Are you sitting down reading this? Where are your shoulders? Are you slumping forward or sitting up tall with your shoulders back? Do you find yourself hunched over your computer all day, or are you sitting and standing in a way that supports proper posture? If you’re like me, it’s probably the former. Pilates teacher training Sydney is probably all you want in your future to help new generations maintain their healthy lifestyle.
When I first started Pilates, I was also a consistent yoga practitioner. I thought because I did yoga it meant my posture was good. However, as someone who sat at a desk for 8-plus hours per day, my posture was anything but good. My shoulders were rounded forward, my neck strained forward and down and the muscles in my back were tense and tight.
The first time I went to get a massage after starting Pilates, my therapist told me she could tell I had been doing Pilates because of the new found length in my spine. While Pilates isn’t known specifically for improving posture (like yoga is), it does focus on strengthening the core muscles that are responsible for keeping our body upright and in alignment. By regularly practicing Pilates exercises that strengthen these muscles, our posture can improve drastically!
Have you ever caught yourself slouching at work, or noticed that you sit with your shoulders hunched forward? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a study by the American Chiropractic Association, poor posture — often caused by sitting in front of a computer all day — is the leading cause of back pain.
A strong core is key to improving posture. Pilates offers a range of exercises designed to strengthen the core and improve posture, which in turn can help prevent back pain. Here are four essential moves every desk-jockey should do regularly:
While lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, press your lower back into the floor as you tip your pelvis toward your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly release. Repeat 10 times.
Lie on your back with arms at sides and knees bent over hips, lifting left leg up to a 90-degree angle while keeping right leg bent over hip and foot flat on floor. Rotate lifted leg in circle without moving other leg or upper body. After 10 rotations in one direction, repeat in the opposite direction. Switch legs and repeat.
In general, Pilates is a low-impact exercise that improves your flexibility and strengthens your core muscles. As a result of the latter, it’s also an effective way to improve your posture by balancing the muscles around your spine.
Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the core, which includes the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. In addition to improved function, you can also expect to feel taller and more confident as you learn to stand stronger in your core.
As with any exercise program, start slowly and gradually build up to more advanced workouts. Remember to consult a doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
The following four Pilates exercises are perfect for anyone looking to improve their posture:
The Hundred: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your head slightly off the floor and raise your legs into tabletop position (knees bent at 90-degree angles). Extend both arms out at shoulder height, palms facing down towards the floor. Inhale deeply as you pump arms up and down 100 times. Exhale through pursed lips as you lift head up off the floor to crunch shoulders towards hips.
Pilates exercises are designed to strengthen your body in a balanced way and helps you to maintain a correct posture.
A correct posture may not be the most exciting thing for a lot of people, but once you start experiencing the benefits of good posture, you probably won’t want to go back to slouching.
Standing with a straight back and shoulders aligned over the hips can make you look leaner and taller, which is why good posture is essential in Pilates.