“Tuck your bottom under” is not a helpful cue

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Recently, I’ve been doing some research on what advice is available for women about posture during pregnancy. In many cases the results have been sadly discouraging – including this NHS leaflet published in 2016.

Cueing is a fine art for both written or verbal instructions and not always easy to get right – but  “tuck your bottom under” is one cue that should have been phased out a long time ago. It tends to result in over-activity of the strong buttock (gluteal) muscles and the more superficial abdominals, specifically rectus abdominus and the external obliques, causing more problems than it solves.

The other cues given here are not great either although the photographs may be helpful to some.

An American article explains, “Using proper posture can help prevent and even relieve some of the pain (associated with pregnancy).  Keeping your chin tucked in and raising your head and shoulders helps you stand tall. Tuck in or tilt your pelvis forward to keep your lower back from arching in a swayback position.”

Oh dear… How can we do better?

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