Following on from my blog on “How to Assess Posture”…
This is Week 1 of my 6 week Pilates challenge! Let’s have a look at my Posture (it’s not great):
You can see a few patterns occurring. Starting at the top:
- Forward head position
- Rounded shoulders, the right worse than the left
- The right shoulder is slightly lower than the left
- My arms are sitting in a more internal rotated position, which you can see from the way my palms turn towards the wall behind me
- My waist on the right has a deep angle
- Moderate rounding in the upper back
- An increased forward pelvic tilt and overall increase in lumbar lordosis (sway back)
- Possibly a muscle imbalance between the thigh muscles
- Hyper-extending knees
- Moderate loss of arch height in the foot
Now, these are general observations, and maybe you also have some of these issues.
My main goals over the next six weeks to help correct my posture will be:
- To stretch out my chest and shoulders
- To improve overall spinal mobility to help encourage more lumber flexion
- To increase the flexibility of my hip flexors, as to allow more activation of my lower abdominals
- To be able to touch my toes!!
This week I have focused on the first two goals, and I am loving the feeling of stretching again! My favourite stretch has to be lying on the foam roller. Who doesn’t love these stretches?! (and you can’t beat exercising while lying down). On the foam roller I like to do snow angels and helicopters, which feel as good as they sound. I do add in some basic control exercises for my shoulders and stomach, which emphasise three of the principles I was discussing last week; centering, control and balance. The foam roller will help open up my chest, and allow my muscles to work a little better. It will also help with gentle mobilisation of the thoracic spine, especially into extension, which will help reduce the rounded or kyphotic position of the spine.
To help with spinal mobility, I have been on the reformer doing mermaids, bridges and short spine. These movements encourages the vertebrae of the spine to move at an individual segmental level, this allows the muscles, joints and ligaments either side and deep to the spine lengthens.
Next week I am going to look specifically at the neck and upper back, and outline some of the beneficial Pilates exercises for this area.