Put Your Shoulders in Place: Progressive Posture Alignment, Part 3
How to Fix Lower Body Posture: Part 1
In this first part of our series on fixing lower body posture, we will focus on the most common problem: Pulling Shoulder Blades Back. This is a very common problem among men and women who are trying to build muscle mass and strength. They often have trouble with their upper bodies because they do not have enough flexibility in their lower bodies.
This is why many of them cannot lift themselves up off the ground when doing pushups or sit ups.
If you are one of these individuals, then it is time to start changing your body posture! You need to learn how to make yourself more flexible in your lower body so that you can get stronger and bigger muscles all over your body.
The Problem With Pulling Shoulders Back
When you try to lift yourself up off the floor, your arms and shoulders tend to move forward. This is called “pulling” your shoulders back. If you are like most men and women who struggle with pulling their shoulders back, then you probably think that this is a bad thing.
But if you think about it, this is actually good! It means that your body is working hard to keep its balance. This is why you are having such a hard time with pushups and sit ups. You need to learn how to make your body stronger in this area so that you can become more flexible.
Why do People Have Trouble With Pulling Shoulders Back?
In many cases, the problem with pulling shoulders back is due to a lack of ankle flexibility. If a person has tight ankles, then they are going to have trouble pointing their feet towards their body. So, before you start practicing pulling your shoulders back, you need to make sure that your ankles are flexible.
Do your best to point your feet towards your shins. If you can’t do this, then it means that your ankles are very stiff and inflexible. Spending more time stretching your ankles out should help a lot with fixing this problem.
How to Pull Shoulders Back
Now that you know why pulling your shoulders back is important, it is time to learn how to do it. It is a very simple process. You just need to take a step forward with one leg.
After this, pull your shoulders back at the same time. This will force your body to lean forward some. As you lean forward, you want to reach out with one arm in front of your body. You will do this by moving your arm forward while keeping the rest of your body as still as possible.
Practice this step over and over again until you get the hang of it. When you are ready, you can try to do this with both arms at the same time.
Fixing the Cause of Your Shoulder Blade Displacement
When you work on fixing your shoulder blade displacement, you want to address the cause of the problem. If you are having trouble with your pushups because your body naturally leans forward, then you want to work on making your body lean back. By leaning back, you will fix the problem that is causing you to lean forward and pull your shoulder blades out of position.
Continue to practice these exercises until you can do them without thinking about it. This is a habit that needs to become second nature. After you have the habits down, you can try to add additional weight to your body.
You can do this by holding dumbbells in your hands, wearing a backpack filled with heavy items, etc.
The next step is to work on strengthening your core muscles. This will help protect your spine from injury and keep your body from leaning forward. Before you do these types of exercises however, you need to make sure that you are not suffering from any type of back pain.
You definitely want to consult your doctor before attempting to do any of these exercises if you have suffered from back pain in the past.
The first exercise is called a bridge up. Begin by lying on your back and bending your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Make sure that your feet are directly under your knees.
You should form a straight line from your head to your knees when you look down at yourself from above.
With your knees bent, lift your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Your arms should be alongside your body and just slightly behind your back. Now slowly lower one heel towards the floor until you feel a very slight stretch in your hamstring.
Hold this position and then raise your hips until you are once again in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
Do not jerk your legs around. Go slowly at first to get the feel of the exercise and then work on doing it smoother and more fluidly. Do not let your back dip or sag while you are in the lowered position.
Hold it tight so that there is no slack anywhere in your back. This exercise can also be done with your hands behind your head instead of out to the side. The choice is up to you and what feels most comfortable for you.
The second exercise is called a side bridge. This is very similar to the bridge up except that you are going to lift and lower only one arm and the opposite leg. First lie on your side with your body bent into a straight line just like you were doing the bridge up.
Then lift your top arm and the bottom leg so that they are both straight up in the air. You body should still be making a straight line. Now lower the leg and raise the arm. Hold this position for a second and then repeat the whole process for the other side.
Do not jerk your arm or your leg around when you are lowering them. Go slowly at first so that you do not cause any strain on your back or shoulders and work on doing it smoother and more fluidly. Again this exercise can be done with your hand behind your head instead of out to the side if that is more comfortable for you.
The third exercise is called a V-sit. This is the same as the bridge up only you are going to cross your feet in the air so that they form a V in the air instead of keeping them parallel to each other like during the bridge up.
Again, be sure not jerk your legs around. Go slowly at first so that you do not cause any strain on your back or shoulders and work on doing it smoothly. Hold each position for a second or two before moving on to the next one for better results.
You can do these exercises in any order as well as alternating between them. Just be sure to not overdo it and cause yourself any pain. You should begin to feel them more the next time you do them if you are using good form, but again, do not overdo it or you could cause yourself an injury and that is the opposite of what you want.
Just because they are simple exercises does not mean that you should overdo it. Start off with just a few of them at first and gradually work your way up to where you are able to do all of them.
Of course, I would also recommend that you mix in some other form of exercise as well in order to give different muscles a work out and also to mix up the routine a little bit. It also doesn’t hurt to try and learn some new skills with weapons or even just fists. Being in good physical condition and training for battle can be a very rewarding experience, so enjoy yourself.
“Well, I must say that you have learned quite a bit just in one training session alone. You catch on much faster than Tribuo did.”
“Oh yes, he was my last student before the Eternal Project was shut down. He never learned half as much as you did. But I am sure that you already know that though.”
You are a little startled that this man is giving you so much praise, but you just thank him and go on your way.
You decide to visit the town of Ornislov which is the closest town to the Academy. Ornislov is known for being a trading town as well as a breeding ground for several rogues, bandits and other unsavory types. The town also has an oil well which is quite valuable since virtually no other towns in the area have that resource.
As a result Ornislov is somewhat of a trading hub where all kinds of people come to trade with each other.
The town is also fairly dangerous as due to all the different types of people there are all kinds of conflict. If you ever get tired of training, you can easily make a living as a bodyguard here. You briefly wonder if that wouldn’t be an easier life, but then you quickly snap out of it since you’re not going to be doing that.
You take your leave of the Academy and head into town. Once in Ornislov you explore a bit and find that indeed it is quite the den of inequity. Though it isn’t too much of a problem for you, what with your fancy new Academy identification.
Anyone else trying to go into the better parts of town with a Academy ID would be taken into custody immediately.
The first thing you decide to do is find an inn as you want to relax for a bit after your long journey here. You find one that isn’t too bad and costs only ten coins to stay for a night. You spend the rest of the day and night enjoying some fine food and drink at the inn’s restaurant.
It definitely is much better than your usual fare.
The next day you decide to find a place to train at since the Academy doesn’t have such facilities. You ask the innkeeper where you might find a place like that and he points you in the direction of the local fencing school. Sounds about right to you so you head there immediately.
When you enter the place, you see many well maintained practice weapons along with many damaged ones, no doubt from inexperienced fools like yourself using them. You also see many punching bags along with other equipment. Looks like you’ve found a home away from home.
Over the next few days you spend a lot of time at the fencing school training various skills. You also spend some time just relaxing at the inn. It’s a nice change of pace compared to all the studying and tests you had to take at the Academy.
One day after you’ve been there a while you approach the owner and ask him if he knows of any jobs going where someone with your skills might be able to use them. The owner thinks for a moment and says that he may have something, but that you wouldn’t want it. He tells you that an old business partner of his owns a cabin in the forest and keeps a lot of valuable items there.
He says that several of the items are easily traced and that this guy would want them all back, but that some of the other stuff might be easy to sell. He’s used to the occasional thief going there to steal from him so he keeps a good stock of weapons in the cabin.
You think about this a minute and figure it wouldn’t be too hard to get a couple good items and just make up a story about getting robbed afterwards. The owner gives you a little more information about the place and you take off for it.
It takes a couple days of travel but eventually you reach the general area. You ask around and one of the people you ask points out the cabin saying that everyone knows about it. You head in that direction and sure enough, you find the place with no problem.
You also find that two people are guarding the front door. Not wishing to take them on right away, you look for other options and find a cellar window that you could get in through.
You slide open the window and easily drop into the cellar. You look around and find that it isn’t being used for much except as a place for tools and such. You also find that there is actually a trapdoor leading up into the cabin itself.
You easily open it up and climb out into the cabin.
You’re now inside what is basically a one room cabin. It’s pretty messy looking and you see several closed doors leading off the main room. You decide to start there and check each one for the valuables the owner spoke of.
The first door you try is the bathroom and as you would expect it’s in decent shape since it’s a fairly new addition to the cabin. Nothing of value here.
The next door you try is a large cabinet with glass windows in it. When you open the door you find a large number of antique bottles all carefully stored in rows. These bottles are definitely valuable and since there are so many of them, quite a bit of money too.
You take your time and carefully place them one by one into your bag. You then add some extra shelves to accommodate the new amount of loot you are carrying. (Remember you made the bag bigger with your powers).
After about an hour or so you’re finished and ready to leave. You’ve also thoroughly searched the rest of the cabin since you were already here and didn’t find anything else that looked valuable.
That is until you tried the last locked door. You found the key above the door frame when you searched the cabin so you go ahead and open it up.
Inside you find a woman tied to a chair. She looks terrified and begs you not to hurt her. You of course promise her that you won’t but naturally you have no such intentions.
You know from her appearance that she is the girlfriend of the owner and since you’ve already taken all the “valuables” you assume the Key Master was talking about, that can mean only one thing….
You have to kill her.
You could try to untie her and let her go but you doubt she would report back to the owner and even if she did, you would be long gone by the time he got here.
You could just choke her to death right now and be done with it but somehow killing someone up close like that doesn’t sit right with you. That’s way too personal and could put you at risk of getting caught.
Maybe you could just cut her throat?
No that’s even more risky because she could still bleed out and make a lot of noise dying while you’re trying to sneak out of here.
“Please, don’t kill me.” The woman begs one last time before you act.
That’s when you have an idea. You aren’t sure if it will work but it should be safer than killing her. You remove your bag and then pull the woman out of the chair.
She is confused by your actions but then you turn her around and start to untie the ropes. Once she is free, you tell her to put her arms around you in a hug.
Wh-what are you doing?”
She asks still very nervous.
“Just hugging you.
You said you wanted to leave didn’t you?
Well, I’m giving you your wish.” You say and then suddenly start lifting her up off the floor.
You then take flight out of the cabin and over the tree line before setting her down again. You also give her back her phone before sending a text to her boyfriend that was meant for him which should explain everything.
You then get out of there as fast as possible. You’re certainly glad you thought of that idea because you most likely saved yourself a lot of potential hassle and danger. (Not to mention killing someone, no matter the circumstances is never something you wanted to get into the habit of doing).
With the woman out of the picture you now have two new major concerns on your mind.
The first is what if the Key Master just decides to report the cabin stolen?
You think the owner would believe you since you sent that text but you just don’t know.
Fortunately after another long bus ride you get a bus heading to the next city and then from there you get on a city bus that will take you to the university so at least your not too far from home now.
Your other concern is PsychOp’s organization.
What if they were the ones that took out the Key Master? What if they come looking for you?
It’s not likely but it is possible. So far you haven’t made too many waves in the city so hopefully that will continue to be the case.
You get back to your apartment late that night and while you’re thoroughly exhausted your mind just won’t shut down which is really annoying. You think you might have a bit of insomnia again tonight. Really wish you could just fall asleep and not worry about anything.
You could go out and do something to take your mind off of things but then you’d have to deal with the whole going out fiddling with locks thing again. You’d really like to get rid of that line of thought again.
You think about coffee but decide that you’ve had enough of that to last you awhile. You also don’t want to risk falling asleep while drinking it.
You then remember that you still have that bottle of pain killers left over from your hospital stay. You never finished the entire thing since your health has mostly returned. You figure they will probably help you get to sleep so you take one along with a big swig of water to wash it down.
You close your eyes and wait but…nothing.
You try lying in bed a different way but again nothing happens. You even double check the bottle to make sure you took a pill. You did.
So what the hell?
All you know is you need sleep and if pills won’t do it then you’re not going to waste any more of them. You’ve got to figure out another way that isn’t locks because that line of thought has been causing nothing but headaches for you lately.
Speaking of which, your head is starting to hurt again…
Eventually you manage to get to sleep somehow and the next day you wake up feeling slightly better overall. You still have a headache but at least you aren’t feeling quite as stressed out as you were. Getting a good night’s sleep usually helps with that.
You make yourself some breakfast and then turn on the TV while you eat to pass the time. Just as you are cleaning up, you suddenly hear something rather unusual on the TV. Something so unusual it catches your attention quickly.
“We now go live to outside of city hall where a press conference is about to be held. Earlier today, mayor of our fair city Robert Vasile was found dead in his office. The cause of death is believed to be from a heart attack however an autopsy will be done to confirm.
In the meantime, the deputy mayor has taken charge of the city until a new mayor is elected within the month.”
You turn off the TV and just think for a moment. It’s not like you actually knew the guy or anything but you lived here all your life and knew this town was run in an organized manner. It’s almost surreal to think that the man who ran this place suddenly isn’t going to be around anymore.
Whether he had a heart attack or was murdered, it doesn’t really make a difference. The point remains the same.
You get back to eating your breakfast while pondering this new bit of information. The pill you took earlier is starting to make you feel loopy but it’s not enough to put you to sleep so you try to ignore it. It takes a lot of concentration though.
After finishing up, you start wondering what you were going to do with your day since your hobby is now off the table. After yesterday’s incidents, you don’t feel like going out though.
You then remember that you still have that new deck of cards that Lisa got for you.
You look at it sitting on your dresser and think, “Why not?”
You play a few games of solitaire to see if your luck is any better and it actually seems to be. You can’t lose! At least not at solitaire at any rate.
With your luck turned around, you go back to eating a second breakfast since you’re inexplicably still hungry. Maybe that pill is working off more than just the pain. You find that if you don’t focus too hard on it, your headache isn’t too bad.
Afterwards, you head back to the TV and see that there are still no new updates about the mayor being dead. No wonder since you saw his death on TV last night. You don’t understand why they would say he had a heart attack though.
They can tell what cause a person’s death just by looking at the body?
You thought that only doctors could do that.
You turn on the TV to see if anyone knows more and it turns out they know very little other than the mayor died of a heart attack during the night. It doesn’t even say he was in his office. In fact the newscaster mentions that it isn’t entirely clear when he died since he doesn’t appear to have had any appointments or meetings scheduled for yesterday.
The new mayor is mentioned but there isn’t anything significant other than the fact that he is dedicated to continuing the programs set in place by the previous mayor. They don’t even mention the dead man’s name, you’ll have to ask Lisa who that was.
Since nothing new is coming out, you turn off the TV again and think back to what you were going to do with your day off. You’re still feeling the loopy effects of the pill but you feel like you should try to do something since you don’t usually spend so much time lazing around.
This leads you to finally doing something you should have done a long time ago: clean your room.
While you were living with your parents, this probably wouldn’t have been a problem since they would have helped you pick up and clean but now that you’re on your own, it’s up to you to keep your own place clean. And by “clean” you mean “tidy.” You’re certainly not going to win any awards for having a spotless home.
The first thing you do is gather up all your dirty clothes and put them in the bathroom. While most people would just open up their window and throw them outside, you’re slightly more old fashioned and like the fresh air when you do your laundry so you head down to the basement of the apartment building and do yours there. It’s not like you have a lot of clothes so it doesn’t take long to finish.
With that done, you take a look around your room and try to come up with a good place to start cleaning but then you realize you’re still in pain from moving around too much and the pill must be wearing off since you can feel another headache coming on.
You decide that it would be best if you just went back to bed for now so you crawl under your covers and try to sleep off the pain.
By the time you wake up again, the pain has subsided and it’s now night once again. After stretching a bit, you get out of bed and look around to see what changed while you were asleep.
The first thing you notice is a small piece of white paper sitting on the floor by your bed. It probably fell out of your pocket while you were sleeping.
You pick it up and see that it’s a receipt from the store you went to yesterday. That’s weird, you didn’t even realize that it had fallen out. Then again, you also didn’t realize that you had bought two bottles of painkillers either.
There’s also something written on the back in pencil:
Do you want to see something cool?”
It’s obviously meant for you since it’s addressed to “Kyle” and it’s from Lisa. You’re not sure what she means by asking if you want to see something cool though. It’s hard to tell if she’s being sarcastic or justifiably optimistic.
Still, it’s obvious that Lisa wants to meet you somewhere so you can talk about the events of yesterday and what to do next. You just aren’t sure where she wants to meet since the only thing on the back of the receipt is:
“Behind the theater at 10pm.”
The only theater around here is the Oakridge Mall cinema so you can make an educated guess that she’s talking about there.
It’s still a few hours before your supposed to meet up with her so you decide to try to do something else since you’re still recovering from the pain pills. You watch some TV and then play some video games online which takes up enough time for you to fall asleep again.
You don’t wake up again until the early morning and after looking at the clock to see it’s 2:30am, you realize you only have a few hours left to meet up with Lisa.
After quickly getting dressed, you grab your car keys and head out of your place to go to the cinema. When you get there though, you notice that there are no lights on inside and the entrances to the building are all chained up and locked with a “closed” sign on it.
You can’t imagine that they would close down a movie theater in the middle of the week so you think that maybe it’s under renovation and that they moved somewhere else.
It would be easy to call Lisa and ask her where exactly she wants you to meet but then you’d have to wake her up and it’s possible she doesn’t even know herself since it seems she prepared the note before knowing for sure herself.
The only thing you can think of that would be big enough to hold hundreds of people that’s close by and might still be open at this time of night is the Walmart Supercenter that’s a few miles away.
You remember seeing a movie theater inside of it when you went there with your mom a few months ago so you think it should be your best bet.
Without much further thought, you get back into your car and drive over there.
You arrive at the Walmart and sure enough, the Cinema area is still open though it’s past the time for the late show and into the start of the late night movies.
You enter the theater to see that it’s rather empty save for a few stragglers that look like they’re under aged. You pay for a ticket and head into the almost empty theater. Most of the people there are in a rowdy bunch near the front so you opt to find a seat in the back.
You look around and count the number of seats on either side of you to get a rough estimate on how many people are in the theater. To your surprise it’s less than twenty people. Since the movie showing now is a bit of a popcorn flick, you wonder why there aren’t more people in here.
It isn’t like anyone’s watching the latest romantic comedy that usually draws in crowds of screaming teenage girls.
You spend the next two hours watching movie and counting how many times the word “Dildo” is said in a joking manner. (Hint: It’s more times than you’d think).
At last the movie ends and you follow everyone elses lead and wait around to make sure the room clears out before you leave. Since you bought your ticket so late, there’s practically no one in the lobby to get in your way.
You start to head towards the door to leave but then you stop and do a double take. There, at the front entrance, is Lisa with her hood up and her head down. She’s obviously waiting for someone but it isn’t you since she hasn’t seen you yet.
You walk up to her to find out who she’s waiting for but then you stop yourself.
Why not have a little fun first?
You’ve never been one for pranks but for some reason you’re draw to acting like a mischievous high schooler at the moment. Must be all the sugar from the soda and candy earlier. (
Was that even sugar?
It was so long ago you can’t even remember if you’d had a drink before entering the theater)
Regardless, you choose to act on your impulsive and childish urges. For once…
You step to the side and lean up against the wall to watch Lisa like monitoring an ant hill. After a few moments she starts to look a little antsy herself. You see her check her watch and then look around outside the doors.
You smile to yourself. It’s only been a minute or so and she’s already getting anxious.
Then after another few moments, you see her eyes start to dim and her head bows down a little. She starts to look a lot less like she did in high school and a lot more like the old Lisa you knew.
She begins to shake her legs and then checks her phone again. Still no message or call.
You continue to watch her and wait. She hasn’t seen you yet so maybe if you’re lucky she’ll leave before you need to reveal yourself. Though even if she does see you, you can just explain yourself.
Happy ending for everyone right?
You’re about to step out when a car pulls into the parking lot and into the spot closest to the door. You can tell it’s a girl driver by how ineptly she drives.
The passenger door opens and Lisa lifts her head up in a mixture of surprise and glee. You get a good look at the chauffer and it’s a girl with long black hair and…
Holy crap. It’s Ka…
You quickly move your head back behind the wall when you see Kaeden looking around. Lisa seems to tell her that she’s overreacting when Kaeden looks over in your direction. You hold your breath and keep completely still until Kaeden turns her attention back to Lisa and gets inside with her.
You wait about a minute before peeking around the corner again. The car is already pulling out of its spot and driving towards the exit. You let out a sigh of relief that you didn’t get caught and leave the theater yourself.
Just as you reach the lobby doors, you hear someone calling out your name. You turn around and see that it’s Lisa running towards you.
“Hey wait up!” She says when she reaches the doors. She looks different than she did earlier.
Her hood is off and her hair isn’t covering half of her face anymore. You also get a good look at her clothes for the first time and you almost don’t recognize her. Gone are the loose fitting t-shirts and sweatpants. She’s wearing a loose fitting t-shirt, but it’s not a sweat shirt and it doesn’t look like a old man’s. The sweat pants are gone too, replaced by…well tight pants.
It’s almost like night and day…she looks so beautiful and put together.
Almost like she did when you first met her.
“You look…different.” You say while trying to find something else to say.
“Thanks…I think…” Lisa replies with a hint of embarrassment in her voice.
“I just got done shopping today and this was one of the outfits I got. I wanted to wear it for my first day on the job.”
“I think you should definitely wear it on your first day. You look great in it.
Just like old times, eh?”
“Yeah…just like old times…” she says looking down at the ground a little.
You realize that she’s not going to be as easy to get along with as you thought. You need to change the subject and fast.
“So I saw Kaeden head off in your car.
Did she steal it?”
You try joking with her.
Lisa looks up and smiles a bit when she hears Kaeden’s name.
“No. I’d left the keys in it. I figured she might, so I hid the spare and the parking tickets on my car under the wiper of the driver’s side window.
I found both after she took it.”
Did you get them back?”
“Yeah, when I pulled into this parking lot, she was here so I got them back from under the wiper and took her home.
I didn’t see her car here, did she come back?”
“Yeah, but she left in a different car.” You say.
“Oh well. I have everything locked up now so I think I’ll head home.
Will you be coming with me?”
“Yeah, I’ll follow you. Let me go get in my car. I’ll be right behind you.
Lisa nods and heads back to the theater. When you see her start to pull out of the parking lot, you get in your car and pull out after her. Thankfully, she doesn’t go too fast so keeping up with her is pretty easy.
The trip back to her house is pretty uneventful. You need to find out what’s been going on with her lately, but you need to choose your time and location carefully.
When you get back to her house, she goes straight upstairs and starts typing on her computer. She’s still obviously not very talkative so you just leave her alone for now. You think about everything and decide that you need to talk to John about all of this.
If he’s planning on taking Lisa with him, then he needs to know what kind of mood she’s been in lately. Even if he’s not though, maybe he’ll have some advice on how to help her.
The next few days are pretty hectic for you with all that’s going on so you don’t get a chance to speak with John. You also don’t see Lisa much since she stays locked in her room most of the time. You worry about her a lot and hope that she’ll open up to you soon.
On the third night when you’re heading up to bed, you hear your phone ringing. You check the caller ID and see that it’s John calling.
“Hey sorry to wake you, I was gonna leave a message.”
“It’s fine, I was awake already.
“I was talking to my sister about Lisa and she says that she’s been very upset lately. She said that Lisa has barely spoken to anyone since she came back from visiting you in Saint Louis.”
“Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. I think Lisa’s been taking the news a lot harder than I thought she would. She’s been in her room crying for the past few days.”
What do you mean?”
“Well when she came home, she was very emotional. She cried when she saw me and gave me a big hug. After I told her, she’s been spending a lot of time in her room.”
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