Here are 5 posture and core connection exercises for increased fitness, better sleep, productivity and more flexibility.
It is becoming increasingly well known that poor posture will affect everything in your life and that good posture gives you more energy, less stress and better productivity.
Without good posture, you are not able to be physically fit.
Good posture means your bones are aligned, your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as they are meant to work and your vital organs are in the right position.
Normal functioning of the nervous system and overall health is improved, because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments and a person who has poor posture may often be tired, unable to work efficiently or even move properly.
The good news is that most everyone can avoid the problems caused by bad posture and you can make improvements at any age. Below are a few YogaPilates Fusion® exercises to increase your postural awareness.
1. The Roll Down: This will help to balance the muscles that support the spine as you gradually roll down towards to floor or mat or while sitting on a chair, at the same time drawing your abdominal muscles on the breath out…..Roll back up stacking one vertebra on the other till standing tall, crown of head to ceiling.
2. Cat Stretch: On all 4’s inhale through the nose and on the exhale arch the spine drawing in the abdominals gently taking chin towards chest, inhale and reverse the other direction feeling each vertebra.
3. Spine Twist: One of the most important exercises for the spine and posture.
Anyone who sits at a desk or does not move in a variety of positions throughout the day needs to do this everyday. Standing, sitting on the floor/mat or a chair, spine lengthened, crown of head to ceiling, inhale through the nose and on the exhale through the mouth turn to your right and take it to 3 little pulses on the breath out, inhale again and turn to your left arm outstretched or on the knee if sitting at your desk.
4. Plank: Most important for engaging core, strength, balance, focus, alignment.
Place arms under shoulders and extend legs back engaging core. Picture the back as a plank, lengthened neck, core switched on and imagine balancing a cup of tea or glass of champagne on your back or on all 4’s. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth engaging core on the exhale. Hold for 3 inhales and exhales.
5. Pilates Side Plank: Strength, posture, core engagement, power and the ultimate body stabilising, muscle alignment and cardio and strength building exercise.
From a side sitting position raise to extended arm or elbow if having wrist issues on an inhale, go to knee or slide out both legs with top foot crossed over bottom foot for support. Extend arm laterally and feel the amazing benefit while holding for 3 inhales and exhales. This side plank position will also increase your heart rate thus increasing cardiovascular strength also.
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All photos are of Jill Healy-Quintard.
Written for YogaPilates Fusion® a registered exercise program designed by Jill Healy-Quintard for the ultimate Mind/Body/Balance Workout