There are hundreds (hopefully you’ll understand this pun by the end of these ‘best of’ posts!) of Pilates exercises that physiotherapists and instructors can choose from, and each one provides specific benefits for your mind and body. This post will list our top 5 most recommended exercises for common goals and problems that we encounter through our practice.
First up in our ‘best of’ lists, we have posture. Posture is a hugely important concept within the world of Pilates and is essential for preventing injuries and maintaining good health and wellbeing.
- Shoulder Bridge
The shoulder bridge is a great all round exercise that can be used to target numerous improvements, and will probably feature on a few of these top 5 lists! Your gluteal (bottom) muscles are hugely important when it comes to our standing posture, and they will very commonly switch off through our day to day lives, leaving our backs unsupported.
The shoulder bridge is a great exercise for re-awakening these important muscles, making them stronger, and making them more durable. It can be made as easy or as difficult as it needs to be, to provide you with the right level of challenge for your ability levels.
Swimming is a great exercise to help stretch out muscles that will commonly become tight through poor postures, whilst also targeting your gluteal muscles to help wake them up and get them back in gear, to help support your back and improve your standing posture. The exercise also incorporates neck and shoulder stabilisation.
- Spine Twist
Your spine is made up of lots of bones sitting one of the top of another, with joints connecting them all together. These joints can get really stiff with poor postures, and we need to get them moving again if we want to try and improve your posture. Luckily, we have the spine twist up our sleeves to help us out…
- Roll Up
In order to retrain your sitting posture to a so-called “good” one, you need to remember what it feels like, get used to that feeling, and then spend some time in that position and in getting in and out of that position, to remind your muscles what they need to do to retain that position. That’s where the roll up comes in, and it’s a great exercise that you can even do sat in your chair at work.
Last but certainly not least on our first list, posture, comes the clam. The clam is a great exercise, for re-awakening and strengthening your gluteal muscles, helping to support your back in standing and to help you keep good alignment from your hips down to your knees and ankles, helping to prevent and to treat postural related problems, for example, those found in runners and cyclists.