Whether you’re donning a designer dress or strutting about town in jeans and a tee, your body makes a fashion statement!
Living minutes away from Tinsel Town, Dr. Paul Drew, a doctor of physical therapy and kinesiologist, noticed a disturbing trend: bad posture. Now, Dr. Drew has set out to straighten up society. His new book, Red Carpet Posture, is packed with easy exercises and tips to get you standing tall in no time. Dr. Drew’s goal? To get you feeling great and looking like a star. It will have you ready to walk your own red carpet in no time!
Why did you decide to write Red Carpet Posture?
Living just around the corner from Hollywood, it always amazes me that in a town so conscious about fashion and what everyone is wearing or not wearing, there is very little attention given to how one’s body makes a fashion statement. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing the best dress from the top designer if you have bad posture. All too often, I see young teens and adults emulating a star’s posture when the body position itself is dreadful. I felt that if I could write this book, it would help to reverse this bad trend of poor posture.
So, what is “red carpet posture”?
Standing tall, not short and slouched. Keeping your shoulders back, not rolling forward. Keeping your stomach up and in, not pooching down and out. Not allowing yourself to stand flat-footed.
But I’m not strutting down the red carpet. Why is it still important for me to have good posture?
You may not realize the damage that you are causing to your spine and body. Furthermore, you are developing the additional unattractive look of rounded shoulders as a result of the spine trying to balance itself from the forced shape of the lower, middle and upper back. It gives the impression of low self-confidence, and even sometimes, the dreaded label, ‘cheap’.
What are some of the causes of bad posture?
Stress. I would say that this is the number one cause of bad posture. When we are under stress we tend to throw posture out the window. We forget about how we stand, sit, and walk when we are under stress, tired, or exhausted.
Your Chair. Computers, telephones, and desks all lead to the same thing – the office chair! If this chair is on wheels and rolls to one side, it’s even worse. When this happens, your back is bracing your body to keep it from moving to one side, creating tightness in the lower back which ultimately leads to discomfort.
Your Computer. Computers, in my opinion, have been the greatest thing for my business, and I am not referring to the technology that they provide, but the increase in clientele that have hired me to help with bad posture and muscle pain from displaying incorrect posture in front of the computer for hours at a time, day in and day out.
Studies. It is tough to be a student today because so many young pupils have to carry backpacks full of heavy books to school. Then upon arriving at school, the student is forced to sit at a tiny desk that was probably used by their parents when they went to school. These horrible little desks are not very good for posture.
Heels. Although heels allow for nice looking legs, they also cause the lower back to cave inward, putting more pressure on the spine in the lower back region, creating increased tightness of the hip flexors in the front of the hips. Also, with an inward curvature of the lower back or lumbar spine, the middle of the back will exhibit an outward curvature in an attempt to balance the spine. All this bending of the spine will start to make you look like a snake.
Standing. Some young girls love to stand with the weight of their body on one hip or side. This creates scoliosis of the spine, which is excessive bending to either the left or the right. If someone stands on one hip too much, the lower back will cave into that side of the hip that is in a hiked-up position, but this person will also have an opposite bend in the upper back to balance the spine. Once again, the snake has appeared to take another bite. There are other causes, but these are the main ones.
How do the exercises in your book work to correct poor posture?
My book features exercises that focus on muscles used for posture, and by using balance for the exercises by using the balance/stability ball. The ball will force you to use muscles that you would not be able to normally recruit with exercises performed on gym equipment. When you are forced to balance yourself, you must use muscles that are important to your posture. Also, the balance ball will help you stretch tight musculature that is pulling your posture out of place, and it will help strengthen muscles that will help support perfect posture.Exercises on the fitness, balance, or stability ball are very effective for strengthening the core musculature. When using the ball you will be forced to use the core muscles in order to stay on the ball (this is why the fitness ball is often referred to as the balance ball). You will otherwise fall off. You could do hundreds of good old-fashioned sit-ups lying on the floor until you turn blue in the face, but all you would be doing is exercising your rectus abdominus, which is a superficial muscle and not part of the deep postural core muscle group. You will not achieve that six-pack look unless you find a way to pull that stomach in, and keep it in! The ball can help you recruit those core muscles to allow you to pull the stomach in with less effort.
How often should I practice them to see results?
You do not need to perform every exercise that is listed in my book every time you want to do the Red Carpet Workout. Choose about 6 to 12 exercises each time you work out, and perform each exercise once or twice. You only need to commit 20 minutes per workout to improve your posture. See if you can commit to two or three Red Carpet Workouts per week. As you get better with the exercises, you can choose to have longer workouts or perform more workouts per week. The choice is up to you. Remember, if you don’t have the time to exercise, always remind yourself to stand up straight. Those reminders can be a workout itself.
OK…we have got to know! In your opinion, which celebs have the best posture?
Best posture (women): Lucy Liu, Selma Hayek, Charlize Theron, Sarah Jessica Parker, Halle Berry, and Kate Winslett.
Best posture (men): Denzel Washington, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Keanu Reeves, Pierce Brosnan, Tom Cruise, and Hugh Jackman.
And of course…which do you think have the worst?
Worst posture (women): Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Cameron Diaz, Katie Holmes, Mischa Barton, Nicole Ritchie, and Paris Hilton.
Worst posture (men): Larry King, Mr. Mad Money Jim Cramer, James Gandolfini, Richard Lewis, and his buddy Larry David.