Static vs Dynamic Posture and How to Improve Both

Static vs Dynamic Posture and How to Improve Both

Good posture has fabulous cosmetic benefits, making you look younger, taller and more confident. But there is more to perfect posture than how others perceive you. Good posture has lifelong health benefits that can dramatically improve your quality of life and even help you live longer!

Learn the difference between static and dynamic posture, and steps you can take today to optimize your personal posture for better health, improved performance and a rock star physique.

Posture and Health

Put in the simplest terms, posture is defined by how your joints align relative to the force of gravity when you are standing or sitting (static posture), and when your body is in motion (dynamic posture).

Suboptimal postural alignment requires more energy to sustain, and puts more stress on your joints, increasing your risk of injury and causing long-term structural damage. Poor posture can interfere with the smooth gliding of nerves among soft tissues and rigid structures, causing pain and inhibiting movement.

Poor posture contributes to multiple health conditions, such as:

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Shoulder pain and dysfunction

  • Impaired breathing

  • Jaw pain

  • Headaches

  • Sexual dysfunction

  • Reproductive issues

  • Constipation

  • Bladder and bowel issues

  • Pelvic pain and dysfunction

  • Joint pain in the hips, knees, ankles and feet

  • Balance issues

  • Neuromuscular disorders

Posture and Health

There are several things you can do right away to improve your posture, with long-term strategies for maintaining healthy posture throughout your lifetime.

What Causes Poor Posture?

Your skeletal structures would be nothing but a heap of bones without your muscles, fascia and connective tissues to hold them in place. Postural alignment is achieved by coordinated muscle tension throughout your body. As your muscles contract, they pull against rigid structures to hold them in place.

Humans begin to develop posture as soon as we are born. During the first year of life, the stages of infant development coincide with milestones in movement, such as lifting the head, rolling over, pushing up, creeping, crawling, and eventually standing and walking.

Developmental milestones are innately programmed into human software, and they can be reactivated by dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) techniques. Infant development is a bodybuilding show in action as muscles, bones and connective tissues become strong enough to defy gravity and master locomotion.

When early development progresses without impedance, good posture is naturally established. However, many things can undermine good posture over time, resulting in suboptimal motor strategies that cause pain and dysfunction.

Causes of poor posture include:

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Being overweight or obese

  • Repetitive movement patterns that overuse muscles on one side of the body

  • Excessive sitting

  • Activities that cause a prolonged head-forward posture, like reading and using electronic devices

  • Old injuries that were never properly rehabilitated

What Causes Poor Posture?

Achieving Good Static Posture

Conscious awareness of how you stand and sit on a daily basis is fundamental to achieving good static posture. What begins as bad habits can eventually cause muscle imbalances that dictate your everyday posture and lead to pain and dysfunction.

Improving your static standing posture

Get in the habit of surveying your posture when forced to stand for long periods, such as standing in line. Look for the following postural habits when standing:

  • Shifting your weight to one leg

  • Standing with your knees locked out

  • Allowing your core muscles to relax

  • Clenching your buttocks

  • Slumping your shoulders

Tips for achieving good static posture while standing:

  1. Engage your core

  2. Position your ankles directly beneath your hips

  3. Keep your knees slightly bent

  4. Pull up from your ribcage

  5. Lift your chest

  6. Pull your shoulders back and down

  7. Elongate your neck

  8. Keep your chin parallel to the floor

Improving your static standing posture

A good example of perfect standing posture is a soldier standing at attention or at ease.

When viewed from a side angle:

  • Your earlobe should align with your shoulder joint

  • Your shoulder should align with your hip joint

  • Your knee should align slightly forward of your hip joint

  • Your ankle should align slightly behind your knee joint

When viewed from the front or back:

  • A vertical line along your body’s midline should dissect your body symmetrically into right and left halves

  • Body weight should be distributed evenly between both feet

To get a feel for good standing posture, try this exercise:

  • Stand with your back against a flat wall and engage your core

  • Leg your arms hang straight from your shoulders, palms toward your body

  • Touch your heels, buttocks, elbows, shoulder blades and the back of your head to the wall

  • Keep your chin parallel to the floor

  • Maintaining your joint alignment, take a giant step away from the wall

  • If your alignment feels unnatural or uncomfortable, you have probably developed some poor standing postural habits that need to be corrected

To get a feel for good standing posture, try this exercise

Improving your static sitting posture

When sitting, look for these postural habits:

  • Head-forward position, as when looking down at a mobile device

  • Forward-rounded shoulders and compressed chest cavity

  • Posterior pelvic tilt with rounded low back

  • Feet unable to rest on the floor

  • Hip and knee angle greater than 90º

Tips for achieving good static posture while sitting:

  1. Align your earlobes with your shoulders and hips

  2. Relax your shoulders back and down, elbows close to your sides

  3. Keep your hips and knees at 90º

  4. Your feet should be flat on the floor, heels down

  5. When keyboarding, keep your elbows at 90º, forearms parallel to the floor, wrists extended

You may need to adjust your workstation to accommodate good sitting posture.

Improving your static sitting posture

Improving Dynamic Posture

Your static posture creates a foundation for your dynamic posture. When your body is accustomed to being in alignment while standing and sitting, you are more likely to position your body’s center of gravity in optimal ways while in motion.

Factors that influence your dynamic posture include:

  • Joint mobility. All of your joints should be able to move freely through their functional range of motion. Overly tight muscles and connective tissues, and injuries that were never fully rehabilitated can restrict your joint range of motion, reducing physical performance and increasing your risk of injury. You can restore optimal joint range of motion with physical therapy.

  • Joint hypermobility. To move optimally, you need both mobility and stability in your joints. It is a balancing act between strong muscles and mobile joints. A biomechanical analysis can measure the balance of muscle tension at your joints, to identify areas that are overly lax and need strengthening. A good physical therapy program can help you achieve the perfect balance of joint stability and mobility.

  • Coordinated muscle firing patterns. During physical activity, your muscles work together in a coordinated sequence to produce specific movements. Compensation patterns from former injuries, poor static posture, and bad habits can cause muscles to misfire, setting you up for injury and preventing you from performing at your best. A biomechanical analysis using surface EMG (SEMG) can identify faulty muscle firing patterns, which can be retrained using feedback technology and ultrasonography.

Improving Dynamic Posture

Retrain Static and Dynamic Posture in NYC

There are many things you can do right away to improve your posture, but without a means to measure your progress, it can be difficult to tell whether your efforts are yielding the desired results.

The human movement specialists at NYDNRehab use advanced technologies to precisely measure joint angles, force loads, muscle firing patterns and other elements that contribute to good posture.

Our high-resolution diagnostic ultrasound equipment lets us identify old injuries that may be contributing to faulty movement strategies. Our 3D gait analysis technologies let us identify and correct deficits in the gait cycle that undermine dynamic posture.

Your posture retraining program may include some or all of the following:

  • Physical therapy

  • Chiropractic care

  • Gait analysis and retraining

  • Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS)

  • Therapeutic Pilates

  • Record therapy

  • Dynamic feedback training

  • Biomechanical analysis

  • Therapeutic massage

Posture retraining has many benefits that improve your health and contribute to a better quality of life. Improved posture helps you move better, feel better, look better and be more confident. Contact NYDNRehab today to schedule a posture analysis, and begin your journey toward better posture so you can move and perform with grace and confidence.


Orhan, Emre, Büşra Altın, and Songül Aksoy. “Effect of smartphone use on static and dynamic postural balance in healthy young adults.” American journal of audiology 30.3 (2021): 703-708.

Vos, Lammert A., Maarten R. Prins, and Idsart Kingma. “Training potential of visual feedback to improve dynamic postural stability.” Gait & Posture 92 (2022): 243-248.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

Buy now 3D Gait
Payment Success
Request Telehealth Request Telehealth Request in office visit Book now