improve after the 1st day you do heavy overhead presses. I definitely did.

Check out a 5x5 strength program for guidance.

Here's a good video of Mark Rippetoe teaching good posture in the overhead press, specifically addressing lordosis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyDNlSqDqAs
Squeeze your glutes and engage your core and it will do wonders for your lower back and hip placement in your day to day life.

14d2a231fb261051a036a6ab6ca7bebd

(616)

on May 05, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Mmm... not sure about this one - at least, not at first. If a bridge is structurally unsound, loading it with weight is not a very good idea. Do some postural work to correct your underlying muscle imbalances and, once you've made some progress, start with the lifts recommended above.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 06, 2011
at 03:43 AM

I'm not advocating doing an overhead press with 150lbs or anything! Just like anything in life, you should start small, and work up. I'm really strong for my size, 5'6" 130lbs, and even I only OP 70lbs so far.

1
4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on May 04, 2011
at 05:47 PM

lots of good suggestions! I would also add that I think walking barefoot on natural surfaces is helpful. It really improves core strength and helps with balance and posture. I haven't tried vibram 5 fingers but I think they would be to protective of the feet. just go walking in a natural setting off trails with nothing on your feet. Your posture will straighten out to help your balance and protect your feet.

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:28 PM

i'd suggest looking into doing some good yoga as a regular supplement. A dvd I'd highly recommend is one of Ana Forrest's dvds. She is a bad, bad... shut yo mouth. She also works a lot on correcting habitual western posture problems through specific poses. Would be a nice complement to a lifting regimen.

http://www.forrestyogastore.com/Ana-Forrest-Yoga-c/MEDIA/DVD+CD

here is a pretty cool demonstration of her doing some yoga... starts out a bit slow but about a 1.5min in... and check out her awesome pants. She's in her 50's by the way... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTcLhOlIk5I&feature=related

1
Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:21 PM

Google "Neanderthal No More". It's a multi-part article put together by Eric Cressey from Cressey Performance. It's a very thorough article and explanation of corrective exercises. It is heavy on science if you want it. But it's also easy to understand it you don't.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Here's the link: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/neanderthal_no_more_part_i

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:42 AM

Thanks. I have read it already, and have implemented a lot of the exercises, but I don't have access to a gym at the moment.

1
07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:12 PM

There's also Egoscue and Feldenkrais.

I've tried Egoscue with one of the books you can buy. Some success, but not much.

I haven't tried Feldenkrais yet - no practitioners nearby that are convenient for me.

Gokhale's book wasn't great for me, I apparently don't have a chair to use for the first step. I keep meaning to go back to that book since I continue to hear so much good about it.

I gave up on the Alexander Method after one session when the guy told me I ought to notice a difference after a single session, and didn't.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on May 05, 2011
at 01:55 AM

Futureboy: I think so? I'm long past the point of caring how much it costs to deal with my back pain, so I don't recall the price. Ikco: Huh, ok. I might check into it.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:15 PM

Alexander Technique is pretty expensive too, right?

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 04, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I would say with Feldenkrais, even audio (we on da internetz so lookh it up) would be enough since in sessions the teacher leads you with his voice and very very rarely corrects you. It's a "there are no mistakes" philosophy.

1
Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 04, 2011
at 05:05 PM

You may want to look into what I guess you'd call "posture therapy." One of the better ones is called The Alexander Technique. One of these guys -really- helped a friend of mine. He only needed a few sessions; they taught him some exercises and he looks and walks like a completely different person now.

0
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on May 05, 2011
at 03:57 PM

Rolfing.

I lived with stoop shoulders and upper (traps) back pain for 15 years. A massage every 3-4 weeks helped, but the relief started going away quickly.

After a dozen sessions with a Rolfer my posture improved in every way and my back pain was gone. I now go 3-4 times/year for a tune-up or after I do something stupid at the gym and hurt myself (which is more often than I care to admit).

If you read about Rolfing people may say it is very painful; I've found those comments to be over-blown. There are a few techniques they use that hurt, but Rolfing methods have been revived in recent years and become far less painful.

0
60199d3a580a4e17969059609e48e678

on May 04, 2011
at 06:32 PM

as far as Lordosis goes have you tried any holistic healing alternatives such as massage therapy or acupuncture? I have scoliosis (23 degree angle) and it improved greatly with my massage sessions and also back strengthening exercises.

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