How Pilates can help you to achieve and maintain good posture
With Heather’s Pilates Classes in Southampton
Posture is something that most people take for granted, however the long term effects of poor posture can cause irreparable damage to your spine, pain throughout your body, poor breathing, and even digestive issues. Good posture enables the spine to distribute the weight effectively so there is the least amount of pressure on the spine throughout the day. Poor posture is often caused by poor movement patterns and long periods of inactivity slouched over a desk. These bad habits mean that some muscles can become weak, and some can become overactive causing tension.
For good standing posture make sure you have:
- Ears over shoulders with chin tucked.
- Shoulders down and back, you should feel like your shoulders are pulling away from each other and the bottom of your shoulder blades are drawn together. If you could see your shoulder blades then they’d have a nice ‘V’ shape.
- Stomach drawn in, imagine your belly button being drawn towards your spine.
- Pelvis is in neutral, if your hips were a bucket of water, would that water be level?
- Weight balanced between your toes and your heels.
Good posture can be hard to hold, especially when you’ve fallen into bad habits. If you want to improve your posture, Pilates is perfect for this.
Learn about the benefits of Pilates and how it helps with…
- Mobility in the spine – the spine should be flexible to support the weight of your boy allowing you to move freely without pain, however bad movement patterns and sitting for long periods of time reduce the spine’s mobility. Pilates exercises are designed to increase the flexion of the spine, namely through curls, pelvic tilts, shoulder bridges, roll downs and roll overs, all of which you should feel the articulation of each vertebra one by one on the mat. They also increase the rotation of the thoracic spine (spine twist, the saw) and spine extension.
- Postural awareness during the day– Pilates brings an awareness of breath, sequence of muscles to use for movement, and concentration, all of which help you to be more aware of your body. We also teach the Pilates set up of foundation, in standing, supine (on your back) and prone (on your front) exercises, so that you have the correct alignment.
- Strength – to hold good posture it’s important to have strong postural muscles, including your deep abdominals and upper back. Pilates exercises help build functional muscle to hold good posture. My favourites are the 100, roll ups, and the swan. Working with the correct alignment means you work your muscles evenly on both sides, and you build functional muscles to support your posture.
It’s important to note that Pilates works so well to improve posture because it is a holistic system; it’s the combination of exercises that are required for better functionality.
If you fancy trying Pilates to improve your posture today, why not enroll on one of our Pilates classes.
Written by Heather Packer, Southampton Pilates Instructor
Edited and Published by You Massage Therapy Southampton