Many of us picture the rounded or “hunched” posture with a forward head position as poor posture. However, there are many variations of postural abnormalities. One of the most common we see at Pilates Sante, is an overly upright "military" like posture.
In western society, the military bracing pose is frequently held as the ideal posture. However, this idea of 'suck in your gut, stick out your chest, and pull in your chin' is not ideal for many or most of us!
The problem with this military posing is excessive straightening of the spine by reducing or eliminating its natural curves. The lordotic curves in the neck and low back, and kyphotic curve in the mid back are essential. These curves convert the spine into a flexible spring rather than a rigid post. The cervical and lumbar curves place the intervertebral discs at their optional position to handle gravitational load as well. Therefore reduction of these curves can lead (and often does) to disc pain & injuries, and degenerative disc disease!
At Pilates Santé, we always begin with a postural assessment from either a trained Pilates Instructor or Physical Therapist. Once the type of postural malalignment is determined, the instructor can address the muscles tightness, weakness, joint restrictions, and proprioceptive (sense of position) deficits contributing to the poor posture.
The pilates based exercise repertoire has an enormous variety of exercises to choose from in order to make postural improvements. If you have questions about your posture, or would like a postural assessment, please feel free to ask your pilates instructor or therapist!
Ariel Lehaitre PT
Pilates Sante founder/owner