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Why Practising Good Posture is Essential for Pilates and How to Achieve It

Image credit: Taube Pilates & Busby Photography

If you’ve always been told to fix your posture and stand up straight, there are numerous reasons why this advice is worth heeding. This article on Byrdie finds that good posture yields countless health benefits, from helping you avoid chronic pain and injury to improving blood circulation and muscle function. However, practising good posture through proper spine alignment and weight distribution is easier said than done. Fortunately, the Pilates method, as a form of exercise, puts great focus on form and posture to help you stay balanced and relaxed whether you’re sitting, standing, or walking. Read on to find out more about the role of posture in Pilates practice—and other ways to improve your posture in everyday life.

The role of posture in Pilates practice

Named after German physical fitness specialist Joseph Pilates who devised this system, the Pilates method is a set of exercises designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness. Good posture is essential here, as Pilates focuses on the proper alignment of different body parts like the legs, hips, shoulders, and knees—rather than using just one body part at a time. Posture is also a significant component of balance, which you need to achieve and maintain equilibrium while doing static positions or dynamic Pilates movements. In this study on the positive effects of Pilates exercise, it was found that Pilates training programs can effectively promote postural control and equilibrium, especially among older adults. This can enhance how one performs daily activities and improve their overall quality of life. Simultaneously, it can help prevent falls and injuries caused by balance disorders and limitations. Additionally, Pilates practice can involve the use of specialised apparatus like mats, chi balls, resistance bands, and reformers to help attain the desired body position for building core strength. You can learn more by watching our previous video on improving posture, which covers five Pilates workouts. This includes the dead bug exercise, where posture is crucial for creating a strong base and targeting multiple core muscles. Ways to improve posture in everyday life

Invest in an ergonomic chair

Many people develop poor posture from working in a static sitting position for hours on end. To develop better posture and ultimately practice Pilates better, it'll thus help to pay attention to proper ergonomics in your working environment. As this article on PainFreeWorking explains, you can start by investing in ergonomic chairs that encourage the right posture and position while working, mainly through their structure and design. If you’re on a budget, the Alera Elusion Swivel Chair is a great choice due to its multiple adjustable features and breathable suit cushion that promotes optimal comfort and blood circulation. Meanwhile, the Herman Miller Embody Chair makes up for its price point through its superior lumbar support and a backrest accommodating your spine’s natural curvature. Ultimately, working in an ergonomic setting won't just improve your posture—it will also enhance your productivity, comfort, and overall well-being.

Use a comfortable pillow

The static position and long-term inactivity you're in as you sleep can also distort your body posture, increase your risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, and lower your ability to practice Pilates. As such, this study published in the Applied Sciences Journal emphasises the importance of choosing a suitable sleeping pillow that provides spine comfort and support—especially if you experience forward head posture or "text neck," a type of distorted posture caused by looking down at gadgets for prolonged periods. From here, the best pillow materials to fix conditions like text neck will depend on your preferred sleeping position. If you sleep on your side, look for pillows made of cotton from brands like Koala and Sleeping Duck. Conversely, look for goose-down pillows if you prefer sleeping on your back or your stomach. Sheridan and Downia offer some excellent options you can consider. It's vital to practice good posture in your everyday life if you want to maximise the health benefits you reap from Pilates. If you want to try Pilates to improve your general health and well-being, consider booking an initial consultation with us here at Taube Pilates.

Article written by Rachel Jennings

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