Bad posture and why it matters

One thing that sticks out most when I find myself people watching, moving or standing are elevated front ribs. Posture. If I ask a client to side bend it mostly results into an extension in their ribcage first and a shift of their pelvis, possibly combined with rotation second, but let’s focus on one thing…

My own story – posture:

Many times in my life I was told  that I am hyper-lordodic (too much lumbar curve).  I own a fair share of booty.  That increases the look of hyper lordosis. Some movement teachers asked me in the past to just tuck my pelvis under to make the curve flatten out. Problem fixed. Moving on. NOT!

That led me down a long and painful road of lower back issues. SI problems and non functioning glutes, tight hamstrings, tight hip-flexors and quads. Because what really happens is a dysfunctional engagement in the glute maximus, a stretch on the thoraco lumbar faschia, over shortening of the hamstrings. Resulting in tight calves and hip flexors and quads are holding on for dear life. Am I confusing you?

When I met Jonathan FitzGordon and he told me right away that I was  I too was a sway back. I had a hard time believing him, a very hard time… Well, long story short, he was right. I had tried to correct a faulty pattern I didn’t even have. 

Not just you, it’s everybody…

Most people aren’t aware of their posture, at all. It’s not something we get taught in school and unless you’re a ballerina, into gymnastics or performing arts you probably never think of how you stand, look or move through space. Please correct me, if I’m wrong.
To balance weak glutes, the desk pasture, being taller than average, mimicking your parents’ pasture etc. … a lot of people end up with a sway back.

 

I am still on the road to “recovery”. It takes conscious effort each and every day to make a change. It’s as Jonathan says “well worth it”. I really like the quote from McGraw “practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent” . What we practice every day, is what we get in the end.

Once the ribs relax down (or as I like to think of it lately, my kidneys go back) the erector spinae muscles can actually do their job. The abdominals will get much more tone and the “tight backs” will disappear. The glutes will co-contract to provide much needed help for your spine erectors. Standing upright is not just their responsibility, your glutes have a huge part in it. At least they should. Your back starts to hurt less and less.

Sounds good?!

Ready to be more aware?

One thing that I hear over and over again from my clients is that they are more AWARE of their posture and able to make the small corrections.

In your first session I will assess your posture and show you potential weaknesses and simple, easy to do exercises to make a huge impact in your everyday life. Let’s get started!

Read Jonathan’s article that inspired this post here:

http://blog.corewalking.com/love-lift-front-ribcage/

lifted ribs                                                                       sway back

 

 

Stop cracking your knuckles!

I found this little video today, and I can’t say how happy I am about it.

It shows very simply what happens to your joints when you pop or crack your fingers, hip, neck, etc. I used to be a big “neck cracker”. Until I found out what happens and that the cracking actually increases the swelling that makes you want to crack the joint even more. A vicious cycle.

Not just the swelling and constant pulling and stretching on ligaments and tendons but just a plain old bad habit. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody, even if this clip says that there is no evidence for causing Arthritis. Destabilizing your body in any which way is not good. The Central Nervous System gets the message of “danger, we are loosing something here” and tightens up muscles around that joint. These muscles might not shut off when the “danger” is over and we become chronically tight. Especially muscles of surrounding joints. shoulders, upper back, even the lower back suffers if the neck is out of whack. In the end we are a sum of our dysfunctions and pain is the norm. Not a life I’d like to live…

How do you kick the habit?

Just don’t do it. Become aware. Realize when you want to crack and catch yourself before you start cracking. Choose not to do it. End of story. After a while (it can take up to a couple of months) you won’t find the need to do it anymore. The body heals and self regulates pretty well.

Wanna kick your cracking habit?

Questions? Contact me at Chantall@risepilates.com

 

Aging gracefully with Pilates

” The older we get the more we have to work.” Thats something one of my teachers said, and I’ll never forget it. She referred the the human body and the demand we put on it. Another saying that comes to my mind is “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”. Aging is something that’s going to happen even if we fight it, there’s no way around. One of the key signs for a healthy and young body is it’s ability to move well. Doing whatever you want and being able to do so without aches and pains.

What do you still want to do?

Playing tennis, golf, soccer, biking, climbing… walking, playing with the grand children, getting out of the chair without help, getting out of bed…? The list of demands we have can vary from day to day or decade to decade.

Working here in Santa Fe with a clientele that is up to  30 years older than my Brooklyn clients definitely challenges me on many different levels. Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Hip- and Knee replacements (no biggie). Just walking can sometimes be a challenge and it’s not the previous mentioned conditions that make us immobile but should we fall and break a bone can definitely throw a curve ball. I remember my late grandmother being in excellent condition up to the day when she had an unfortunate fall and being bed ridden for many weeks deteriorated her body (and mind) tremendously.

Here is how it’s done:

1. do something every day (walking is a great start)

2. challenge your balance

3. Do Pilates!

4. Do Pilates regularly. If you’re over 60 twice a week for 60min is the minimum if you want to see some results.

5. Start working your body early, don’t wait until you feel the signs of aging limiting your way of life.

 

And here are some great results:

81 years young and doing the Longstretch like a 18 year old. Bravo!

IMG_6009

What would you like to do, and is your body supporting that desire?