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.
If you think about it, these muscles are the ones responsible for supporting your head (which weighs between 5-11 pounds) and in women breasts which can also weigh a substantial amount. So coupled with the fact that most people have weak upper backs and poor true core strength that comes from the TA (transverse abdominus) and the fact that our society spends an enormous amount of time looking down at technology, makes this issue a critical one for everybody!
Upper back muscles can and are overlooked in most people and are especially weak in women. As important as it is to strengthen those muscles, they cannot be strengthened properly without the use of a strong core! The Core Method teaches you to recruit from your core with every movement while using specific movements to help strengthen the upper back and core!
In one specific case, a client presented with severe osteo and kyphosis with a compound fracture of her T1 vertebrae. With the assistance of equipment working twice a week for 1/2 hour at a time, she is not only standing taller but in a recent visit to her doctor was told she “grew” an inch and that the compound fracture has moved back into place. Obviously we can’t make people grow but we can help people strengthen the muscles that support the structures we are dealing with which in turn will change stance and posture.
The muscles of the upper back are critical to keep strong for many reasons and with the age of technology we need to create even more mindfulness of this part of of our body. So, if you aren’t doing Pilates to work on this very important area of weakness, make sure you are adding this area of the body into your workout repertoire.