Who doesn’t use their smart phone or computer a ridiculous amount of time a day? If you think about the posturing you create with your head, neck, spine and even core when you are sitting or standing using your phone, it might be alarming. I bet you can even picture yourself exactly how you look AND feel when you are hunched over returning texts, emails, scouring Instagram and Facebook, or even (gasp) using it an actual phone! In fact, right now, take a second and try to replicate your poor posture – go ahead, no one is judging you… yet.
What you might find if you are honest is your cervical (upper part) spine is lurched forward, shoulders rounded in, neck and head jutted forward, and very little if any core control is taking place. Unfortunately, smart devices aren’t going anywhere, (at least until wearables take over) so the question becomes, what can we do to change AND improve the posturing we have AND make good posture a habit?
I bet you are wondering what this “magic” fix is? Long story short, there isn’t one. BUT there are plenty of fairly simple movements and exercises that will train your mind and body to “flip the switch” on your posture when you find yourself looking like Hugo the Hunchback on your phone. Then, you can come try a reformer Pilates class to keep those muscles getting stronger and working for you long term. But, in the meantime, here are a few tips I would recommend.
The number one thing I suggest is to stack your spine. Lengthening through the spine automatically engages your core. Try it. You will know if your core is weak and you cannot maintain holding your head in line with your spine as you stack it, or if it fairly easy and you feel stronger and about 3 inches taller. Your core is working, but it may need some strengthening.
Lots of options in AYB classes for that and especially Pilates, trust me!
Shoulders are another big part of the equation. Are you wearing your shoulders as earrings? Hope not, but I bet you know what I mean. Roll your shoulder blades down your back as you stack your spine. Feel the difference. Squeeze through the middle of your back and open up
your chest and hold that for 10-15 seconds at a time.
Third, and I say this everyday …. Squeeze Your Glutes! Your glutes and hamstrings help you stabilize as you are standing, so use them. Roll your hips forward as you squeeze your glutes. I know you are trying it right now. Makes a difference doesn’t it?
Practice this often. Find time during the day when you feel the slouch coming on, when you are getting ready in the morning, when you are driving and you are tired, or when you are watching Netflix. Just practice. The more you strengthen and train your core to activate and glutes to fire, the easier it will be make changes to your posture. And if you really want to see results in not only your posture, but increased glute strength and core control, come try Pilates. It might just be a game changer for you!
Certified STOTT Pilates Instructor – AYB
Group Fitness Trainer- AYB