FF800: Handler Core Strength, Posture, and Finding Neutral

Instructor: Karen Kay

Course Details

FF800     Handler Core Strength, Posture, and Finding Neutral

Is your posture affecting your dog’s performance in the ring?


Are you suffering from neck and or low back pain while working with your dog?


Do activities of daily living cause you neck and or lower back pain?

I am a Certified Posture Specialist (CPS) through the National Posture Institute (NPI). This certification program prepares medical and fitness professionals to assess and educate their clients/patients in all areas of posture and body alignment.

This program is taught in five modules. The modules will describe, demonstrate, teach and analyze exercise movements and posture in an easy to follow sequential order. I will teach you how to implement the NPI Posture Assessment Program into your current health and exercise program. You will learn to construct your own posture and body alignment grid. This grid will help both you and I in evaluating the anatomical structures of both your spine and extremities.

Furthermore, I will review how poor posture and body alignment develop, and how this condition can increase the chances of postural dysfunction, back pain, and risk of injury. My teaching methods will address correcting alignment, reversing movement patterns, improving posture, relieving neck and lower back pain and in training you through cognitive methods via the NPI’s Four Points of Posture Program and specific exercise movements.

Some of the most prevalent postural deviations include “Forward Head Position” (FHP), “Rounded Shoulders,” “Muscular Imbalances,” “Anterior Pelvic Tilt,” “Hump Back/Kyphosis”, “Lower Back Pain,” and “Knee Pain.”

Fitness, health and medical professionals must continue to pay attention to the exercise programs and modalities their clients/patients are engaging in. We must pay attention to the client’s/patient’s place of work, activities of daily living (ADLs), exercise programs, postural deviations and the possibility of developing injuries when administrating assessments and exercise programs.

I will address how several components in your life can be affecting your posture.

  • Are you accountable for your own posture?

  • How should posture be included in your exercise plan?

  • How do your nutritional habits affect your posture?

  • Is your footwear affecting your posture?

  • How does your workplace affect your posture?

  • Is a lack of flexibility or mobility affecting your posture?

  • What does your stress level do to your posture?

  • Do you have osteoporosis that is affecting your posture?

  • Is there another medical problem, such as degenerative disc disease (DDD) contributing to your posture?

  • Do you have a small dog contributing you your bad posture in the performance ring (from bending and flexing)?

  • Do you have a large dog affecting your posture because you are shorter in stature and have to reach up to eye level or above regularly?

As you can see from this list, there are numerous contributors to both our static posture (stationary) and to our dynamic posture (moving). We will examine which of these affects you personally and how to change them so that you can enjoy playing with your dog without discomfort, pain, or feeling like you are limiting your results in the performance ring with poor handler posture! 


There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.

Registration begins at 10:30am PDT. 

Enrollment limits: 15 gold, 25 silver, unlimited bronze. If you are interested in a bronze level spot, you can sign up any time during the registration period.




Week 1

  • Why Is Posture Important for Dog Sport Handlers?

  • The Definitions of Static vs Dynamic Posture

  • Neutral Pelvis Versus Neutral Spine

  • What Is The Line of Gravity To Overall Standing Posture?

  • What Is The Relationship Between Line of Gravity (LOG) and Stability?

  • The Four Systems That Need To Function Effectively To Maintain Posture

  • A Complete Posture and Body Alignment Self-Assessment Program

Week 2

  • What Is An Ideal Posture?

  • The Deficient Posture Versus The Efficient Posture

  • The Top 10 Standing Postural Deviations (Which Do You Have Based On Your Self-Assessment?)

  1. Sway Back

  2. Lower-Cross Syndrome

  3. Rounded Shoulders

  4. Forward Head

  5. Upper-Cross Syndrome

  6. Head Tilt

  7. Uneven Shoulders

  8. Uneven Hips

  9. Feet Turned In

  10. One or Both Feet Turned Out

  • Beginner Stretching and Strengthening For Correcting Postural Deviations

Week 3

  • Learn NPI’s Four Points of Posture Program

  • Learn NPI’s Posture Perfections Principles

  • What is Structural Muscular Integration?

  • Application of Muscular Structural Integration

  • Application of Proper Myofascial Release

  • How Do I Sit, Stand, and Lay?

  • Correcting Ergonomics For A Safer Environment

  • Intermediate Stretching and Strengthening For Correcting Postural Deviations

Week 4

  • What Is The Time Frame To Start Seeing Changes In The Correction Of Your Posture?

  • What Methods Are There To Solve The Problem Of Poor Posture?

  • Visual Imagery Techniques

  • What Are The NPI Posture Perfect Principles?

  • What Are The Five Components To Teaching And Analyzing A Movement?

  • What Are The Reference Body Positions?

  • What Factors Influence Stability and Mobility On The Spine?

Week 5

  • The Muscular System And Its Effects On Force And Range Of Motion

  • How Do Your Muscles Of Respiration Affect Posture?

  • Common Injuries Affecting Your Posture

  • Posture Examples In Activities Of Daily Living

  • Establishing Neutral While Lifting, Running, Walking, and Sitting

  • Advanced Core Exercises

Week 6

  • The 10 Ways To Great Posture As We Age

  • Breathing and Posture

  • Inefficient Muscular Association Versus Efficient Muscular Association

  • Detailing The Development Of Including Posture In Your Exercise Program Design

Prerequisites and Equipment

There are no prerequisites for this class.

Equipment:  a Yoga mat for the floor and large sheets of paper or poster board that can be taped on to an empty wall (a ruler, yardstick, or straight edge and marker to contruct your posture grid on the paper)

Course Testimonials

Brand New Course April 2016

Please refer to the instructor bio page for sample testimonials from other courses she has taught.