Millions of Americans experience chronic back pain. Pilates core training has been proven to alleviate back pain by strengthening the core muscles.
What Is Pilates?
Developed by athlete Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, pilates is a form of exercise that mixes stretches, strengthening and core training together. Pilates focuses largely on strengthening the core abdominal muscles.
The Elements & Importance of Good Posture
Good posture is essential due to the fact that the spine supports the weight of the body. The natural curves and discs in the spine absorb shock and allow freedom of movement. The natural curve of your spine should be an S shape. Movement becomes more fluid, weight is comfortably supported, and the wear and tear on spinal discs is reduced when the spine is in the proper, natural S shape.
Since most people work in some sort of office environment, we tend to sit for long periods of time. Sitting in front of a computer at a desk and/or slouching in front of the TV cause the spine to take on a shape other than the desirable S shape. This can lead to lower back pain and rounded shoulders.
How Does Pilates Improve Posture?
Pilates focuses on total body alignment by balancing the strength in all of the muscles that keep you standing tall. The body’s movements are all powered by the core. The torso and the back work with one another to support our spine in any and all of it’s movements. Since the core is where the body primarily draws its strength of movement from, the stronger it is, the less overall pain you will have to endure in your daily life.
Pilates helps you regain what has become known as your “neutral spine,” or the aforementioned S shape. Pilates exercises, strengthens, and elongates the deep muscles of the back to support your spine during any movement. When the torso and the back are both strong, this optimal relationship helps you to stand taller, straighter and stronger.
Benefits of Good Posture
The most notable benefit of good posture is reduced (or no) pain in the neck, back, hips, legs and feet. Reducing or eliminating pain in these areas will improve your quality of life in immeasurable ways.
Improving your posture also improves muscle function, increases your range of motion, removes pressure from organs, and improves circulation. This can enable you to try more and different types of exercise and/or sports, as well as make daily living more comfortable.
In addition to the health benefits of good posture, creating a neutral spine can create a leaner overall appearance, and communicates confidence. Any way you look at it, strengthening the muscles that support you will result in a more comfortable, pain-free happy life!