What is Good Posture?

What is good posture? What does it mean to have good posture? If you are experiencing low back pain and neck pain it could be due to poor posture. Most likely it wasn’t from a previous injury and more so from bad habit. Today we are online and on our phones now more than ever and this causes a strain on our shoulders, neck, and back. Pilates will strengthen the muscles to align your head, spine, and pelvis appropriately.

“Your best posture is your next posture.” Eric Franklin. This is one of my favorite quotes about posture. Posture is not static. Your posture is not stationary. How often were you told “stand up straight, shoulders back”? How did you know you were straight? Humans are meant to move. We are not meant to sit at desks all day, stand all day, or drive for long hours. This is what hurts our posture. Pilates helps us have better posture. Pilates strengthens the muscles along the spine to stand erect.

Posture is a balancing act. Think of your posture as the circus person who has the plates stacked on a rod. Your head balances on your spine, your spine balances on your pelvis, your pelvis balances on top your legs. Even when you’re standing to do dishes you’re not remaining in the same position. You’re reaching for the next dish, placing it on the drying rack, and your other hand is cleaning with the sponge. You may not be upright but you’re standing on your feet. Pilates teaches you how to stand on your feet without tension in your toes or your knees.

If we think of posture as static we actually end up with tension in our body. By holding a position we are bracing muscles and making them work ineffectively. Instead when our muscles are strong; standing upright will be effortless. You won’t be using excessive force to stand. You will have the energy and ability to move quickly to react to something, such as a fall, object coming near you, or catching something before it drops to the floor.

Once you begin to feel a difference from Pilates you’ll learn your bad habits when standing or sitting and be able to adjust. What once felt ‘right’ will begin to feel wrong. This could mean standing and finding your lower back to be uncomfortable. Before Pilates you didn’t feel it and as you become stronger and capable of standing evenly on both feet, an imbalance will be much more noticeable.

Pilates is a practice and so is posture. When I started Pilates I had worked in an office for four years. I was shocked to see how slumped my shoulders were from computer work! Even though I’m teaching Pilates and not at a computer 8 hours a day I still have to practice Pilates for my posture. It’s not one and done. Book your Pilates session today for improved posture!

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