Here are 10 reasons to improve your posture!
We need to maintain length through the spine for so many reasons and these 10 reasons to improve your posture will motivate you to lengthen through your spine.
1. Firstly, when you improve your posture you look younger.
2. Improve your posture and give your internal organs more room to function more efficiently – the lungs have more room for the exchange of oxygen, the intestine are not compressed.
3. It will assist with prevention of internal organ prolapse, by keeping long through the spine there is less intra-abdominal pressure or downward pressure on the reproductive organs, bladder and bowel.
4. It will improve your mood- standing tall make you feel happier! Try feeling miserable with a lengthened spine.
5. It will improve your confidence.
6. It will improve your chance of getting a new job, career, or job role, a promotion or a new lover. Stand tall, proud of your physical being, feel your balanced muscles hold your bones in place!
7. It will assist with prevention of neck, back pain and headaches and prevention of future injuries.
8. It will improve your core strength through through the consistent use of your postural muscles and core.
9. It will make you look slimmer
10. It will make you a magnet and you will feel happier – people love being around confident people.
It takes time and effort to achieve a more perfect posture. No posture is perfect, but we can all aim to lengthen a little more through the spine and sit a little more evenly through our bodies. It is not just about doing prone extension work and multiple swans and external rotation exercises at the shoulder. It is about incorporating this concept into the most mundane aspects of our lives so that good posture becomes an unshakable habit no matter what the situation. Work everyday at holding and maintaing a good posture. Keep length through the spine. Long through the back of the neck and evenly weighted under both feet if you are standing and under both sits bones if you are sitting.
I suffer from scoliosis and have been told my posture is worse than “my grandmothers” and my rhomboids are tighter than “a breast-feeding mum” (not sure who should be insulted in this one). So I am motivated to work on it. Especially as I am supposed to be a role model for health and good posture! Haha!
I have to say that feedback really helps with improving posture. Since I now have massive mirrors in my studio (thanks to Angela Revel’s advice) I cannot help but to hold my form and keep my abdomin compressed! I can now see my clients from many angles and do not hesitate to correct form and perfect posture. Knowing this I also like to work my clients in more functional positions to keep their spines lengthened and working against gravity in an upright position so that I can continue to give them feedback on their posture. So exercises such as standing side splits on the Reformer, Standing leg springs on the Caddie and Standing leg press on the Chair are essential ingredients for giving feedback to my clients on their improving posture.
Ultimately with regard to the pelvis: the hip bones and pubic bone should be on the same plane. The pelvis, ribcage and head should all be floating one on top of the other. The forehead and chin should be on the same line – so tuck that chin in! The palms of the hands should be facing the trunk and not the back of the room, so slightly externally rotate the shoulder without retracting overly. Imagine the shoulders widening across the front and the back.
Incorporate a couple of Pilates moves into your daily routine to remind you of your postural improvements, such as the swan, rotator cuff pulls (external rotation) and some chin tucks or head retractions.
I know Pilates improves posture. I can see it in my clients. Even from the start to the end of a session I can see a difference. I get positive feedback on my clients posture from their treating specialists too such as their osteopaths. Some of my clients even notice that the shape of their body has completely changed although the scales state the same weight. So focus on improving your posture today!
Here are 5 awesome pilates moves to improve your posture!