We live in a time where we are constantly hunched over our electronics. Whether its slumped in a chair working at a computer for 8 hours plus or constantly staring down at our smart phones, it’s really easy to go through the day with bad posture. Over time, bad posture can ware on the body putting you at risk of pain and injury. Maintaining good posture throughout the day requires constant self-awareness.
But I have good news! Pilates is an excellent way to improve your body awareness! In Pilates you learn how to breathe efficiently, how to keep the spine mobile and elongated and how to use core strength. These are all vital in executing good posture and proper alignment. Using those core muscles to support our posture allows the shoulders to relax, the neck and head to move freely and takes the stress off our lower body.
While you’re stretching and strengthening those core muscles during your Pilates class you’re coordinating breathing with body awareness so that everything you’ve learned with your Pilates exercises can be applied to every-day life.
Here are a few tips on how to transfer what you learn from Pilates into better posture during the work day.
- Breathe Deeply: The use of breath creates space in the spine and alleviates pressure in your joints. While sitting or standing in place, inhale deeply and you’ll find that you have naturally lengthened your body! Exhale deeply and activate your lower abs when lifting or setting down heavy objects to take the stress out of your back, neck, shoulders and joints.
- Use your glutes: Activate those glutes we use so much in Pilates while walking downhill or going down stairs. This will keep you centered and will take the pressure off of your knees.
- Sit up Straight: Sorry, but your Mama had it right! Pay attention to the placement of your head. neck and shoulders when staring at your computer screen or smartphones. We tend to drop our heads, round our shoulders forward and sink in our lower backs. Try to keep your head in line with your spine and your shoulders wide. It also will help if you configure your screens directly in your sight line instead of having them too high or too low.
Practicing these tips throughout the day is an easy way to improve your posture even when your not in Pilates class and pretty soon your Pilates posture will become second nature!