15 Jan Why You Need To Work On Your Posture Now And How To Do It
Good posture isn’t just about projecting confidence, it’s key to overall health!
Most mothers, at some point, have instructed their children to sit up straight or pull their shoulders back. Current research suggests that people who have good posture are not only attractive to those who look at them, but also look taller and thinner. That’s right – there are more ways to look slim than just eating less! Just fix your frame.
Also Read: The Perils of Poor Posture in Puberty
Hello good posture, goodbye body pain
But that’s not all of it; the message in our bodies reflects its inner workings more than you think. Improving your posture has more to it than looking healthier, thinner and sexier. It also protects you from a lifetime of annoying aches and pains caused by misalignment and postural offences. These include craning your head forward to see the computer screen or prancing around in stilettos that make you arch your lower back.
You name it: muscle spasms in the lower back, compressed nerves that intermingle with working muscles, chronic neck pain, recurrent headaches, decreased lung capacity – these can all be caused by bad posture. Good posture tames muscle strain and the aches and pains, helps you to move with ease, grace and efficiency, and gives your lungs more working room by increasing breathing capacity.
Pilates and the road to better posture
So, how does your posture measure up? Are you rounding your shoulders as if to protect yourself? Do you have pot belly or abdomen bulging forward, causing your lower back to arch? Are you locking your knees, or do they roll inward? Does your head hang forward? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, then Pilates may be able to help you.
Following the exercises developed by Joseph Pilates will not only lengthen your look and slim your midsection; the century-old sequence of movements will work to gently elongate your back muscles, creating space between joints crunched by everyday life. We won’t go into detail here, but will touch on helpful techniques from the Pilates system to attain more freedom of movement, from correcting your spine and realigning your shoulders to straightening your head and putting the pelvis in neutral position.
The Posture Checklist: A little everyday goes a long way
Every Pilates exercise works to correct posture, but it’s not an overnight miracle. A certain amount of mental power will assist you. Start right now by thinking yourself taller. Get in touch with how your body moves, and learn ways to control it. That’s how you’ll get the most out of your workouts, plus change your body,
Prepare a mental checklist to practice standing tall, here’s a cheat sheet to get you started:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart to balance your weight evenly between your feet, knees and hips. Keep your knees in a soft, unlocked position.
- Zip your abs by pulling your belly button to your spine. You have layers of abdominal muscles; it’s the transversus abs that pull your belly in.
- Lift your rib cage slightly. Lengthen your rib cage away from your pelvis, for example, to reduce the pressure on your spine, which also shrinks your waistline. This length helps to correct a rounded upper back, giving your lungs more space so that you can breathe more deeply. This also helps to realign your head over your shoulders.
- Unround your shoulders by gently pulling them up to your ears and rolling back. Then press your armpits to your hips to draw your shoulders down away from your ears.
- Float your head up, as if a string was pulling it from the ceiling to lengthen your spine. You can gain as much as an inch in your height if you imagine this.
The plan is: Align, align, align! Train your body to feel what good posture is. Don’t miss a day – align while you’re sitting, standing or driving. Tell your body what to do so that the body will follow; it’s your matter, make it your mind.
Flex Studio is a premium boutique fitness studio, Hong Kong’s home of intelligent fitness since opening in 2005. With two branches in Central and Wong Chuk Hang, Flex is the city’s only Classical Pilates outfit and first-ever Xtend Barre programme. It focuses on health and wellbeing by way of Pilates, yoga, barre and more.