Pilates

How Pilates Helps with Posture and Core Strengthening

You may have read my tweets: “How are you sitting at your computer? …”  As children, we have all been reminded to: “Sit up straight!”, but did we really understand why…

Why Posture is Important

Pilates mat classAs we age, the things we do daily become how we look and feel physically. This is due to neuromuscular facilitation commonly known as muscle memory or how our bodies learn to move. Whether our habitual posture is good or abnormal, it becomes our posture.

Many of us have desk jobs where we are required to sit in front of computers for long hours. When we work in a setting that is not ergonomically designed and our posture is abnormal, we run the risk of various issues such as: neck, shoulder and back pain and carpal tunnel or repetitive strain injury. Hip flexor muscles become shortened and buttock muscles weaken when sitting for lengthy periods of time.  We may also arch our backs or sit in a sway back posture.

 

What Happens as a Result of Abnormal Posture?

When you have abnormal posture, you will compensate muscle recruitment in order to function and avoid pain. We have all seen people with forward heads, rounded shoulders and altered pelvic alignment.  Abnormal posture does not feel good nor look attractive and it causes muscle imbalances which in turn cause abnormal gait (how we walk).

Muscle Imbalances

When we change how we move, normal posture cannot be maintained.

When stabilizing muscles cannot hold a position and compromise joint stability, the result is other muscles must over-compensate. We refer to this as muscle imbalance. We are then at risk for injury, pain, tension and headaches.

When we are in pain or experience movement issues, our brains are not connecting to our core muscles. When we use superficial muscles instead of our core to function, it feels ok at first but then leads to discomfort and a decrease in freedom of movement.

How Pilates Helps?

Many people come to a Pilates’ studio because a doctor or therapist has recommended “strengthening their core”.

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At Pacific Spirit Pilates, we specialize in programs to restore muscle balance and normal posture.  We do this by analysing your Posture and Gait. We then design a program for you personally to restore muscle balance and optimal posture. This does not happen in “one size fits all” classes. When you have a postural deviation and muscle imbalances, you need a specialized program for you personally.

The practice of Pilates teaches you to engage your deep core muscles on every breath. When your core functions well and you practise Pilates as a lifestyle change, you experience ease of movement, a balanced body and a sense of well-being without having to think about it.

 

Don’t hesitate to check our Pilates Service: “Focus on Posture”. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment below. We would be pleased to have you share this article.