Pilates: Exercises to stretch and improve posture
Sitting for many hours a day is one of the main causes of back problems: unfortunately, you spend 9 hours in this position every day! This is why pilates can be your important ally. In fact, from Homo erectus, man has turned into homo sedens, a negative evolution that has caused consequences on your back ranging from the forward bowing of the spine to scoliosis problems.
Is it possible to reverse this trend?
Yes of course. Bad posture is not innate, but is the result of wrong habits that can be changed. Of course, don’t expect to straighten your spine in a few days, changing habits takes time and the first step is to develop an awareness of your mistakes and learn how to correct them.
Here are some tips and especially the Melarossa exercises to be performed every day to stretch yourself and feel better! If you already suffer from back problems, visit a specialist before starting this program.
Your column undergoes the weight of gravity and the pressures related to your daily activities all day long (the efforts you make at work, the load of the bags you carry from the supermarket to your home when you shop) and this means that slowly the your posture is changed. In addition, the shoulders tend to rise and bend, the chin moves forward, the back curves.
The consequences of gravity are felt at the level of the intervertebral discs, bearings that are located between the vertebrae and which, due to this load, become shorter during the day: it has been calculated that on average a man becomes shorter than 2 cm from the morning in the evening!
However, fortunately during the night, the spine does not suffer trauma and regains its initial length, but over the years this ability decreases, so it is important to learn to create space between the vertebrae by lengthening the spine so that the intervertebral discs do not suffer.
Here are some self-stretching techniques to perform all day
- Stretch your shoulders down
- Push your shoulders back bringing your shoulder blades closer to each other
- Imagine that above your head there is a thread that pulls you upwards as if you were a puppet
- Stretch without lifting the chin but on the contrary bring it slightly back so as to have all the cervical vertebrae well aligned.
Straightening up: Where to start?
Stand up straight! How many times do you repeat it during the day? Are you sure, you really know what it means? In the box above, we have summarized for you the rules of correct posture, both when standing and when sitting.
Remember: good posture must be maintained without tension or fatigue and must not cause pain.
The practice of pilates to stretch
Just half an hour a day with the fitness elastic band or a towel to stretch your spine and stretch all the muscles of your back thanks to the pilates technique. The more you feel the benefits and develop a consciousness, the more you will feel the need to perform these simple exercises.
We advise you to initially practice them in the morning, but if when you return from work you feel tired and crushed by the weight of the day, take a few minutes to stretch!
Discover our exercises!
Pilates Exercise 1
Standing with your legs together, hold a towel with both hands keeping your arms slightly apart from your hips. Holding your arms and towel firmly at your pelvis, move your shoulders upward.
NB: you must only move the joints, not the whole torso. Always having the towel as a point of reference, lower your shoulders. Do this shoulder movement several times, lowering and raising them.
Do 7-8 reps.
Pilates Exercise 2
Stand with your legs slightly apart, hold a towel firmly and stretch it with both arms in front of you at shoulder height, keeping your elbows bent. After taking a deep breath, raise your arms above your head keeping them always the same distance from your body and exhale.
Repeat this exercise several times (7/8 reps) trying to keep your torso straight and as firm as possible.
Pilates Exercise 3
Standing with your legs together, lift a towel over your head with your arms stretched. Keeping your legs together and straight, slowly begin to bend towards your knees.
Start with your neck and imagine that every single vertebra follows the movement of your head. Do not force too much, but try to reach your maximum flexion point by keeping the abs in tension and the arched column. When you are down, wrap the towel around your ankles. Try to stay in position for a few seconds.
Climb gently up the column until you return to the starting position.
Do 7/8 reps.
Pilates Exercise 4
Standing with your legs apart, hold a towel at chest level with both hands with your arms folded. Spread them over your head trying to stretch as much as possible.
Flex your torso to the right keeping the towel stretched over your head with your arms parallel to each other and your pelvis stationary. Stay in this position for a few seconds, but don’t push too hard. Slowly go back to position number 2.
Repeat the bend from the left side and return to the starting position.
Do 7 to 8 reps.
Pilates Exercise 5
Stand with your legs spread apart. With his arms outstretched, he wipes a towel just above his knees. Inhale; raise your arms straight above your head. Try to keep your pelvis still and slightly pushed forward.
Slowly flex your upper body to the right. Slowly rotate your torso to the right keeping the towel firm, until you have your arms parallel to the floor.
Try to stay still for a few seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position. Perform the same movement from the left side.
Do 7/8 reps.
Pilates Exercise 6
Stand with your legs slightly apart and your back straight, grab the 2 ends of a towel with both hands and extend your arms in front of you at chest level.
Slowly move your arms up over your head and try to put them behind your back. It is not difficult, you have to bend your right arm over your head and keep your left arm stretched along your side. Slowly, also extend your right arm until you are with the towel behind your back. Now go up with the left arm keeping the right one extended and continue the series alternating the arms.
At the end, return to the initial position with the towel in your arms stretched out in front of you.
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