I recently wrote a post that was essentially a list of exercises for better posture each suggested by an expert.
I received such a great response from the experts I reached out to, that I didn’t actually have enough room to fit in all of the suggestions!
So, over the next couple of posts (including this one), I’m bringing you those suggestions that didn’t make the original list.
Here is the original post – 21 Exercises for Better Posture (Expert Suggestions)
The first of those sent to me is from Andrea Maida, a Pilates instructor and practitioner for 15 years.
These exercises are going to help you to improve your upper spine and neck/head alignment while also great for your lower back and your pelvis.
These Pilates posture exercises are simple yet very effective exercises to help improve your posture.
Be sure to give these exercises a go whenever you get the chance to, over to Andrea.
Pilates Posture Tips from Pilates Andrea
I am in love with the Pilates method of exercise. Among its myriad benefits, Pilates is an excellent system to improve your posture.
And who couldn’t use a little more help in the posture department?
Correcting our posture is literally defying gravity and in my Pilates workout I am doing just that in each and every exercise.
Check out these 2 simple Pilates posture exercises. They are efficient and effective and can be easily done a few times daily.
The first is an effective exercise which can be done anywhere you can place yourself against a wall.
And I’ve got a second exercise I’ve also adapted to give myself a posture check in my car.
But first a bit more about the wall.
The wall, unlike our bodies, is an unwavering straight line. In the first of our 2 exercises we’ll keep our backs against the wall.
A word about our backs, they are decidedly not a straight line. Instead our backs have various curves and potential imbalances/idiosyncrasies.
My particular posture problem is probably not unlike your own. I’ve got an upper back slump, my head leans forward and my shoulders like to round inward on my chest.
My iPhone is definitely NOT helping.
I enjoy this exercise at the wall for a quick re-alignment of my head and upper back.
It’s called the Reverse Wall.
The Set Up
- Stand against the wall with your heels touching the wall too.
- In this position you will probably feel your heels, hips, shoulders and arms on the wall but more than likely your back will not touch the wall.
This is perfectly normal.
- Walk your feet away from the wall as much as necessary to feel your back against the wall from the shoulders to the hips – your entire trunk.
- Your feet will be apart in a parallel position about hip width apart.
- Your arms will be long beside you on the wall.
- This may not happen easily depending on your specific back.
- Pull in your stomach in the front and see if it helps you feel your back on the wall.
- Push into your feet and bring your hips away from the wall. Bring them as far away from the wall as you can.
- With your hips off the wall bring the back of your head and your arms onto the wall as much as you can.
- Imagine your head stays on the ceiling as you slowly replace your back onto the wall from the top down until your back is again on the wall.
Notice if you roll smoothly down the wall or if there are any spots that are skipped. Just notice.
Your top priority is your head and arms maintaining their position on the wall as much as possible as your back returns to be against the wall.
Alternatively you can do this same exercise lying down. You’ll be in a bridge position.
Try out both exercises and see what you think.
Proper Driving Posture
Remember your sequential roll along the wall?
Now we’ll do it in reverse to prevent getting all slumpy in the car. Of course don’t be distracted by your Pilates maneuver when driving.
Perhaps investigate this if you are stopped in traffic. I get to revisit this one lots whenever I drive from San Diego to Los Angeles.
- Lean your back forward and out of the car seat to begin.
- Pull in the lowest stomach muscles you can find and see if you feel the lowest part of your back in the seat.
- Use your muscles in the front to sequentially roll you back up taller in your seat until you are upright.
It’s the low back that likes to slump, so see if you can find a little more lift upward as you roll your back into the seat.
Just a little bit of work on a daily basis can create a huge difference in your posture. Find success in frequency rather than duration.
Give yourself 2 weeks of daily Pilates posture exercises and see what you think.
About the Author
Andrea has been practicing Pilates for 15 years and is currently teaching at her studio in Solana Beach, CA – you can learn more from Andrea at her website www.pilatesandrea.com.
You can follow Andrea on her social channels here:
Did you give these exercises a try, if so, how did you find them? Let me know in the comments below.