Pilates is hands down the best way to correct faulty movement patterns and develop beautiful posture. What makes Pilates so important with respect to posture is the fact that by strengthening the core muscles we begin to naturally lift the ribcage away from the abdomen. As the core muscles are developed, strong and lifted our internal organs are no longer compressed as this also creates length in the spine. Many people think of pushing their shoulders back to correct their posture, however this creates tightness in the neck and shoulders and ultimately doesn’t correct the problem.
Using the deep core muscles of the powerhouse—the abdominals, back, and pelvic floor—to support our posture allows the shoulders to relax, the neck and head to move freely, and relieves stress on the hips, legs, and feet. Not only is posture important for good health as well as dramatically improving our appearance as there is a noticeable slimming effect in play, but great posture is a communication to others. Often we associate terrific posture with poise, grace, confidence and success. So now might be a good time to think about what you may be communicating through your posture.
Benefits of Good Posture
• pain relief throughout the body, including back and neck pain, hip pain, leg and foot pain.
• Improved movement patterns in the body
• Strengthens muscles with elongated at the same time
• increases range of motion
• healthier to our internal organs that do not experience compression from slouching
• improves circulation
• youthful and trim appearance
Maybe you haven’t given it much thought until you are wearing a backless dress or tank top in which you notice you have begun to round your shoulders and it doesn’t feel comfortable to straighten the body without discomfort….Here are some exercises to address posture.
Pilates MAT Exercises to Support Good Posture
1. Finding Neutral Spine
2. Pelvic Curl
3. Pilates Plank Pose
4. Roll Up
WellBarre Pilates is featuring Crystal this month because we are so incredibly proud of her and she exemplifies just what can happen when Pilates becomes part of your routine.
Crystal started doing private training due to a common hip injury, creating an imbalance in the pelvis, impacting her leg alignment, and causing lower back and hip pain. She came to the studio frustrated because she believed that her injury would limit her activity and fitness level. As an avid exerciser and kickboxer, she believed that her limitations would mean that she would never return to an optimal level of fitness, or the level of conditioning that she had enjoyed for many years. Crystal embraced Pilates, but almost as a last resort. She was not sure that Pilates would resonate and she had been of the mindset of “no pain no gain” that has been promoted for many years in the fitness industry. Here is what Crystal had to say about her new love of Pilates:“Like most people, I have tried almost every type of exercise under the sun and was really into kickboxing. A hip injury put me out of commission for almost a year and needless to say my kickboxing days were over. Once I was able to exercise again, My doctors and physical therapists suggested I try something that focused on overall strengthening & conditioning with low impact to the body. Of course this sounded awfully boring to me but I decided to give it a go and chose Pilates because my PT sang its praises and stated that I would not find it boring and might be shocked by the results.”
Her biggest obstacle was her mindset
“At first, I think my own preconceived notions about exercise was one of the biggest challenges to overcome because I had been trained for so many years to believe that unless I was out of breathe, dripping with sweat, sore and physically exhausted after a workout, it was a waste of time. Once I met Leslie and was introduced to the world of Pilates, I realized I couldn’t have been more wrong! Leslie and her team not only made me feel welcome but introduced Pilates in a way that I felt I was not only strengthening and nourishing my body but my mind as well. In the weeks that I worked with her I became stronger and more flexible, mind, body & soul. I not only shed my ill conceived notions on exercise but also came to a new understanding of what it means to be strong & healthy inside and out. I was glad that I set aside my own ill conceived ideas on Pilates and walked through those doors and said hi to Leslie and the reformer. Not only do I get a great, fun workout in (the reformer is like an adult jungle gym) but I have also learned techniques for mind-body focus such as better breathing, focusing on valuing & using my core as my powerhouse and I am seeing muscle tone in places I did not before but most importantly I have an overall better relationship & appreciation for not only my body but the human body and all it can do!”
And the results..
Crystal was in pain the first day she came in for a session and was deconditioned from chronic pain. Within the first 3 weeks, muscle memory kicked in and she has rapidly regained strength. She works hard on her form and learning all that she can about each exercise and it shows! Currently she has done about 7 weeks of private training and she has regained flexibility and looks and feels amazing…it doesn’t get any better than this! Crystal loves the results and reports a sharp decrease in the hip pain that used to plague her on a daily basis.
Cyrstal summed up her experience with Pilates with the following:
“So thankful and yes…Well Barre Pilates is my new best friend!:)