Pilates to the Rescue

Too much time on your devices! Neck & back pain and stiffness? We may have the answer….

What is Kyphosis:

Kyphosis or (hunchback) is excessive outwards curvature of the upper back although more common in older women, and often related to Osteoporosis, everyone is at risk of developing Kyphosis due to our increased number of hours sitting in front of our computers or ducking our heads forwards to look at our phones. Whilst this may be a condition for the elderly, it is the steps we take now that may prevent this from happening in the future.

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How can Pilates help:

Developing better muscle function and body alignment are at the core of Pilates, and with Kyphosis being mostly a postural problem (there can be a genetic predisposition or underlying medical issues), by addressing our poor posture habits with Pilates, we can reduce neck and back pain and stiffness. Reformer Pilates which bends the spine and torso in every position stretching, strengthening, and lengthening is perfect for creating better posture.

When the body is bent forward in Kyphosis, the upper back can become both over-stretched and weak while the chest muscles end up being too tight and strong. To begin re-balancing the upper body, the chest muscles need to be stretched and the upper back, arms and shoulders needs to be strengthened. Getting stronger with the hips, pelvic floor, and low core will also provide an anchor of support to help lift the spine into a taller position. Lying on your back can be a great way to let gravity start opening the chest and straightening out the spine. Side bending and Twisting exercises are the other two ranges of movement that are needed to help improve posture and reduce the exaggerated curve of Kyphosis.

Key Exercise:

The Pilates Roll-up is also a key exercise in helping prevent Kyphosis. Rolling up on this exercise is strengthening your low centre and stretching your back.  Rolling down is helping to strengthen both the abs and the back.  As you lay each segment of your back on the mat one-by-one, you are helping to reinforce taller posture!  This is just one example of a spine flexion exercise from Pilates.  If your upper back is stuck like a chunk the segments cannot move freely.  Pilates is designed to help free up the body for better movement.

You do not have to live with a hunchback.  At Pilates on Point our classes are all about improving your posture with the Reformer so that you can stand taller. If you cannot make our Palm Beach studio then we have Virtual PoP, our very own online video membership with both Mat and Reformer classes. Let us undo your bad habits together and keep your spine moving in a more normal and natural way.

Mark Masman.

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