analyzing your posture: the soft-eye-scan, t-shirt test, and wall test

How’s your posture? Good? Bad? What does an ideal posture looks like? How would you describe it? The next time you’re in front of a full-length mirror, perform the following soft-eye scan and reference tests to identify your postural default settings (aka your current structural alignment). Alignment is the relationship of your skeleton to the line of gravity (your body’s plumb-line) and your base of support (your feet). Posture is the positioning of the different body parts relative to one another. When performing the following tests, stand in a way that feels the most natural to you.

Soft-Eye Scan: When looking in the mirror, do not focus on your skin, hair, or any other details. See your body as circles and lines – shapes that tell you about your alignment.

  1. Are your ears, shoulders and hips level?
  2. Is your trachea/throat long and visible or is your chin falling forward and the front of your neck relaxed?
  3. Is your sternum/chest elevated, as if you could balance a coin on it, or is it collapsed?
  4. Are the holes in your ears inline with the bony parts of your shoulders (the acromion processes) or are they forward along with the rest of your head (aka anterior head carriage)?
  5. Is one or both of your shoulders rolling forward and inward or are the bony parts of your shoulders (the acromion processes) back and inline with your hips and the tops of your upper legs (the greater trochanters)?
  6. Are the tops of your upper legs (the greater trochanters) inline with the tops of your lower legs (the heads of the fibulae)?
  7. Are the heads of the fibulae inline with the bony parts of your ankles (the lateral malleoluses)?
  8. Is your body weight positioned over your heels or is your weight falling forward?
  9. Are you able to lift your toes and to tap your forefeet or are you falling forward with your toes gripping the floor?
  10. Are you feet parallel or are they turning inwards or outwards?
  11. How about your knees? Are they rolling inwards or outwards? Are they soft or pressed back and locked out?
  12. How is your balance? How many seconds can you balance on one foot? How about the other? Which side is easier? Is there a big imbalance?

Reference Test #1: The Wall Test

Stand with your back against a mirror/wall. Your head, shoulders, buttocks and heels should be touching the wall, allowing for slight lordosis (arching) of the cervical spine, slight kyphosis (rounding) of the thoracic spine, and slight lordosis of the lumbar spine. If this position is uncomfortable or impossible for you to maintain, then you need to reprogram your posture and to eliminate your muscular imbalances.

Reference Test #2: The T-Shirt Test

The fibers of a T-shirt run vertically as do the fibers of our rectus abdominis (our six-pack abs). When they are stretched they become taught. Feel your abs become tight as you elevate your chest and ribcage. When you stand with proper/active posture, your abdominals should be lengthened and your T-shirt should fall off your breasts or sternum, creating no wrinkles. If you were to think about the designer or your shirt, how would they want it to be displayed? When you enter a room, how do you want to display yourself? Your posture communicates the way you perceive yourself. A proper/active posture displays self-pride and confidence –traits that everyone should project.

At Duquette Strength, we build better bodies by first eliminating muscular imbalances that wreak havoc on your posture and well-being with The Postural Reprogramming SystemÔ (PRS). The PRS is a fresh and innovative system for improving posture, correcting muscular imbalances, and eliminating chronic aches and pains. The PRS works by using your own body’s natural reflexes to strategically stretch and strengthen tight or weak muscles contributing to your postural misalignment.

For more information on The Postural Reprogramming System or to book your free consultation and postural assessment, please visit us



About Annika Voelpel

* former director of health & fitness programs at the sutton place hotel * former head therapist of duquette strength clinic * entering 10th year as a professional trainer * registered kinesiologist and active-rehabilitation specialist * level 1 track & field, gymnastics, dance, and aquatics coach * certified in the postural reprogramming system (PRS) * certified pilates instructor and acupressure massage practitioner * sports nutrition and healthy-cooking expert * seminar speaker and former presenter at the global youth assembly * former national level gymnast and competitive dancer * former varsity track and field competitor * experienced fitness model
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