Oops… Slouching can give you incontinence!
Tell us if we got this right…
When you were a kid, your mom frequently reminded you to stand or sit straight. Your teacher would sometimes call you out for slouching during class.
And this may have annoyed you when you were younger but now, now you know the importance of having a good or proper posture.
It goes beyond vanity because according to Harvard Health poor posture can lead to health problems like heartburn, incontinence, and constipation.
Also, having a bad posture can lead to body pain, headache, fatigue, and worst, body deformity.
So we keep telling ourselves to sit up straight, don’t slouch, and keep our bellies in, and at times we use lumbar support and equipment such as Lagree Fitness M3S Megaformer Machine to improve our posture.
But… Do we really know what a proper posture is? Or is there even a perfect posture? Because Surely, posture can’t be one size fits all.
Bad Posture, Are You Suffering From It?
So… Is there a so-called perfect posture?
The answer is none. Perfect posture is a myth.
However, there is a proper posture. And when we say proper, this means a spine that is neutrally aligned when you’re in a standing position.
So when your spine is not in a neutral position, for example, when your head leans excessively forward and your lower back is flat, that is when you can say you have a bad posture.
Here are the signs and symptoms of poor posture:
- Muscle fatigue
- Back and neck pain
- Rounded shoulders
- Recurring headache
- Forward head carriage
- Bent knees when standing/walking
- Head that either lean forward or backwards
You can actually check if you have poor posture by doing a simple posture test.
You can perform this by standing against a wall with your head, buttocks, and shoulder blades touching the wall. Keep your heels 6 inches away from the wall.
Then slide your hand between the spine of your lower back and the wall. There should be about 2 inches or one hand’s thickness of space between them.
If there is no space or the space is more than 2 inches, then you probably have a bad posture.
Benefits Of Having Proper Posture…
The good thing about practicing Pilates posture is that you reap both the benefits of having proper posture – the aesthetic and health benefits.
Imagine pressing a meatball between a folded bread… That’s how your lungs look like when you’re slouching all day.
You’re not giving it enough space to expand and in a way, you’re not giving yourself enough air.
Do we need to say more?
Good posture + your most elegant outfit = the most radiant star of the night: YOU!
Yup, you read it right! Having a good posture can give you more energy. But how exactly?
When your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments are well-aligned this decreases their need to compensate or to contract unnecessarily to keep your spine stable and balanced against gravity.
And we all know that muscle contraction consumes energy, not to mention that prolonged contraction can cause pain and spasm.
Additionally, the increased breathing we mentioned means that your whole body receives oxygen more efficiently.
3 Effective Pilates For Posture Correction Workout For A Healthier Spine
We know that you’re excited to use your Align Pilates reformer for this workout. But let’s take it slow so that if you’re feeling any pain we will not aggravate it.
As a starting point, we will begin with Pilates postures for beginners so that if you’re already feeling pain, we don’t aggravate it.
Instead, you will relax your muscle so they can properly perform more workouts that will help you achieve proper posture.
1. Thoracic Extension
The thoracic extension is a Pilates correct posture workout that will…
- Help your spine relax
- Give you a healthier blood flow
- Release tension in your thoracic area
- Lie on your back, bend your knees, and keep your legs aligned with your hips
- Place a foam roller or toning ball under your mid-back, between your shoulder blades
- Place and interlace your fingers behind the base of your head for support. Keep your hips in a neutral position
- Slowly extend your back and feel your ribs expand. Move your chest up and down the foam roller
- Do this for 30 seconds
2. Pelvic tilt
Now that your back is more relaxed than ever… Performing pelvic tilt will be a walk in the park for you!
- Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor, and legs bent. Keep your feet apart and aligned with your hips
- Now, relax. Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Focus on your pelvis as if you’re meditating
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and flatten your back against the mat, then go back to your neutral position. Imagine that you’re gently rocking your hips up and down
- Do this 10-15 times
3. Core Muscle Pilates Workout
When you hear Pilates for lower back pain you would think of workouts that focus mainly on back muscles, right?
But on the contrary exercises for back pain mostly focus on activating your core muscles because core muscles stabilize your spine.
So we will be doing the same to correct your spine. Remember, if your abdominal muscles are weak, your spine posture will be compromised due to compensation.
For this workout, we’ll be using your Pilates equipment for home.
- Kneel on your Pilates machine platform. Position your feet between the headrests and your knees width apart
- Hold the foot straps with your palm facing forward and slightly behind your hips
- Keep your back straight, core muscles and glutes engaged, and start pulling the straps toward the front of your body. Keep your elbows straight
- Make sure the platform is gliding smoothly
- Repeat this motion 10-15 times
… And hello, breathing!
The next time you feel like slouching, think about your lungs… Or your bladder. We want your lungs to be free while your bladder to be tight.
And remember good posture equates to…
- Happier and healthier lifestyle
- Immeasurable confidence
- Energy to enjoy your life!
Want to progress your Pilates posture exercise? Check out our Pilates reformer catalogue and become the epitome of good posture.