Pilates and Posture: A Six Week Trial

Hi, my name is Kirsty, and I am the newest member of the Bend + Mend team in Sydney’s CBD!  I am a fully-qualified Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor, and if I am to be honest, I have let a few things go.  I have taken the last 3 months off work, off pilates training, off the gym, as I have been travelling on the other side of the world…and all of this is finally catching up with me.  My upper back is sore; I have started to get a few headaches; my lower back is sore if I walk for too long; and in general, I just feel tight!

So over the next 6 weeks, I am going to train regularly using Equipment-based Pilates in our Bend + Mend studio to improve my posture and reduce my pain/discomfort…hopefully you can watch me progress as the weeks go by.  In this series of blogs I am going to talk about what it is that we look for during a postural assessment, I will break down some of the important postural changes that we are trying to make with Pilates, and hopefully give you a better understanding of Pilates in its history and fundamental principles.

To start with, let’s break down the fundamental principles of Pilates:

Relaxation- to help body awareness and stress relief

Centering- bringing an awareness to the core, movement is initiated and supported by the core

Concentration- intelligent thoughtful exercise, increased reliance of neural pathways to adapt

Breathing- assists tension relief, to prevent bracing

Balance- efficient muscle use, strength vs length

Control – quality of movement being more important than quantity, using proximal stability to stabilise peripherally

Co-ordination- between breathing, stabilisation and movement

Alignment- pelvic and spinal position that allows

Flowing movements- movement with grace, precise, without strain

So the next time you are at your Pilates class, look for all of these things, see if you change the way you feel your muscles while adjusting your breathing, slow down your repetitions to focus in on control, and notice how you leave the class feeling strong and worked but also at the same time elongated and in alignment.

The next blog in this series titled What is Pilates? gives you some more insight into how it all came about.

If you would like to try Pilates with us contact us here at Bend + Mend in Sydney’s CBD today!

Kirsty Wall

About Kirsty Wall

Kirsty graduated from the University of Otago in 2004, and has worked in private practice in New Zealand and England, before moving to Sydney. She has spent the last three years becoming a certified Pilates instructor alongside her physiotherapy work, and recently became a Master instructor on all apparatus. Kirsty really enjoys bringing Pilates and Physiotherapy together, as she feels they have a symbiotic relationship, guiding patients back to their pre-injury activities as well as preventing re-occurrence. As Kirsty is new to Sydney, she is spending her spare time get to know the city, going on big walks and generally just enjoying the sunshine.

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