physio

5 Key Ingredients to the Perfect Pilates Posture

Any one that has been to a Pilates Class before knows that there is a lot to think about if you want to achieve the Perfect Pilates posture. Tuck this under, stick this out, suck that in…. oh and don’t forget to breathe. It can all get a bit confusing, and sometimes overwhelming, especially if it is your first time in a Reformer Class. New machine, new space, new people and new posture…woah. Well, I am going to try to make it all a bit simpler and break it down into 5 Key Points.

When setting up your posture, the easiest way to make sure you have everything in check, is by doing a little body scan. So, lets start at the top shall we?

Start lying on your back with your knees slightly bent and feet on the floor and let’s scan from the head and neck first.

1.       Head and Neck Position

Gently tuck your chin towards your chest, as if you are holding a peach between your chin and your chest. You just want to hold the peach softly without squishing it.

Then imagine that your head is a helium balloon, and think of your head just gently floating above your shoulders

2.       Shoulder Position

With your arms resting by your side, reach your finger tips towards your toes letting your shoulder blades reach down your back. Then shrug the shoulder blades towards your ears. Once you have done this find a resting place half way between the two of these positions

Next gently open out through the front of your chest and feel the backs of the shoulders sink down into the floor.

3.       Rib Cage Position

Try to imagine that you have some heavy books resting on your ribs and let the base of your ribs sink into contact with the floor.

4.       Lower back position – Neutral Spine

To Find your neutral spine keep everything else nice and still and then gently flatten your lower back into the floor, reaching your tail bone to the ceiling. Then arch your lower back pressing your tail bone to the floor, creating space between your lower back and the floor. Once You have found these two positions come and rest half way in between, in Neutral Spine.

5.       Hip, knee and foot position

Finally, with a slight bend in the knees, try to make a nice straight line from your hip to your knee to your foot on both sides. And try to have your weight nice and even through both feet.

 

Once You have done all of this you have found your Perfect Pilates Posture, and it is time to activate those deep abdominals… and Breathe. But, that’s a lesson for another day.

 

This may seem like information overload to begin with, but I promise you, if you practice this, it will all become second nature soon enough.

Next thing you know you’ll be strutting the streets of Buninyong with the best posture ever!

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

 

STAND UP STRAIGHT

“Stand up straight!”

Surely, you can all recall your mum yelling this phrase at you daily. Well, turns out Mum didn’t just say this because she liked the way it sounded, but because she was looking out for you and your posture.

“Straight” may not be the answer, but “good” posture is most definitely something that we all need, and should strive for.

So What is Good Posture?

Well text book good posture, in standing, is when the line of gravity falls

Reproduced from http://www.spinalphysio.co.uk/advice/posture
  •  in front of the ankle bones
  • in front of the knee joint
  • just behind the hip joint
  • through each vertebrae in the lower back
  • through the shoulder joint
  • through most of the vertebrae in the neck
  • and through the center of the ear

 

But, no one is text book perfect, so “Good” Posture is simply as close as we can get to the above.

Why? Because in this position there is the least amount of stress or pressure through our ligaments, joints and muscles. Therefore, any posture that varies from the above “Good” Posture will increase stress on these structures and may contribute to pain/injury.

Fellow people watchers out there have surely noticed though, that it is quite rare to see someone with the perfect posture walking around.  We all look a little more like one of these postures below;

Images reproduced from http://www.spinalphysio.co.uk/advice/posture

Images reproduced from http://www.spinalphysio.co.uk/advice/posture

These postures are common due to habitual changes, muscular imbalances, pain and/or changes in joint/boney structures. And each of these postures can place increased stress or strain on different areas of our bodies, which can go on to create aches and pains and even injuries.

As a result, it is always important to make sure we are doing all we can to help improve and maintain our posture each day. Whether it be taking frequent breaks from prolonged postures OR taking active measures to stretch and strengthen your muscles,

It is also important to remind yourself of that inner mum voice, that told you to.. “Stand up Straight, You don’t want to look like your Aunt Joan do you?”

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

P.S

Don’t Forget that we are all a little bit different and so we may all stand a little differently or even Walk a little differently.

I think Peter Combe said it best when he said….. No one walk’s the same cos...