In my last article we looked at how sedentary lifestyle has a huge impact on our health and how it affects our posture.
Below I have outlined the best posture exercise I have used to improve posture which has helped many of my clients as well.
The most beneficial postural exercises include strengthening the abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles of the upper back and shoulders.
Having strong abdominal muscles supports your spine and allows you to stand up taller and with less pain.
Pilates exercises are well known to realign the spine by correcting the length-tension imbalances in the muscles supporting the spine, pelvis, and shoulders.
Pilates incorporates posture exercises,which assist the whole body in working more efficiently with a stable, solid core.
Now that you are thoroughly convinced that attention to posture is not just a mother’s wish, here is a Pilates exercise that you can use to correct your posture.
SHOULDER BRIDGE: EXERCISE INSTRUCTIONS
1. Start by lying on your back on the floor or roller. Keep your head flat (without pillow) to protect the neck / cervical spine.
2. Position your heels to line up with your sitz bones at a distance that is comfortable for your knees to avoid strain. If needed, you can place a small ball, rolled towel between your legs, just above the knees, to strengthen your inner thighs and help with alignment.
3. Position your pelvis in neutral and as you inhale upwards, imagine a string pulling your pelvis or from your tummy bellybutton, towards the ceiling or sky.
4. As you lift your core and pelvis, bring awareness to keeping your feet pointing parallel and your knees staying in a straight line over your feet/ ankles. The hamstrings are the primary muscle worked, and the lower abdominal muscles help in stabilizing the core.
5. As you exhale, slowly roll down to return to the starting position. Carefully moving through each vertebra and individually making contact with the roller. Repeat this exercise 7-10 times for the next 2 to 3 weeks.
Shoulder bridge when practiced perfectly is a good exercise for people with spinal problems and good exercise that helps strengthen your hip extensors and the glutes.
Please note that ,learning Pilates from other than a real live instructor is not easy and does carry some slight risks ,you should in addition to the routines I will share with you advise you to attend a Pilates class with a certified Pilates instructor and don’t hesitate to visit your doctor for clearance before you start Pilates class
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