Good news! It is absolutely possible if your posture resembles the woman on the left to look like the woman on the right. Everyday for over 25 years I see this issue at the studio and we are helping people understand the landscape of their body and change the way they carry themselves. No one is helping us understand how our bodies are actually structured and the mechanics behind the structure.
There is much talk these days about primal spine and posture training, but what does this really mean and can it change our everyday lives?? Before we start this discussion we need to understand the meaning of a ‘neutral spine’ – and yes, everyone can and should have a neutral spine. Depending upon postural differences and imbalances – everyone’s neutral spine will be different but a strong core is essential in having a neutral spine – I am not referring to the popular ‘six pack’ muscles. I’m referring to the deepest layer of muscle that wraps around us like a girdle called the transverse abdominus. Strengthening this muscle allows us to be in a neutral spine position for our everyday lives. We can never cure structural imbalances like scoliosis or osteoporosis-but we can strengthen the muscles that support the structure so that there is proper muscular support for these postural imbalances.
Have you noticed you are always glancing down? Or perhaps you’ve caught your reflection in the mirror and noticed your back and shoulder are rounded forward? This is called kyphosis- it’s causes are varied – from bad posture to osteoporosis. Whatever the cause, this postural stance and lack of core strength CAN BE CORRECTED!
I can’t claim that Pilates changes structural abnormalities but it can strengthen the muscles around those abnormalities hence better supporting the individual’s structure. Alignment can be changed if their is 360 degree support of the structure.
Many people complain about a general achy lower back and if you are one of them, please take note: if you have seen a doctor and gone through the basic steps to make sure your back pain is nothing structural and by that I mean no bulging disc, or herniation etc…, see if you can sit on the floor at 90 degrees making sure you are sitting up on your buttocks/glutes (sits bones) with a straight back and with both legs extended in front of you on the floor. If you can do this with ease then your hamstrings are most likely not the culprit of your back pain.
“Strengthen your core,” what does this really mean? We hear this phrase all the time, yet seem to have very little understanding of its practical use. After thirty years in the fitness industry and seventeen devoted to studying and teaching Pilates, I think it’s about time to make sense of the core – or – to make sense of the core as our floor.