The way you hold your body during exercise will carry over to how your body will hold itself throughout the day. The deep muscles that are responsible for your posture need to be consciously activated 25% throughout the day, allowing your movements and positioning to be more efficient. This consciousness is called body awareness and is applied at the computer, waiting in line, and yes, even exercising!
The Pilates Method emphasizes engaging core musculature attached directly to the spine and pelvis, aka, your "powerhouse". Each exercise is initiated with the powerhouse, allowing the extremities to move more efficiently, in a controlled and balanced manner.
- Reduces neck and back pain
- Allows to breathe more freely
- Radiates an image of self-confidence
- Improves organ and circulatory function
- Creates trimmer, more lengthened appearance
- Allows for more efficient movement
Posture Exercises at the computer:
- Perch on your sit bones towards the front of your chair. Feet are flat on the ground.
- Lengthen your spine up through the crown of your head. Relax your shoulders and keep your chin parallel to the floor.
- Inhale wide, into the back of your ribcage without elevating shoulders. Exhale to draw your navel in and wide (maintain your height!). Hold for 5 seconds while still breathing, and slowly release. Repeat 10 times.
- Challenge: add drawing your shoulder blades together and down. Hold for 5 seconds with navel drawn in. Repeat 10 times.
Doorway Stretch for a tight Chest:
- Standing in a doorway, put your hands facing forward to touch the doorway at hip level. Step one foot forward (avoid arching your back) until you feel a stretch in the chest. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat 3 times.
- Try this with your forearms and hands facing door frame, elbows at shoulder level (stick-em up position). Step your foot forward to feel a deeper stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat 3 times.
- Find a good sitting posture, with shoulders relaxed. Place left arm behind your back and slowly bring your right ear towards your right shoulder. Additional Stretch: use your right hand to GENTLY pull the top of your head towards the right. Breathe deeply, hold stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times each side.
At your desk: Sit upright perched on the front of your sit bones. Allow 90 degree angles at the elbows, hips and knees. Feet flat on the floor and computer at or just below eye level.
In your car: Sit up tall in your car seat. Now, reset all the mirrors in your car to your new upright posture. This will remind and ensure you to maintain correct posture while driving.
Standing in Line: Soften your knees to avoid locking them, place even pressure on your feet. Lengthen up through your spine and gently engage your abdominals. Don't forget to BREATHE!