Have you ever tried to improve your posture but found it difficult to maintain it? Maybe you’ve been told to stand up straight, pull your shoulders back, or suck in your stomach, but it doesn’t seem to work. In this blog post, we’re going to explore a different approach to posture improvement.
The first thing to understand is that good posture isn’t just about standing up straight. It’s about having a stable foundation to support your body’s weight and movement. As I reflect about how to make this simple, one thing that my Romana’s Pilates training taught me is that all roads lead to the powerhouse. If you’re a regular at Wilder Pilates (WP) then you know what I’m referring to. If not, lean in close and if you’re multitasking, stop and read this carefully.
Your powerhouse is a term used in Pilates to refer to your abdominal muscles, including your transverse abdominis and low belly muscles. If you’ve ever taken a Pilates class, you might have heard your instructor mention the powerhouse. But even if you haven’t, it’s an essential concept to understand if you want to improve your posture.
When you work on building a strong foundation through your powerhouse, you’ll find that good posture comes more naturally. So, how do you find and activate your powerhouse? Here are some tips:
- Lie down on your back, with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your low belly. Pay attention to where your breath is going. Is your chest rising more than your stomach? When you exhale, draw your low abs in and towards the floor. Don’t harden or brace your muscles, but instead let your stomach soften and sink down.
- From a sitting position, sitting tall, lower your chin and look towards your abdominals. Take a breath, and on your exhale, draw your low abs in. This might not feel like you’re doing much, but you should see your abs working. This is the beginning of getting connected to your powerhouse.
Once you’ve found your powerhouse, you can start to work on maintaining good posture throughout the day. Pulling your abs in and lifting up can help you avoid slouching and collapsing into your joints. You might also find that you have more energy and feel less tired when you’re using your muscles to support your body.
It’s important to note that building a strong foundation through your powerhouse takes time and practice. But once you’ve established this foundation, you’ll find that everything else falls into place more easily. So, the next time you hear someone tell you to stand up straight or pull your shoulders back, remember that good posture starts with your powerhouse.