Posture Issues In Weight Training

3 Sep 7 Comments Rolandas Uncategorised

Correct posture, firm body form is the basis for heavy weight training. When you lift free weights there is no resistance machine that you sit or lay on – your own body has to be that iron structure holding big weight without breaking.

Kyphosis affects on weight training

One of the biggest postural problems for heavy weight lifting is kyphosis – internal shoulder rotation forward and excessively curved upper back (thoracic vertebrae). There is an easy way to test if your weight training suffers from this condition. Just stand in front of a mirror and look at your hands. If you can see back of your hands you have a problem, if your hands are turned with a thumb pointing almost forward you do not have to bother about it.

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Hands position affected by kyphosis on the left and correct position on the right

If you have this condition, all compound movements will be affected by it – squat, dead lift, bench press, pull ups, rows etc. Your working weights will be significantly lighter, progress increasing strength and muscle mass a lot slower. At the end of the day lifting heavier is the ultimate task in weight training. Even if you manage to put some muscle on, it will not look as good – rounded shoulders and a hump on your back will be in the way of athletic looks.

Risk of injury is very high. Even lifting light weight on squat or dead lift with incorrect body form caused by kyphosis can pull lower back muscles or do mechanical damage in spine. Also, restricted range of movement and wrong rotation of humerus (an arm bone not the writer) can result in shoulder joints wear and tear when you do bench press, shoulder press, pull ups, rows etc. It is obvious that the problem has to be dealt with in order to do intensive and safe weight training. So specific training needs to be done prior to any more serious weight lifting. Weak upper back muscles (lattisimus dorsi, trapezium, rhomboids and rear deltoids) have to be strengthened, tight chest and front shoulders have to be stretched. When are you going to be ready for the real deal weight training then? Well, stand in front of the mirror and do the test again.

Lordosis and weight training

Often kyphosis is accompanied by other postural condition – lordosis – lower back (lumbar vertebrae) is excessively curved tilting pelvis forward. It leaves all upper body leaned back. Kyphosis kicks in to compensate that – head and shoulders shift forward and upper back (thoracic vertebrae) rounds. Lordosis mostly affects squat and dead lift as it is in the way of keeping neutral lumbar spine (lower back) position when lifting weights. Dealing with lordosis hamstrings, glutes, lower back and abdominal muscles have to be strengthened, hip flexors – stretched.

Scoliosis in weight training

Scoliosis is quite common condition, postural anomaly when spine is laterally curved or/and twisted. Normally it results in one shoulder being slightly lower/higher than another. As for its impact on weight training, if not paying attention to it, lifting weights can result in muscle asymmetry and even stronger scoliosis. Also, muscles on one side can get chronically tight resulting in injuries. So when doing compound weight training exercises, posture has to be manually adjusted to keep body straight and even on both sides at all times. Doing so scoliosis gets treated (at least partially) – when lifting weights while keeping body even, muscles get balanced and spine is forced to the correct position. Weight training becomes correctional training as well.

Contact Rolandas’PT4U, the weigth training expert  to cope with postural issues and train hard with no obstacles.


Rolandas Malinauskas is online personal trainer with 12 years personal training experience in east London and decorated natural bodybuilder – Natural Physique Association (NPA) Mike Williams Classic 2011 Men’s Lightweight Champion, NPA Mike Williams Classic 2011 Men's Overall Vice-champion and NPA British Championship 2011 Men’s Lightweight Vice-champion. Rolandas has been dedicated to natural bodybuilding for over 18 years now. 3 out of 12 years of personal training career Rolandas has been consulting on one of the biggest schemes of Exercise on GP Referral in London (Islington), allowing him to treat lower back, knee pain, cardiovascular problems, arthritis etc.