Imagine you are trekking in the Eastern Sierras, and with every step you take you rise in elevation. You come about many waterfalls and pools. If you wanted to completely stop the waterfalls, would you simply build a wall of rocks covering the lip of the first waterfall thus creating a dam? Of course not! The water does not originate from the bottom of the waterfall. 

Since the water originates at a much higher elevation, to build a dam effectively you must build it at the highest elevation possible. The parallel here is the fact that people are always trying to fix their posture in an ineffective manner. They will stretch their chest and lats in a half hearted attempt to fix their forward and rounded shoulders. 

Every compensation starts at the core. For example, if the base of a house is not intact, it is only a matter of time until you experience cracks in your walls and the eventual disintegration of your home.  In this scenario, you wouldn’t want to solely paint over the crack in the wall, you would want to look at the foundation of your house to fix the problem. Similarly, our core is the root of our function. 

Someone who is sedentary and sits down frequently, will have over-activated hip flexors. Over activated hip flexors coupled with time causes the shortening of myofascial tissue. So when our human goes to stand up, the hip flexors will now leverage the pelvis downward into an anterior pelvic tilt. When the pelvis rotates downward the lumbar spine goes into lordosis and creates an inward bend in the lower spine. 

This causes an ineffective shift in a forward hip posture. The upper extremities now have to play catch up in order attempt to stack the spine. The ribcage has to flex downward. This is not enough though, now the cervical spine must protract to balance out the positioning of the forward hips. Muscularly, the gluteals become underactive when they have to perform hip extension, because the pelvis is not in position to activate the gluteus maximus. 

In order to compensate, the secondary gluteal function now takes over and externally rotates the femurs causing the feet to externally rotate (much like a duck). The excessive lordosis now puts the QL’s in a position where they are shortened and have to take over core function because the deep intrinsic core stabilizers are not able to fire correctly to lift the rib cage. 

Now the rib cage is flexed downward and the thoracic spine is now in a state of kyphosis, the scapula and glenohumeral joints now slide forward as if being on a downward slope, thus shortening the pectorals, latissimus dorsi, and subscapularis. As you can see there are many compensations, but in order to address all these we must start at the top of the mountain then work our way down. As you can deduct, if you can stop the water at the top of the mountain there will be a lot less water in the lower waterfalls. The same applies to your body. It is imperative to start at the root of your dysfunction then move down the list