The Bell and Bowl: Tips from a physical therapist

I want to take some time to talk about posture, specifically in regards to the pelvis and ribs.

I also want to note how scary it is to share pictures of myself. So yes these are me. No they aren’t photoshopped. No I don’t have a perfect flat stomach. Yes I have scars. But it’s real…and also shows how much posture can change how you look.

While this posture is crucial for running and I’ll mostly be talking about it in regards to that, it’s also important to everyday life.

The way my physical therapist put it is:

Think of the pelvis as a bowl and the rib cage as a bell. When properly aligned the bell and the bowl line up smoothly. When misaligned, more often than not the bell sticks forward and up from the bowl.

Ok great so how do I fix it?

Think about first lining up the bowl. Don’t let your hips tip forward. Use your gluten (your butt) to pull hips back and slightly down.

Then the bell. Draw your belly button back towards your spine and let the bottom of your ribs come down with it.

When running, don’t over puff out your chest. Your back should remain relatively straight. The forward lean of your upper body should be the same angle of lean as your lower legs.

For me I find when I get ready to pick up pace I tend to lift up with my chest. What I’m working on doing instead is to imagine lifting forward while maintaining the bell and the bowl alignment.

Having the image of the bowl and the bell is the best visual cue for this posture I’ve ever had.

Image courtesy mcmillanrunning.com Thanks for the best visual while moving

To work on it becoming my regular posture I start every core exercise I do by making sure I’m lined up. Then when I’m doing my exercises they are being done in the right posture; therefore strengthening the correct way.

It takes practice. Tons of it. And when you’re tired you’ll revert to bad posture. The more you work on it the more it becomes your natural posture. So keep working on it.

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