Maintaining good posture requires constant self-awareness. Just like in your Pilates practice, keeping the spine mobile and decompressed are pivotal goals in executing good alignment. Practicing these simple tips can promote better body distribution and a happier posture.
Utilizing your breath is a quick and easy way to improve your posture throughout the day. Inhale deeply while sitting or standing in place to bring yourself into a more lengthened and decompressed position. A body at rest likes to slouch and round forward. The use of breath creates space and improves posture to oppose this. On the flip side, remind yourself to exhale deeply along with activating your abdominals to lift and set down heavy loads. This will prevent putting the work and stress into your back, neck, shoulders, or knees. The exhale safeguards your joints by using deeper core muscles.
ACTIVATE YOUR GLUTES
Another small concept, but important tool to prevent joint pain, is activating your glutes while walking down steps or downhill. Think of your posterior as breaks to pull you back, so you don’t dump the work into your knees. Using the muscles that surround the hips and low back, such as the glutes, helps to center the work put on the body instead of forcing the joints to absorb all of the effort.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR SPINE AND SHOULDERS
Electronics are surrounding us. To function in society without a cell phone, computer, or even a television seems impossible. When gluing our eyes to these screens, remind yourself that the body likes to round forward. Try to keep the shoulders wide, the head directly over the shoulders instead of forward, and the spine long. This will prevent back and joint pain. Also, make sure these screens are directly in your line of sight in front of you. This will prevent setting your head and neck in a shifted, rotated, or tilted position over time.
This often happens in the car as well. While driving, try to keep your head up against the headrest and have the backside of your shoulders touching the seat without popping your chest forward. Both of these simple tips will keep your head directly over your shoulders and leave the shoulder girdle open.
An easy way to direct the entire body into correct alignment is by imagining a string coming out from the top of your head and pulling it towards the sky or ceiling. This will help initiate proper body positioning from head to toe and gives length and space to the spine.
Practicing these tips throughout your day is a simple way to improve your posture even when you’re not working out. Pilates is not just a form of fitness that gets you fit; it’s a concept and constant awareness for proper spinal mobility and form. Creating a conscious effort to think about how you move, sit, and stand keeps your entire body in a healthier position - preventing common aches, pains, and imbalances. A Pilates posture becomes second nature once these concepts are practiced every day promoting an overall happier body.
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