Last year I already wrote a post on posture self-evaluation. Those who tried it then know that it is relatively easy. All you need is a full-size mirror and 15-20 minutes of spare time.
You do it barefoot and with minimum clothing.
Mirror test for easy posture self-evaluation
- Stand barefoot in front of the mirror.
- Close your eyes and walk in place for a few seconds.
- Then stop, breathe, and relax.
- Stay with your eyes closed in what feels to be a comfortable position.
- Try not to pose.
Without opening your eyes, focus on your feet:
- Is your weight evenly balanced between the left and right feet?
- Are you leaning more on your heels or the balls of your feet?
- Is it more on the inside or outside edge?
If perfectly aligned, the weight distribution is equal between left and right foot, the front and the back, inside and outside of each foot.
Now open your eyes and look into the mirror.
How are your feet positioned?
- Are they pointing straight forward (a correct position), or
- Turned somewhat outward or inward?
Look down on your feet and notice if one foot is slightly ahead of the other.
- If yes, most likely one of your hips is rotated forward as well.
- Have you been told that your feet are pronated or supinated?
Look at your knees:
- Are they coming together (knock-knees) or do you have bowlegs?
- Are they permanently flexed or hyperextended?
Can you see if your hips are on the same level?
Is one hip is closer to the mirror than another (hip rotation)?
This one might be difficult to spot but you can use a line of your pants to see if it’s horizontal or ask a friend to look at you.
Look at your shoulders:
- Is one shoulder is higher than another?
- Is one shoulder closer to the mirror than another (torso is rotated forward on one side)?
Rotations are the hardest to self-evaluate. Use the following technic to check for shoulders and hips rotation:
Shoulders – look down on your hands:
Check if one is slightly ahead of another in frontal plane by touching the hips with your hands and see if they touch them at the same spots on the left and right sides.
If one hand is a little bit ahead of the other one, than your body is most likely rotated forward on that side.
Hips – you can get a sense if the hips are rotated by paying attention to the feet position.
Did you notice that when you stand one foot is always slightly ahead of another?
That usually means that that the hip on that side is rotated forward.
You can be rotated only in shoulders or hips. Upper and lower body may be rotated on the same or opposite sides.
Check your hands position:
Does one hand appear to hang lower than another? Often it goes together with one of the shoulders being higher or lower.
Can you see the whole back of your hands showing in the mirror?
Is there a difference between two hands, for example, you can see only a thumb and index finger of one hand, but all fingers and knuckles of the other hand?
Pelvis position: Anterior or Posterior?
This is the hardest part in posture self-evaluation.
The best way to figure it out is to ask a friend or a relative to help you.
You need to draw an imaginary line between your ASIS (on the front) and PSIS points (on the back) of your body.
The anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) is a section of the ilium bone, the large wing-shaped bone of the pelvis. Easy to feel just beneath the abdomen on the front of the hip, the ASIS is the forward-most point of the hipbone.
To find the PSIS (posterior superior illiac spine), you’re going to start with your hands on your hip bones (illiac crest) so that your thumb is pointing towards your back and your fingers are pointing forwards towards your stomach. As you reach behind with your thumbs, you’re looking for two small bumps on either side of your spine. If you don’t have an extra meat there, you can see them. They are the two “dimples” at the small of your back.
To make it easier, use two colorful paper stickers to attach to the ASIS and PSIS points.
Stand sideways to the mirror or towards your companion and see if the line from PSIS to ASIS goes down or up.
The proper pelvic position is neutral (straight line between ASIS and PSIS) or slightly anterior – no more than 7 degrees.
Your posture self-evaluation is done. You can now identify what posture condition you have to select appropriate posture exercises from the Pete Egoscue book The Egoscue Method of Health Through Motion.
Be Upright. Be Happy. Live Pain Free.