I’ve become that person. What am I saying—I’ve always been that person. See, this is the scourge of being a Pilates teacher: I can’t help but notice people’s posture. And I really notice people’s poor posture. So I walk around with a pained look a lot of time.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in the midst of a poor posture epidemic. Our habit of hunching over our computers and phones is wreaking havoc on our spines, upper back muscles and core.
Even if you hate working out, there are four relatively simple things you can do to avoid morphing into Mr/Ms Skeleton here.
1: Breathe deeply through the nose. This automatically straightens the spine. It’s hard to breathe deeply when slumped.
2: When sitting, slightly angle your chin toward your chest. This keeps the back of the neck nice and long, thus avoiding the dreaded “Pez-head” look.
3: Pull the shoulders slightly back. We’re not going for the military look here, so no need to exaggerate. Just try to keep shoulders in line with ear lobes. It sounds easy, but actually requires a fair amount of strength and conditioning in the mid- to upper back to sustain this position for long.
4: Compress the abs. Or as I like to say to female students during Pilates Reformer classes, “pretend you’re wearing a pair of Spanx that are too tight.” To men, it’s “pretend you’re wearing a belt cinched too tight.” This automatically straightens the spine. Again, not easy to sustain without proper conditioning.
To work on your posture, consider taking a few Fundamental Reformer classes at Speakeasy Pilates here in Lexington, VA. The more physically conditioned you are, the easier it is to stand up straight without even thinking about it.