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POSTURE

TRAINING

GENERAL
PRINCIPLES OF POSTURE TRAINING.
There is no one best posture for all men because the physical architecture of individuals differs according to the bony structure they inherit.
Therefore, to develop the best posture for each member of any given
group certain general principles must be applied intelligently to the
group as a whole as well as to each man. These principles are:
a. To teach the characteristics of good posture.
b. To provide an opportunity to feel or practice good posture.
c. To have the men practice proper posture until it feels more comfortable than poor posture.
d. To motivate the men to acquire it as a habit.

CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD POSTURE.


The first step in posture training is to teach what good posture is. Many
men have a misconception as to what constitutes good posture. For
example, they arch the lower back, thrust out the chest and retract the
shoulders in an exaggerated manner, or they spring their knees backward. The characteristics of good posture are head balanced and erect,
chest held high without tension, abdomen flat, shoulders back and
relaxed, lower back only slightly curved, and knees straight but not stiff.
Instructors should explain and demonstrate the position of the various
parts of the body in proper posture.

TRAINING FOR GOOD POSTURE.


The men must be provided with opportunities to feel and to practice
good posture. Many individuals feel more natural while maintaining
a bad posture. Certain muscle groups must have special training to
maintain good posture without undue fatigue. The exercises below will
provide this training. The emphasis upon proper posture must not be
confined to physical training periods only. A good military bearing must
be insisted upon until the men assume it from habit.

MOTIVATING GOOD POSTURE.


Regardless of the amount of exercise and instruction they get; men
habitually assume good posture only if they want to. That is why motivation is so important.
a. At the beginning, a short talk should be given, illustrated if possible,
on reasons for cultivating good posture. Good posture has many values
for the soldier. First, a soldier is often judged by his appearance the
man with good posture looks like a soldier, he commands attention. Secondly, it is an accepted psychological fact that good posture is associated
with good morale a man with a good posture feels better and is more
positive. A man with poor posture cannot feel as positive, consequently he may develop a negative and discouraged attitude. Thirdly, good
posture permits the body to function most efficiently. This is because the
opposing muscle groups balance, thus maintaining the bony structure in
a balanced position. The correct bony alignment provides for the correct
positions of the internal organs. The correct positions of the organs assist them in the performance of their various functions. Less strain and
tension is placed upon bones, muscles, ligaments and organs.
b. The instructors should always be excellent examples of good posture.
They must be enthusiastic about it and sell it to the men. Men with
excellent posture should be complimented. They should be reminded
when they exhibit poor posture. This should be done without nagging,
and with humor, if possible.

c. Visual aids should be utilized. A few pictures of good posture and a


few signs at familiar places will remind the men to emphasize good posture. These help to motivate many of the men.

d. Posture judgments help to motivate the men. The four posture silhouettes above are highly valid standards by which to make such judgments.
It takes a few minutes to judge 100 men, especially if they are inspected in small groups. They should also be judged occasionally when off
guard. Announcing the platoon with the best average posture may stimulate friendly rivalry.

POSTURAL EXERCISES
GENERAL. The ten exercises below are designed to develop the postural
muscles. All of these exercises have SLOW CADENCE and two-count
movements. They are especially valuable for use in the strength course.

EXERCISE 1

Starting Position. Attention.


Movement:
(1) Swing arms forward and upward to full stretch overhead and at the
same time rise high on toes.
(2) Swing arms sideward and downward slowly and press back hard. At
the same time retract chin and let heels drop to the ground. Avoid an
exaggerated arch in lower back.

EXERCISE 2

Starting Position. Trunk leaning forward about 60, arms hanging downward loosely from shoulders.
Movement:
(1) Swing arms sideward and backward vigorously, retracting chin forcefully and flattening upper back. Hold this position momentarily.
(2) Recover to starting position.

EXERCISE 3

Starting Position. Standing, fingertips touching shoulders, arms in front


of chest, and elbows downward.
Movement:
(1) Move upper arms outward and backward, with elbows hugging
sides. Hold the position a full second while trying to force arms further
around and back. At same time, retract head and attempt to stretch
upward.
(2) Recover to starting position.

EXERCISE 4

Starting Position. Kneeling on the mat, trunk bent sharply forward,


hands behind head.
Movement:
(1) Still leaning forward, straighten upper back and press elbows and
head backward. At the same time pull in chin.
(2) Recover to starting position.

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EXERCISE 5

Starting Position. Sitting on the floor, knees raised, trunk bent forward,
and arms stretched forward.
Movement:
(1) Still leaning forward, swing arms upward and backward. At the same
time pull in chin.
(2) Recover to starting position.

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EXERCISE 6

Starting Position. Lying face down on the floor, with elbows at sides and
fingertips on shoulders.
Movement:
(1) Rotate arms outward and pull elbows in hard to sides. At the same
time pull in chin and lift head about 6 inches from the floor. Hold this
position a full second.
(2) Recover to starting position.

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EXERCISE 7

Starting Position. Bending forward about 45, elbows horizontally sideward from shoulders, forearms bent forward, palms down, thumbs just
in front of shoulders.
Movement:
(1) Straighten elbows and swing arms slowly but hard sideward and
backward. At the same time retract head.
(2) Recover to starting position.

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EXERCISE 8

Starting Position. Leaning slightly forward, elbows bent, and fingertips


touching shoulders.
Movement:
(1) Make small circles about a foot in diameter, elbows circling upward
and backward. Press arms backward and retract head. Movement is slow.
(2) After completing sufficient repetitions, recover to starting position.

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EXERCISE 9

Starting Position. Leaning slightly forward, arms horizontally at sides,


palms up.
Movement:
(1) Make small circles about a foot in diameter, hands circling upward
and backward. Press arms backward and retract head. Movement is slow.
(2) After completing sufficient repetitions, recover to starting position.

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EXERCISE 10

Starting Position. Arms overhead.


Movement:
(1) Pull arms slowly downward until fists are beside shoulders. Pull as
though chinning.
(2) Recover to starting position.

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