The philosophy behind Pilates is all about getting to know your own body and learning how to move it efficiently and effectively. You’ve probably heard someone (or even us!) say that Pilates improves posture or helps you maintain good posture. But the real question is, how can Pilates improve your posture?
In today’s world of desk working, driving, texting and Netflixing, it’s more important than ever to work on improving your posture. If you have bad posture, you probably also suffer from neck pain and headaches. You might also struggle with upper back (thoracic) tightness and pain. Good posture really isn’t just about what it looks like, it’s the fact that when you have poor posture, this impacts your physical ability and mobility. It impacts how comfortable you feel day-to-day within your body.
If you’re fast realising that your posture could do with a little attention, the good news, when you practise the Pilates method, your posture will improve.
What Are The Benefits Of Good Posture
Good posture affects your life more than you could ever imagine.
These are just some of the main benefits of good and correct posture!
- provides pain relief throughout the body, including hip pain, back and neck pain, leg, and foot pain, allowing you to live more pain free.
- allows you to move more efficiently.
- takes the pressure off of compressed organs.
- improves circulation all over your body.
- improves muscle function.
- increases the range of motion.
- radiates a positive attitude of confidence.
How Can Pilates Improve Posture?
Now that we know the benefits of good posture, let’s learn how Pilates can improve posture.
Pilates Builds Core Strength
Pilates helps develop and strengthen your core muscles. It also helps you to engage your core strength rather than using superficial musculature for everyday movement.
Utilizing the deep core muscles of the back, abdominals, and pelvic floor to support your posture will allow the muscles in your shoulders and neck to relax. It will also allow your neck and head to move freely and more comfortably and relieve stress on the feet, legs, and hips. It’s all connected!
Pilates Improves Flexibility and Body Alignment
Working on your body’s flexibility and alignment are other key factors in improving your posture and overall health. Once you begin to build your body’s ability to be more agile and more flexible, maintaining good posture is going to feel much more natural.
When people hear the words ‘increase flexibility’, the majority often think of yoga. And while that is true, Pilates also helps you become more flexible.
During every MerryBody Pilates class, we bring attention to your form and technique. You’ll hear us say things like… lengthen the leg, open your heart, switch on your core muscles, shoulder blades together, tuck the pelvis, keep a neutral spine. It’s these technique cues that will help to open up the body in order to increase its range of motion.
In a particular move, like standing splits, we might be strengthening the booty, abs and hamstring but at the same time, you’ll also be opening and stretching the muscles too. Helping you be more flexible and stronger all in one move! A Pilates practice really is a game changer.
Pilates Makes You Aware Of Posture Issues
One of the main differences between a standard gym visit and participating in a Pilates class is that gym workouts focus on muscle exhaustion while Pilates concentrates more on technique and overall body awareness.
The exercises performed during a Pilates workout are effective only if the proper form is maintained. Pilates puts a lot of emphasis on being aware of your own body and form.
In the Pilates world, ten repetitions of a particular exercise done while maintaining the proper form are countless times better than doing one thousand reps while your form is incorrect.
Therefore, if your posture is bad, it will become very evident during Pilates exercises, this is why we film technique tutorials for MerryBody Online Studio. These tutorials help you feel more confident in your movement.
They lead to more body awareness and allow you to correct form and technique, creating a more effective and safe movement. And of course, we are on hand to answer questions and you can even send videos of your form to us.
Pilates Works the Entire Body
When you do your own gym workout you tend to favour a movement. You might work more of the front body and forget about your back. You might just do legs. You might just do arms.
We know we’ve seen a few gym buffs with very large biceps and tiny legs walking around the Gold Coast (hehe, and that’s fine, just an observation!). Even we have found ourselves preferring a move, like plank pose, then realising we were doing way too much front body work and not enough back work.
The good thing with Pilates is that it is an entire body workout but you do need to ensure you are working the entire body in a balanced way. This is why it’s a great idea to work with a pilates teacher. And this is exactly why we create a Scheduled Weekly Plan inside MerryBody Online Studio, so we work the entire body in a safe and effective way. Pilates really is a method to help with correcting posture and creating great posture habits.
We know for sure, Pilates has helped both of us with our own postural alignment and back pain. We both have scoliosis, we also spend quite a lot of time at the desk. If we didn’t have our Yoga and Pilates practise we would not be able to maintain good posture and would probably be in a world of back pain and tech neck.
Ahhh, we are so grateful for Pilates and Yoga!
If you’ve read this far you’re probably ready to sign up to your first Pilates class! The good news, you can try MerryBody Pilates (and Yoga!) for free! Click HERE and sign up for a free 7-day trial. Or you can try the class below…
If you do try a MerryBody Pilates class, let us know how you go! We’d love to hear from you. If you’re new to Pilates, start with the beginner classes or foundation classes.
They’re a little slower and easier to follow BUT don’t worry we give modifications for all levels in every single class, even the Challenge classes.
Emma + Carla