Core muscle strength and spinal alignment are the two of the key elements of Pilates, a form of exercise that can refine your posture and core strength.
Pilates is a mind-body exercise that focuses on strength, core stability, flexibility, muscle control, posture and breathing. As a posture exercise, Pilates works on the deep, supportive muscles of the entire spine. This is to maintain the natural curves of your spine and create a neutral position for each joint for proper alignment. If the spine is properly aligned, stress on the spinal tissues and intervertebral discs are reduced.
Elements of Good Posture
Posture refers to the position where you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. To have a good posture, you have to train your body to such actions, where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments, as well as while moving or carrying weight.
The spine supports the weight of the body. The spinal discs absorb shock and allow the upper body to move freely. Your spine has a natural curve that is supposed to be an S shape. Keeping it in its natural shape provides more fluid movement, comfortable weight support, and reduced wear and tear on spinal discs. Sedentary lifestyle can cause the spine to take on a different shape, which leads to lower back pain and rounded shoulders.
Having a good posture brings a number of benefits such as:
· Reducing pain in the back, neck, hips, legs and feet
· Allowing more efficient movement
· Improving muscle function
· Increasing range of motion
· Relieving pressure from compressed vital organs
· Improving circulation
· Creating a slimmer look
· Making you feel confident
How Reformer Pilates Improves Posture
The Reformer is designed to provide spring-loaded tension, making it similar to gravity in the way it affects your body. Workouts on a Reformer will improve your spinal alignment as it works on your deep muscles on your back. It challenges your body to stretch to the fullest. It lengthens your limbs and retrains your muscles while strengthening your core.
To improve body control, there is what we call spinal articulation that helps promote good posture. Spinal articulation is about moving one vertebra at a time.
Research shows that using Pilates Reformer machine for 12 weeks can improve posture. In other study, it shows that 6 months of Pilates enhances cervical and thoracic spine alignment. Another study was conducted among college baseball players wherein results show that Pilates may contribute to postural stability and improved performance.
The benefits of Reformer Pilates for posture are not just for slouchers or people with chronic back pain. New mothers can benefit from Pilates to alleviate back pain and neck pain acquired during pregnancy. Awareness of proper posture during workout will carry over to awareness of proper posture when doing usual everyday movements.
Feel confident and get in tune with your body. Book your session online at lifestyleboom.com.au and see how Reformer Pilates can change your life!