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Im 22 years old, 170cm, ~90kh weight, starting some efforts to get in shape. Im going to the gym 3 times a week, trying to stay in a 6-10 rep per set range, changed my diet to low-carb, trying to put in some swimming and Tabata-style interval running (cant manage the 10-20 rest/work proportion yet, going with 30-10 for now)

I have a moderately mild case of hyperlordosis and hyperkyphosis. This is probably due to a VERY sedetary lifestyle (work, university, personal projects - all of this requires sitting at a desk for long hours)

Even though the primary goal of my workouts is lowering my BF%, I was hoping that in the process I could strengthen my back and thus help myself sit in proper position and correct my posture a bit.

As far as i know, hyperlordosis is caused by an imbalance between the posterior chain and the abs. So my question is - is doing deadlifts and squats bad for me and my back? Should I be cutting on the intensity and/or amount of those exericses? Or maybe it will be enough to put additional focus on leg rises, crunches and similar exercises? Are there any other exercises i should focus on?

Also, for the hyperkyphosis, isnt it exactly the same case, but for the chest muscles and the upper back? Are bench presses bad for me and rowing great?

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Deadlifts and squats helped my posture, but I'm not sure if it'll help yours. Good question. –  Dave Liepmann Oct 29 '12 at 15:21
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This posture answer gives exercises specific to posture that will help balance both your kyphosis/lordosis problems. –  BackInShapeBuddy Oct 29 '12 at 21:06
    
as for kyphosis id agree, and i found the answers educating, but it seems to me that it is not the case with lordosis. Furthermore, that question tackles a the problem at a diffrent angle. Its focused on fixing the posture for its own sake, im asking for tips on tuning my workout routine (designed primarily to improve overall and functional fitness) to accomodate for my bad posture (to NOT make it worse and possibly better) –  K.L. Oct 30 '12 at 13:10
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@k.l. Sorry I made the ref. to the posture answer a comment as I'm on the run. Postural problems are often caused by myofascial restriction in different parts of the body that cause compensations such as your lordosis. My short answer- if your hyperlordosis does not allow you to achieve proper form in your squats/deadlifts then yes, these exercises could be bad for your back. However, if you can achieve proper form, then strengthening usually improves posture. Also, check out crunches –  BackInShapeBuddy Oct 30 '12 at 19:11

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted
+250

Hyperkyphosis - hunched back-, due to muscle imbalance, is normally caused by weak mid back muscles (rhomboids, part of traps, levator scap, etc.) and tight pectoral muscles. This is common in high school age wrestling athletes for example. Seated rows, shoulder shrugs, rotator-cuff exercises; while paired with pectoral stretches can help correct this. If you have hyperkyphosis because you have a degenerative disc disease, there is not a lot you can do.

Lordosis - sway back -, due to muscle imbalance, needs to be addressed with low back and glute muscle stretches while strengthening your lower abs and hip-flexor muscles can greatly improve your posture.

Good luck.

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Nothing more needs to be said. This is correct. –  Berin Loritsch Nov 7 '12 at 14:21

Check out Neanderthal No More - The complete guide to fixing your caveman posture! by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. It's available on T-Nation and cited all over the web. It deals directly with your (and my) issue. The 4 part T-Nation version has lots of Q&A from readers. @Grohlier gives a very succinct summary of this article which has tons of anatomy drawings and exercises photos. Some of the exercises (face pulls and pull throughs) were new even to me. I would like to add the following for "my question is - is doing deadlifts and squats bad for me and my back?". They are fine BUT form is super critical and you must work within the range of motion you have - e.g. you might not be able to get to parallel on the squat for a while. Can you raise your arms above your head without arching backwards? If you can't, you may end up with a very high bar squat that will end up making you round your lower back if you try to break parallel. The deadlift, squat, and bench press are so fundamental that you should get Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength to get all the biomechanics right. Possibly, Rippetoe alone might do it for you if you have a partner to check your form and your issue isn't too severe. For sure, study the Cressey & Robertson piece, it worked for me and I believe it is sound scientifically.

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thanks, will take a look at that book! –  K.L. Nov 8 '12 at 9:28
    
I just realized I was unclear: Neanderthal No More is a free web article and "Starting Strength" is a book (there is also a DVD that can be purchased separately. –  medmal Nov 8 '12 at 17:19

I would just like to add in on Grohliers answer, it might just be a typo but it should be addressed. I agree with stretching the lower back and strengthening the abs, but by stretching the glutes and strengthening the hip flexors you would just "reset" the back stretches and abdominal work. Just google "lower crossed syndrome" and you will get a lot of pictures of the pelvis and which muscles pulling where. You will see that by strengthening the glutes and the abs, and also stretching the lower back and the hip flexor, you will straighten out your pelvis.

enter image description here

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Although it's common on most forum, asking someone to google something is a bit frowned upon here on StackExchange. It makes your answer better if you just link to one or two exemplary good sources (and quote importan parts), especially because google results change by time and are not the same for different people. –  Baarn Nov 13 '12 at 20:23
    
Ah, so sorry. I am kind of new to StackExchange. Here is a picture of what I was talking about: improvewithchris.com/Upper%20Crossed%20Syndrome.png –  Wingeer Nov 13 '12 at 22:39
    
Thanks for your input, it was welcome ;) Upvoted it :) But to make your answet better, you should edit it a bit. When posting links and resources on SE sites, its a good practice to put the link inside of your answer (comments are often overlooked by future visitors), also, if you refee to some articles or text (would be welcome in this case), try to quote the most interesting and to the point part of it. If the site hosting the article ever goes down, at least that quote will remain here for future users –  K.L. Nov 28 '12 at 13:46

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