Chin Up, Tits Out

Chin Up, Tits Out

Chin Up, Tits Out

There have been many times in my life (difficult times) when a certain phrase would pop into my head. A phrase that an old friend used to say frequently, so I can’t claim it’s entirely mine. But, over the years, this phrase has become my mantra. It’s a very “Darnell” thing to say.

“Chin Up, Tits Out.”

In my head I sometimes say, “Chin up, tits out,” with the added “You got this, girl!” But either way I say it, without fail and on cue, I assume the posture: shoulders back and down, chest out, chin up. And I SWEAR TO YOU, it changes the way I face ANY challenge before me. And even though at times I may be falling apart (inside), after I say that phrase, at least I look like I’ve got my shit together. Sometimes that’s all it takes to turn things around. (See Choose Happiness) Because how we present ourselves on the outside affects how we feel about ourselves on the inside.

So, “Chin Up, Tits Out” became my little attitude adjustment. And believe me, after 47 years on the planet, 4 children, living in Asia for many of my married years, one VERY complicated divorce, and now a new blended family life with a man I most certainly don’t deserve, life has (at times) been less than perfect… and I have NEEDED my attitude adjusted in order to gracefully handle it all with a smile on my face and my heart WIDE WIDE open.

If you haven’t guessed it already, this blog is all about posture. So, with a nod to an old friend who engrained the words, “Chin up, tits out,” on my soul, pull up a chair and take a seat (without slouching), because this is a real game-changer.

Not only does posture affect your attitude, it also affects your overall health. It’s just as important as exercise and eating right. But after decades of leaning over our computers and years of slumping over our steering wheels, bad posture becomes a very hard habit to break. Generally, poor posture is due to an imbalance in the muscles which are necessary in keeping us standing tall. One muscle group is overly tight, while the opposing muscle group is too weak or loose. So, we basically have trained our bodies to hunch over. But once you determine which muscles are at play in causing your imbalance, you can work to fix it. (Hooray!) Not only will this help alleviate aches and pains from muscles which have been over-compensating, but your entire disposition, as well as how the world in general  perceives you, will change. So let’s get started on achieving that “Chin up, tits out” posture that screams youthful confidence.

Let me make myself perfectly clear… I am NOT a chiropractor. If you have serious spinal ailments, consult your doctor before trying any of these exercises. With that said, there are exercises specific to treat different types of posture problems.

WHICH ONE ARE YOU?
1. The Sloucher
This is by far the most common type of bad posture. Nothing screams confidence like entering a room while slouching (sarcasm). You may as well walk into the room with a raincloud over your head, like Eeyore from “Winnie the Pooh.”  Let’s fact it, when you picture a successful, confident, interesting person, “the sloucher” does NOT come to mind. However, I think this posture problem is symptomatic of insecurity, more than anything else, and the treatment is mental cues and reminders. Before you walk into that meeting or that cocktail party, picture Eeyore with his raincloud. Is that how you want to be perceived? I don’t think so. Unless, of course, you really are an “Eeyore” (See the blog, Own It). So Chin Up. Tits Out. Walk into the room like you own the place.

2. The Hunchback
If you sit typing at a desk for hours, you most likely suffer from neck, shoulder and back pain. Poor posture while sitting can cause overly tightened chest muscles as well as loose and weakened upper back muscles. This often causes shoulders to roll forward and leads to an exaggerated curve in the upper back and neck and that not-so-sexy hunchback syndrome. (See the blog, Bones of Steel).
Treatment: Stretch out your chest muscles and build up your back. The following is a great 5-Exercise youtube video targeted at treating this type of bad posture.  (Video)  In addition to these 5 exercises, I would add a standing rear delt fly. You do not need a heavy weight for this. I only use 5 pound weights. The heavier the weight, the more the form is compromised. (Video)

There are studies out now that say, “Sitting is the new smoking.” We sit hunched over our desks for hours at a time. Get up and move, people. (See the blog, Find the Little Moments to Exercise). One solution: stand-up desks, which are the hot new thing now. They can be used in conjunction with your current desk to raise the level of your computer so that you are not hunching over to work. I also suggest, whether you are sitting or standing, doing a simple shoulder blade squeeze exercise every hour while working at your desk. Hold your arms out wide, palms facing up. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard as you can in the center of your back, as if you are holding a pencil between your blades. Pulse 10 times. Keeping your shoulder blades squeezing together and arms wide, turn palms facing forward and pulse back 10 times. Next turn your palms facing down toward the floor and pulse 10 times. Then finally, rotate palms to the back wall and squeeze shoulder blades together 10 times. Repeat every hour. Set an alarm so you don’t forget.

3. The Flat Back
This type of bad posture is typically seen in individuals with spinal problems such as herniated or degenerated discs. There is typically a slight hunch forward, hyperextended knees, and an unnatural flat spine when in a neutral position. People with disc problems usually overcompensate with other parts of their bodies in order to take the pain out of their backs (thus, the hyperextended knees).
Treatment: It’s important to keep all areas responsible for compensating these injuries stretched out (See the blog, Stretch Your Way to Good Health). Do abdominal stretches on a ball. For those with back problems, it’s the safest way to stretch out your abdomen. (Video) In addition, hamstring stretches (Video) and hip flexion exercises are crucial. (Video)

4. The Swayback
This posture is characterized by an excessive curvature of the back. If, while lying on your back on a hard surface, you have a large gap between your lower back and the floor, then you have a swayback. Instead of slouching forward like a hunchback, swayback is almost the opposite. The chest seems to lean backwards, with the shoulders resting behind the hips and the chin sticking out.
Treatment: Since the cause of swayback is weak abdominal muscles and tight hamstrings and back, Hip flexor stretches, oblique floor crunches, and hip extensions are recommended as treatment (Video).

Now SHE embraces the Now SHE embraces the “Chin Up, Tits Out” philosophy!

So there you have it. Let’s face life’s challenges appearing a little more confident and feeling a few less aches and pains… with your chin up and your tits out!

Live Young,

Darnell 🙂

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3 Comments
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