“Stop slouching.”

I know, I know.

“Sit up straight.”

Yeah, yeah!

“Your posture is just horrendous.”

Tell me what you really think, you asshole!

When someone razzes you about your posture, it’s easy to want to tell the person to F off. But deep down, you probably feel a bit insecure because you know that bad posture isn’t attractive. And you know posture says a lot about your personality. Nobody wants to be the insecure sloucher, who sits with hunched shoulders and a rounded back, right?

But fixing your posture can feel daunting, because it just seems like a lot of mental work to re-program your brain and body. You might think about it for a day or two, but then it just becomes easier to let yourself return to your normal state.

Other times, though, it just comes down to not knowing where to begin…

So let’s begin:

First things first, it’s important to identify your biggest posture challenge. Some common ones include:

•Forward head tilt

•Anterior pelvis (resulting in an arched lower back)

•Slumped shoulders

•Pigeon-toed or ducked feet

•Rounded upper back

Then figure out the source of the problem: What’s causing your poor posture?

•Do you sit too much, or stand too much during the day?

•Do you sleep on your stomach? (This can place long-term pressure on your low back and shoulders and can create neck or back pain).

•Do you have mild scoliosis or osteoarthritis?

•A less common symptom, maybe one of your legs is longer than the other, causing one hip to be higher than the other, or your feet to turn inward or outward. All of this can change the alignment of your knees and ankles, and everything goes to shit from there.

More often than not, though, less than ideal posture comes down to weak or tight muscles

This is where we can help you!

If you stand with a swayed back—where your hips are pressed forward and sit in front or your ribs—chances are you’re weak in your external obliques, hip flexors and lower abs.

If you have an excessive curve in your low back and stand with your pelvis tilted forward, chances are you abs and glutes are weak.

And if you’re a shoulder-rounder, it’s likely that your rotator cuff, lower traps, and the muscles in your back surrounding your shoulder blades and rear delts could use some more work.

If any of the above sound like you, contact your coach and get started working these challenges out.

Here are some more general games you can play with yourself to fix your posture if you’re truly committed to improving your posture:

•Try to stand taller than everyone else when you’re in line at the grocery store.

•Move your rear view mirror a little higher than normal so you’re forced to sit tall as you drive.

•When standing, contract and relax your glutes to remind yourself to keep your pelvis neutral.

•Keep both your feet flat on the floor when you’re at your computer, instead of crossing them over each other.

Like fitness, (for some of us) good posture needs to be earned. Take the time. Stay the course.