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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 9:52 pm | Fair 56º

 
 
 
 
Q&A with K & A

Fun and Fit: Straight Scoop on Super Posture

Feeling slightly slouchy? K&A have your back — and front

Fun and Fit:Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA
Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear FnF: What exercise/stretch can I do to keep my shoulders pulled back for better posture? Thanks for the straighter scoop.

— Sharon, Santa Barbara

Kymberly: Hold on a moment. Did someone other than F and F just slip in a word play? Stand tall and proud just for that.

While you’re standing, do some pec stretches and mid-back strengtheners. The stronger your back muscles are — especially the ones between your shoulder blades, such as the trapezius and rhomboids — the more those muscles will contract to lift your spine erect and to keep your shoulders back. Yeah, you could hire someone to nag you to bring your shoulders down and back, but that’s no fun, is it? Instead, let’s think of fun things that FnF could stand for (as seen in your salutation).

Alexandra: What? That is a gimme. Anyone who’s seen my high school photos knows that FnF means Foxy and Fine! Hello? Did you not see those hot photos of me that were never taken? Let’s pretend for a moment that we are answering Sharon’s question ... nope, it’s passed.

But in the spirit of general pride and gaining two inches in height, I’ll give you our mom’s secret (she was a modern dance teacher): Ask someone to poke you between the shoulder blades at the dinner table. It’s a quick, yet mildly annoying, reminder to contract your mid-traps (that is fancy talk for “pull your shoulder blades toward each other).

Article Image
The stronger your back muscles, the more they’ll contract to keep your shoulders back for better posture.

I also see that Kymberly mentions chest stretches above. What she didn’t mention was that standing up taller and opening up the front of your body makes you more — caution, technical term coming — stacked! Not just appear so, but actually more frontal real estate. And you can then breathe better, too.

Since it’s hard to remember to pull your shoulder blades into a close, personal relationship, I’ll share a hot little workout trick I made up years ago. Do some of your exercises with your back and shoulders against the wall. For example, bicep curls or forward raises. Even though you aren’t actively focusing on “moving” your back, it will be easy for you to notice if you fall forward off the wall.

K: In short, worry less about what you see in front — the pecs and anterior deltoids — and more about what’s happening behind your back. Just like in high school.

A: Did someone say “Off the Wall”? When the world is on your shoulders, gotta straighten up your act and boogie down. Quick, who sings that? Answer before you click on the link. If you can sing and dance this entire song with shoulders back, you win a free moonwalk lesson!

Readers and posturemongers: What reminders do you use to maintain good posture? Who had a mom who nagged you to stand up straight?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves, including AM 1490 at 6:20 p.m. on Sunday nights. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A from their home base in Santa Barbara. You can currently find them in action leading classes at Spectrum Uptown and Goleta and at UCSB. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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