The amount of time we spend sitting at a desk and bending over staring at our phones is terrifying. Since most of us don’t consciously think about our posture while pooshing through the day, we’re here with the help of Hot Pilates founder, Shannon Nadj, to remind you to take the time to realign with your body and check in on your posture.
“Good posture is like having a secret weapon. It’s instantly slimming, a confidence builder, and allows you to move through life with grace and ease. If you’ve ever wanted to appear an inch taller without wearing heels, practice these exercises.” Learn Shannon’s insights and five moves to improve posture below.
“Good posture stems from a strong core and back: keep your core engaged and your back tall.
Relax your shoulders and keep them back and down.
Open your heart and chest.
Lengthen your neck.
Try to avoid arching and hyperextending your back.”
Watch each simple move to improve posture:
How to: “Begin sitting with tall spine, legs lengthened out in front of you. Bring elbows into your sides, making blades with your hands. Inhale and reach the arms forward on an upward diagonal. Exhale and press the palms down toward the floor, feeling your spine get taller. Inhale and lift your arms all the way up to your ears, keeping your shoulders relaxed back and chest wide. Exhale and open arms up to the side, reaching your spine continually upwards toward the sky. Return to starting position and repeat sequence 10 times. Add 1-pound or 2-pound hand weights for an added challenge.”
How to: “Sit tall on the mat with legs together. Bring your palms into the mat directly by your sides. Roll your shoulders back and down. Keeping your chest open, arms straight, and toes pointing down to the mat, lift your hips up toward the sky. Inhale and kick one leg up as high as you can without losing the height in the waist. Return the leg to the floor and switch legs. Repeat for 10 sets.”
The Move: Swimming and Cobra
How to: “Begin lying on your stomach with legs and arms extended. Keep your shoulders sliding down your back. Inhale, lifting abs toward the spine and extending arms and legs off the mat to begin a swimming motion. With control, alternate opposite arm and leg lifts. Inhale for a count of five and exhale for a count of five for a total of five breaths. Keep spine long, shoulders relaxed, and abs lifted. After completing all reps, lower your body to the mat. Moving into Cobra: begin with elbows under shoulders, or if you have more flexibility, place your hands directly under shoulders. Inhale and press palms into the mat to lift your chest, upper spine, and abs up off the mat. Stretch the spine and open up the chest and heart center. Exhale to lower back to the mat. Repeat two times. Make sure to keep your spine long and abs lifting up the midline of the body.”
How to: “Standing tall, extend arms into a V shape slightly in front of shoulders, making blades with your hands. Engaging through the lats, pull your elbows into your waist, keeping your chest open and back wide. Feel your chest opening, your waist getting slimmer, and your spine getting longer. Inhale and extend your arms back to a V shape. Repeat 10-20 reps. Add 1-pound or 2-pound weights for added challenge.”
The Move: Chest Expansion
How to: “Begin standing tall with arms extended long in front at 90 degrees, with your palms facing down. Inhale to press the palms back, simultaneously lifting the chest open. Hold your breath and turn the head to the right fully to stretch your shoulder and neck muscles. Repeat the stretch to the left and return to center as you exhale, releasing arms back up to 90 degrees. Repeat four sets, alternating the starting direction each time. Add 1-pound or 2-pound weights or stand on your toes for added challenge.”
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