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 Improving Posture Through Clinical Pilates: Tips and Exercises

Posture is easy to overlook, but it’s crucial to our comfort and functionality. As you read this, think about how you are positioned. Are your shoulders slumped over or pulled back? Is your chin on its way to your chest? Are your stomach muscles controlled? Do you feel comfortable or are you in need of a good stretch? 

In our era, poor posture is a common issue. We are often bent over a device, hunched while standing, or lying in bed with our phones precariously poised above our faces. And then we wonder why we are stiff, tired, and have an ongoing headache! However, all is not lost. You can make simple changes that pay off in the short and long term, and one of those is adding an enjoyable exercise to your routine. 

Clinical Pilates is a popular activity that can support your body and mind in many ways and improving your posture is high on the list. Learn more about it and how our clinical Pilates in West Ryde can help you.

Improving Posture Through Clinical Pilates: Tips & Exercises

What is Clinical Pilates?  

Pilates has been a popular exercise for thousands of years. This form of activity is based on control and breath and has benefits that aim to impact your whole body, especially your abdominals, back, glutes, and pelvic floor. The focus and mind-body connection involved may also lead on to positive effects that support your mental health and emotions too.

Clinical Pilates is a form of Pilates that is run by a qualified physiotherapist. This means it is great for people who have issues such as poor posture, chronic illnesses, or injuries. Our clinical Pilates physios are trained to develop personalised programs to cater for individual needs and goals and supervise each small class to ensure exercises are carried out safely to optimise each movement. We use reformer machines, which are bed-like platforms with a carriage, which you lie, sit, or stand on. Using ropes that are connected to springs of varying resistance, you carry out controlled moves that target flexibility, strength, and stamina.  

 

Why is Posture Important? 

If you’ve ever sat at your desk for too long, bent over your computer, and slouched in your chair, you will know how achy you can feel when you get moving again! Along with feeling more comfortable, good posture can promote many benefits. 

Some advantages of maintaining good posture include: 

Reduced Injury Risk 

When you have good posture, your body retains its proper alignment. When it’s in a better position, you are more able to sustain your balance, undertake activities with more natural movement patterns, and put less pressure on your joints and muscles. All in all, this can help keep you safer and reduce your falls risk during day-to-day activities and exercise. 

Easier Movements

When your spine, joints, and soft tissues are positioned correctly, you can move in a freer and more flowing manner, making each movement more effective and dynamic. This can reduce fatigue, improve your mobility and functionality, and increase your overall well-being. 

Decreased Stress on Your Body 

If you have poor posture, your body structure is under strain and pressure. This can lead to issues such as compressed organs, irritated or degenerating joints, and microtears in soft tissues, which may mean pain, swelling, and discomfort. Some issues can even become chronic issues. Looking after your posture can have life-long benefits.

 

Three Pilates Exercises That Can Benefit Posture 

Your physio will develop a program that suits your body. Some exercises that may be part of your tailored plan could include: 

1. Back Extensions

The muscles along your spine and shoulders are pivotal to your posture, so making them strong is important. What’s more, back movement is important to counteract the bent position our spines are often in much of the day when at desks, for example. A great exercise for this is the prone back extension. 

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and your arms up by your shoulders, your palms flat on the floor near head. Keep your head in a neutral position. Breathe out and then as you breathe in, activate your stomach and glutes and raise your chest off the floor. Do not go further than is comfortable, hold for three, and relax.

 

2. Quadruped Rotation 

Having an open chest and mobile back is important, and this exercise helps by increasing shoulder and upper back strength as well as stretching your chest. 

Kneel on the floor and place your palms on the ground in a tabletop position, your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Breathe in and then reach one hand towards your opposite hip. Breathe out and rotate your spine. Open up your chest and look at your extended hand. 

You can hold a light free weight once you feel comfortable.

 

3. Chest Expansion 

If the muscles in your chest are tight, it can cause you to slouch. Carrying out chest expansion movements can strengthen your scapular retractors in your back and stretch and counteract the tightness in your chest. 

Stand or kneel, looking straight ahead with your core engaged. Pull your straight arms back as your breathe out. Pull your shoulder blades down and towards each other, and count to three and then relax and begin again. 

Add light free weights if you want more of a challenge.

 

Undertake Clinical Pilates in West Ryde at NDPE 

Clinical Pilates can help you to improve your posture and reap the benefits. If you are struggling with the effects of poor posture or are looking to better align your body and look after your future, contact our friendly team to begin!

 

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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...

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