Fairly Profound Stuff: How to Stand


Dr. of Physical Therapy Kelly Starrett continues to put out very useful information via his site MobilityWOD.  Torque and Trunk Stability Part I: How to Stand is a recent post.  It discusses trunk and hip mechanics with regard to standing. Does this sound to simple a topic?  Standing?  Perhaps not.

As I’ve mentioned before (here and here) we often don’t walk very well. Strangely, it’s not uncommon for us to stand incorrectly or less than optimally.  As with walking, it so happens we stand a lot.  And if we’re doing it improperly then we very likely are moving toward injury and pain or at the very least, poor performance.

The themes in this video appear in a lot of other MobilityWOD videos (like this one on the set up for the deadlift.)  The concepts of trunk stability via glute and abdominal contraction are hugely important.  As is the idea of torquing or twisting the legs out in order to create stiffness through the legs and hips.   (Similarly for the upper body it’s a good idea to torque out or externally rotate the arms during pressing movements.)

I’ve been using these concepts in my own workouts as well as with my clients and I’ve seen some very good results: more strength, less knee pain and instability, better overall technique.  All of this is good.

If you’re one of my clients then this stuff is homework. If you’re not one of my clients but you want to perform better.  Go ahead and make it homework anyway. See if it helps your squat, deadlift or sitting to standing from a chair–or the ground preferably.