Pilates and Posture go hand in hand. I have seen many clients with poor posture, rounded shoulders, weak upper body and tummy muscles dramatically improve their posture over a number of months of regular Pilates exercises taking part in  my classes in Pilates Waterford.

Poor Posture | Pilates Waterford

I bumped into a friend recently and, while we were standing chatting, I had to stop myself from putting my hands on her shoulders and shoving them back, telling her to lift her head up and basically wanting to stand her up against a wall! It took all my strength not to say ‘Would you ever stand up tall’! I was really disturbed, not just by her poor posture, but that such a young girl was so unaware of how bad her posture was and the long term impact that can have.

Ten years ago I started my Pilates training journey. The most memorable words on my very first day of training were ‘by the end of today, you’ll walk out of this room half a stone lighter!’ – I thought ‘fantastic, so I’ll have earned a bar of chocolate on my drive home?!’ That was just the beginning of my learning about the importance of posture, to the extent that I still receive many compliments on my own posture. I find it has become a bit of an obsession, constantly aware of and noticing postures around me, mostly poor it has to be said – whether people are just sitting in a cafe, standing in a queue or running on road, poor posture is all around me. I’ve officially become the ‘Waterford ‘Posture Nanny’ in danger of shouting at people pushing buggies, or teenagers walking and texting “you need to do Pilates!”!!

So why is our Posture so Important?

Good posture is so important because we are ultimately trying to distribute the force of gravity  through our body so no one area – joint,ligaments or muscles – are overworked. We want our body in alignment, to reduce stress on our spine so we can move efficiently, the way our body is designed to, as simple as that!.

What can you do to improve your own posture?

  1. Don’t wear your shoulders as earrings! I am so hugely aware of where my shoulders are, keeping them down my back and not up at my ears, rolling them back so I’m not completely sticking out my chest but i’m not hiding it either.
  2. Sit don’t slouch!  I become even more aware of my posture when I sit, obviously I like to lounge on the couch when I watch TV, but if I am out in a restaurant I will always instinctively go for the ‘good chair’ the one with the most support for my back and not the soft squishy couch that most people fight over.  
  3. Elevate your computer – When i’m sitting for long periods of time in front of the computer I always sit with my two feet grounded on the floor, not my legs crossed, so there is no twist in my back, it also instinctively makes me hold my tummy in. I try and use my computer on a slightly elevated  platform, ie a book! So i’m not looking down at the screen all the time i’m looking straight at it so it reduces any neck pain and believe me i get it.
  4. Talk tall – when I meet people and am standing talking, I always try to stand with the weight on both my feet and my knees soft, this may all sound like hard work, but believe me this is what pilates does to you, it constantly reminds me to stand up tall!
  5. Cuddle that baba – When I was holding any of my babies, at that 8 month stage and they have started to pack on some pounds, as much as I wanted to hold them on one hip I knew it was going to kill my back and affect posture. So I would hold them in two arms at the front of my chest so at least their weight was distributed evenly in front of me and not to one side. So often with kids, we hold them on the same hip, our strong one, that we are bound to end up with this dodgy weaker side that never gets any stronger.

Pilates & Posture – Achieving Good Alignment

All of Joseph Pilates movements highlight posture. We are building those strong tummy and back muscles to give our body support, tightening that corset around our middle to zip us up and make us taller. We want to have our head on our shoulders not hanging forward from them. We want to see two steps ahead of us not be looking at our feet. Pilates is there to give us confidence in our posture Want to try a class with me?

Click here to find my timetable. So Stand Tall ladies and gents! Life really is a performance not a rehearsal!