As fitness professionals it is often assumed that good posture represents itself in one way, namely correct skeletal alignment with respect to the plumb line, seen here:
While the plumb line is very important, the point that this article makes is that good posture involves the active use of ones postural muscles. What does this mean? Well, postural muscles support our daily movements (these are the core muscles utilized in PILATES class). These muscles help us to sit up straight, or walk in a bio-mechanically sound way because they support our joints and therefore our skeletal system. For example, when a person sits at a desk all day the lower abdominal muscles do not get to work, and muscles that do not get exercised stop properly functioning altogether. Then it becomes the responsibility of other body parts to do a job they are not meant to do, which sets into motion a chain reaction of over-taxing certain parts of the body while under-utilizing other areas.
The point is, we need to exercise out muscles, especially postural core muscles, to keep them conditioned and on call to do their job! Without them we end up with pain and, over time, potentially serious conditions.
If you live in New York you are in luck: Rachel Rettman will help you move your body in all planes of functional motion in order to preserve and build vital core musculature. Other things, like food choices, daily habits, and more all go into this topic of posture.
Have you ever seen someone slumped over, stooping while either standing or sitting? Do they look happy? Usually not! Our posture is also a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and the world around us, and proper (and improper) posture sends important messages to those with whom we come into contact. When considering two equally qualified job applicants, you can bet the person with the great posture who stands tall and conveys confidence will have an edge over a counterpart who is slumped over and shrinking away from the world.
Lesson: remember to stand up, be proud, and most of all exercise those core postural muscles so that you can remain upright and pain free! Head to our Individual tab to get going on some Pilates sessions!