Pilates is a specialised exercise regiment that allows you to directly tackle posture and back pain issues. You can correct your posture if you strengthen your core muscles.
Between sitting at a computer desk, bending over to look at a cell phone, or just slumping on the couch to watch Netflix, there's no shortage of opportunities for bad posture in our day-to-day life. This rise of tech-related bad posture has led to an epidemic in this country where nearly half of all adults are prone to suffering from back pain issues. Luckily, there are some things that can be done in order to counteract bad posture and reduce the likelihood of back pain from occurring. One of the best strategies is to begin regularly participating in Pilates. This specialised exercise regiment allows you to directly tackle many of the reasons why you have developed bad posture in the first place. Here are some specifics regarding how Pilates can help you perfect your posture.
1. Builds Core Strength
Funnily enough, the key to better posture and less back pain is not necessarily focusing on building your back muscles. In fact, depending on your current state, honing in on your back muscles at the gym may actually aggravate your condition. You will have a better chance of correcting your posture and easing your back pain if you focus on strengthening your core muscles.
It goes without saying that everyone who focuses on their core muscles isn't after a six-pack. Possessing strong core muscles is a vital part of maintaining good health. This is because the core muscles are what take on a large part of the responsibility for supporting your spine. That's why chronic back pain kicks in when core muscles are neglected. In fact, a lack of these essential muscle groups is the second biggest reason why people suffer from the type of back pain that affects approximately 26 percent of the population.
Thankfully, the main focus of Pilates is to help develop a person's core strength. So, regularly participating in a Pilates regime is sure to help you reach your goal of achieving a core that is stable enough to help you maintain good posture.
2. Makes You Aware Of Posture Issues
One of the main differences between a standard gym visit and participating Pilates is that gym workouts focus on muscle exhaustion while Pilates concentrate more on technique and overall body awareness. The exercises that you perform during a Pilates workout are only going to be effective if you maintain proper form throughout the exercises. That is why Pilates puts such an importance on being aware of your body and any issues that exist with your form.
In the world of Pilates, doing 10 reps of a certain activity while maintaining the proper form is a lot better than doing 30 reps with an incorrect form. Therefore, if you possess bad posture, then this is something that will become very evident during Pilates exercises.
3. Improves Flexibility And Body Alignment
Other key factors in improving your posture are working on your body's flexibility and alignment. When most people think of building flexibility, they often think of yoga. However, this is one of the things that is an important part of both yoga and Pilates.
During a Pilates class, the attention is mainly put on your form when doing each movement and strives to open up the body in order to increase its range of motion. Once you begin to build your body's ability to be more flexible, it will make maintaining good posture feel much more natural. To help jump-start this process, try out some of the more common Pilates positions such as The Hundred, The Mermaid, and The Saw, which all put an emphasis on building the body's range of motion while also improving core strength.
Interested in perfecting your posture and getting rid of that pesky chronic back pain? Get started on your Pilates journey today!
About the author: Giulia Ramsey is an avid advanced Reformer Pilates practitioner who has studied in Germany and the U.S. Her fitness mantra is the Joseph Pilates quote, "Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit." Giulia is CMO of Pilates Direct, the authorised North America distributor for STOTT Pilates, Peak Pilates, BASI Systems, and Elina Pilates equipment and reformers.
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