How To Improve Your Posture With Pilates?
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
A few simple ways to avoid causing stiffness or pain in your neck shoulder and lower back.
Pilates is about moving efficiently. What makes Pilates so important with respect to posture is that it trains us to develop and use core strength. Using the deep core muscles of the powerhouse; abdominals back and pelvic floor supports our posture and allows the shoulders to relax and the neck to move freely.
Here are a few steps to help you improve your posture whilst standing:
1. Stand with your feet hip width apart your feet are parallel and your knees are pointing forward they are straight but not locked.
2. Gently rock forwards and backwards making the movement smaller and smaller until you feel your weight is balanced over the centre of your foot.
3. Lightly pull your abdominal muscles in and up, as you do this you should be engaging your pelvic floor muscles as well.
4. Once you have activated your core this will allow you to drop your tailbone down towards the floor. This is a neutral spine position where the natural curves of the spine are present without tucking or hyperextending the pelvis.
5. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and your shoulder blades slide down your back this is a posture whereby your core is holding you up not your shoulders!
6. Finally your head and neck should be completely supported and easily float above your shoulders imagine that the tops of your ears are reaching for the sky your eyeline is straight forward, your throat is open and your chin is resting naturally.
Now.... let’s look at your work space!
I have a lot of clients complaining about lower back pain, some may even put up with the discomfort, accepting it as part of working at a desk all day. When you’re office-based, it is down to the desk posture and how much you move throughout the day that determines the discomfort in your back shoulders and neck.
Here is a list of common things you can do that can make some improvements to your set up.
1. Have both feet on the floor.
2. Make sure you have a right angle at both hips and knees this shows that they are not too high or too low.
3. A straight back that is supported by the chair. If the chairs reclining your back muscles will have to work to counteract the recline.
4. Make sure the chair slides under the desk so you can get close rather than having to reach forwards with a straight arm for the mouse. This is a really common problem where people end up with a tight shoulder on one side which causes spasms in the neck.
5. Is your screen at eyelevel? If your screen is too high you will be looking up for most of the day.
Say goodbye to that bad posture!