fitness

5 pilates exercises that instantly improve your posture

Pilates exercises can streamline your body in a few minutes. Yes you read that right! Whether I’ve been hunched at my desk all day or unfurled my body from a long car or plane journey, these exercises give me a svelte figure in a matter of minutes. If your posture is bad, your spine curves and your tummy sticks out, making you look bloated even when you’re not. You don’t have to have a mat. A carpeted floor or a few towels on a hard floor will do. I’ve linked some youtube videos for the 5  exercises I do to restore good posture after travelling or before I get into that figure hugging dress.

  • The shoulder bridge. This exercise creates mobility in your spine and strengthens the pelvis. Remember to breathe – inhale on the way up and exhale on the way down. Say hahhh on the exhale.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t2oFd58h7c

  • The Dart ( this exercise creates space in your body and is great when you’ve eaten too much, sat down for too long and have tummy ache!) And breathe in that pose for a few deep breathes in and out. In through the nostrils and (hahhhhh) out through the mouth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeWKYPqV3A8

  • The cat (A great way to unravel your spine and free up any tension in the neck). Breathe in at the start of the movement and out (Hahhh) as you move out of the pose.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ft5LIJ4yVw

  • The standing roll down (with this one when I get to the bottom of the roll, I like to just drop my weight into my feet and hang my arms, remembering to hold the tummy in. This gives a lovely stretch to the spine – and don’t forget to breathe deep breaths into your ribcage and back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vyv9rbDq7n4

  • The standing side stretch (with this one, the video doesn’t tell you this, but – you want to drop your weight into your feet on the ground. So if you’re stretching your left arm over, you want to drop your weight into your left foot, and when you stretch your right arm over you want to drop your weight into your right foot and feel the difference in the stretch. Don’t forget the inbreath and outbreath in that pose.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIhQaEDyY6Q

And that’s it. You’re ready to get dressed and face the world with your head up and your back straighter! All these exercise are releasing tension in your spine and neck, promoting better posture. Being thin does not make you look good in clothes, having good posture does. Bad posture adds pounds to your figure and creates back pain. Good posture makes you stand up straighter, making you ooze confidence with every step you take.

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