Founder of National Posture Institute Talks About Prevention of Injuries
An interview with Ken Baldwin, Certified Posture Specialist™, Executive Director of NPI
(This article is originally published by HUR Health and Fitness )
Ken Baldwin knew the value of good posture at a young age. A member of the Bentley University lacrosse team, Baldwin recalled training with his strength and conditioning coaches, where he realized that the exercises and movements needed to be done in a safer way.
“I would watch my teammates and they weren’t using good form,” said Baldwin. “I knew it was hurting their back and their neck.”
To say that Baldwin is passionate about good posture is putting it mildly. Baldwin is the founder and Executive Director of his Texas based organization, The National Posture Institute, which he started in 2007 with the goal of educating students on posture and body alignment through courses and certification programs.
“About 95% of the population does strength training incorrectly,” said Baldwin, an associate professor of Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology and Advanced Personal Training at SUNY, The State University of New York. “The better posture you have, and this applies to everyone, kids and adults, the better chance you have of not getting injured.”
Baldwin said that as an individual ages, his or her body starts to change, and sitting incorrectly, and standing or walking with imbalances for years and years can cause injuries to develop over time.
“When someone’s posture is off, their basis is compromised, and they are in what is called a posterior pelvic tilt,” said Baldwin, who also held positions in the past as the Director of Personal Training Certificate Programs at San Diego State University, and Program Coordinating Instructor for the personal fitness training program at Purdue University. “So, every time they walk, they’re not engaging core muscles or gluteal muscles, and they are therefore compromising balance and stability, which can cause falls and injuries.”
The National Posture Institute offers certification programs and onsite workshops to health, fitness, and medical professionals, college students, and individuals. The company also has free webinars and online programs.
Baldwin said he teaches and certifies his students on how to use resistance training equipment and how to incorporate the HUR iBalance platform in conducting posture assessments.
“Using these machines, you can do a complete detailed quantitative analysis,” Baldwin said. “It indicates where you have imbalances and where you are compensating, and it quantitates and tracks everything, so you can do research studies using it, as well.”
Baldwin said he also likes the fact that the machine has so many different settings, so it can be used to test an older adult or a college athlete. It also generates detailed reports that can be shared with the client or patient.
Once posture and alignment are tested, Baldwin said the next step is to implement a plan to correct the imbalances.
“We have to make sure that the client is learning how to sit and stand correctly, as well as doing all daily activities such as driving, or even washing your face in correct alignment,” he said.
Baldwin also recommends an exercise program that includes resistance training, stretching correctly and doing cardiovascular exercise in correct body alignment.
“If you don’t do the exercise in correct alignment, you’re creating more muscular imbalances,” Baldwin said.
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About Ken Baldwin:
Ken Baldwin is a full-time Associate Professor at the State University of New York, Certified Posture Specialist™, and the Executive Director for The National Posture Institute (NPI). Ken is the Senior Editor, content expert, and lead author for ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer Textbook (2nd Edition), former Chair of IDEA’s National Personal Trainer Committee, and served on national committees with organizations that include the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), AAHPERD, and the Medical Fitness Association (MFA). Ken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org