Do you know whether you are twofer clutcher, a heavy swinger or an arm-crook hooker? They may sound like boxing moves but in fact they describe the different ways women carry their handbags.

Whether you balance yours on your forearm, clutch it in your hands, drape it across your body or carry it on one shoulder, your handbag posture can have profound effects on your muscles and joints.

Unhealthy stances can cause neck, shoulder and back pain – and even extreme headaches. A sensible grip on your accessories, on the other hand, can help you walk taller and straighter.

So take a good look at yourself (and your bag collection) to identify what type of handbag holder you are and how your fashion sense is affecting your body. 


This double-handed slumping pose is most commonly adopted with a small clutch bag.

According to physiotherapist Sammy Margo, this posture is the worst culprit when it comes to slouching.Similar to sitting at your desk all day, the back becomes rounded and the shoulders rotate inwards.

If this is your default handbag pose, Sammy says shoulder and back problems are likely..’

The good news is that with a subtle shift in movement, the bag can be rid of its evil slouching powers.

‘It’s best to hold a clutch in one hand with the shoulders back and down and the palms forwards, which will cause the shoulders to turn outwards.Ideally you should also alternate hands,’ she suggests.



The elbow is bent, the bag is displayed on the foerarm and the perfectly toned biceps work overtime to make a fashion statement. They may get top marks for style, but these oversized bags with short handles that end up balancing on the arm come bottom of the charts when it comes to posture.

The stance causes rounded shoulders and strain on the bicep muscle as well as the elbow joint.

The elbow hasn’t been made to sustain a heavy load for a prolong period, so it can also cause problems in the joint.’
So how can you hold a stylish Birkin and maintain an equally stylish posture? With difficulty, expert says but suggests keeping the load light.


The body drape: Eva Longoria's cross-body method is by far the most physiologically sound but could be improved by having a wider strap

Not only does this pose have the distinct advantage of allowing full use of the hands and arms – which is why it’s a favourite among mothers and anyone who likes holding a coffee – it’s also best for your joints and muscles.

But there’s still room for improvement. ‘A wider strap would be much better. The problem with a metal Chanel strap, for example, is that it digs in at the contact point on your body,’ expert say.

As well as a wider strap, experts advises switching sides.


The shoulder schlepp: Kate Beckinsale could end up with should back and neck pain - and even headaches - with this enormous tote in her shoulder.

If you are someone who carries their whole life in their handbag, you may well be in possession of one of these mamas.But guess what? Carrying an enormous load on one side of your body with the entire weight digging into your shoulder is not ideal.

‘With this posture you might get compression of the acromioclavicular joint at the top of the shoulder, which can cause localised or acute pain in the area,’ experts explains.

Women with large breasts whose bras pull might also experience a heavy load on that particular point. It’s also more likely to cause loading through the neck, which may cause neck pain and even headaches.

One redeeming feature of this posture is that the arm can also be used to hold the bag in place, which disperses the load and evens out the posture.

Paying attention to posture can also help. ‘Ensure your shoulders are back and down, engage the core muscles and vary where you are placing the load,’ experts advice. ‘But you should never sustain a large load for longer than about 10 minutes.’


The heavy swing: Stella McCartney's big bag and small handles could be causing asymmetrical strain in her body

‘You end up tilted towards the load, which causes an asymmetrical strain on one side of the body,’ says an expert.

To prevent some of the potential switch the load into different hands – and think like a man.

‘Men put things in their jacket pockets. If women made better use of their coat pockets they would far less prone to back problems! If you do end up doing the briefcase swing, make sure you pay attention to levelling up your shoulders on both side.

Source: Daily Mail

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