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Old 07-31-2012, 11:03 PM
 
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I have recently been getting into better shape and have started doing yoga, pilates, and barre classes (each once per week). I know that I have terrible posture (stomach slouches out, pelvis isn't tucked), and am finding my poor posture seems to be affecting my ability/ease at doing various yoga poses and pilates movements (not to mention making me look a few inches shorter and 5 lbs heavier). Anything that requires laying flat on the floor is difficult, because there is excess space between my lower back and the floor. Doing planks it is difficult to execute a proper straight line with my body. I seem to be getting better at getting into positions properly, but it's still not great.

As I've been reading up on posture, it seems that weak lower pelvis, weak lower back, and lack of flexibility of hip flexors may be the cause. This makes sense, as I am in okay shape but still have a LOT of work to do on core strength and flexibility.

Okay, finally the question-- Will doing yoga and pilates regularly (in addition to my regular cardio/weight routines) help my posture over time? OR, do I need to work on my posture first and go back to yoga/pilates once it is better? Also, I seem to be getting better and standing straight/doing yoga poses when specifically concentrating on it, but normal walking about I revert to bad posture... eventually will it come naturally, or is it something that will always have to be forced?

I just want to make sure I'm not wasting my time doing things poorly and would love any pointers on other things I could do to fix the posture issues.

And my general info, if it helps: Female; 30s; 5'4" 130 lbs; run, swim, spin, lift weight regular since May and sporadically before then
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:49 PM
 
11,185 posts, read 9,559,396 times
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Originally Posted by JanuaryGirl View Post
Okay, finally the question-- Will doing yoga and pilates regularly (in addition to my regular cardio/weight routines) help my posture over time? OR, do I need to work on my posture first and go back to yoga/pilates once it is better?
Female, age 60+ here: Free weights and rowing completely reversed my life-long bad posture, in a relatively short time. Posture is pretty much an upper-back and shoulder thing, which weights and rowing definitely address. In my case, I saw major improvements in a very short time, ie 6 weeks or so.
I love love yoga and it's done so many wonders for me in so many ways, but honestly I can't say it's been a posture factor.
I'm also a huge cardio fan but don't see how it connects to posture.
Never been big on pilates so haven't a clue how it affects posture, I've always thought it was more a 'core' thing.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Folsom
5,126 posts, read 8,985,883 times
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I'm 50, and have had 2 back surgeries, plus other multiple muscloskeletal issues...shoulders, neck...and fibromyalgia. I've been doing reformer Pilates for the past 7 years. It's way more supportive than mat Pilates. And yes, it will most definately improve your posture. And the cues will be in your head & make you more mindful so you can correct poor posture as you are doing it. I love reformer Pilates. (it took longer for me due to my multiple issues, but that's ok)

A lot of physical therapists use reformer or cadillac Pilates in their rehab programs. It is highly endorsed and utilized in this setting.

I would highly suggest that you go to a special Pilates studio and get a instructor certified in Pilates. Because Most group ex instructors at corporate gyms are not Pilates certified. Pilates is the type of thing where you need someone watching to make sure you do it right. It makes a HUGE difference. Sure you can watch a video & sort of half ass do the movement, but you will receive so much more if you work with a knowledgable & certified instructor.

Here's a website were you can do a search for a Pilates studio: Studio Finder | Community | Balanced Body
this website provides webcasts & equipment to purchase also. I have their arc & orbit..LOVE them!!

I've advanced to the degree that I'm now doing personal training 4 days/week. Tonight I had a personal best on weight lifting. A total of 315 lbs on the leg sled squat machine (270 lbs of plates + 50lbs of machine).... and it was EASY.

All because of doing Pilates & Pilates-based PT over the past 7 years.

so in answer to your question
Quote:
Okay, finally the question-- Will doing yoga and pilates regularly (in addition to my regular cardio/weight routines) help my posture over time? OR, do I need to work on my posture first and go back to yoga/pilates once it is better? Also, I seem to be getting better and standing straight/doing yoga poses when specifically concentrating on it, but normal walking about I revert to bad posture... eventually will it come naturally, or is it something that will always have to be forced?
I can't speak for yoga. However, while yoga & pilates may share some similar positions, the concepts are totally different....the breathing, the way you hold your core...totally different. But yes, doing pilates regularly will definately help your posture over time.
You do not need to work on your posture first, unless you want to with a postural or physical therapist. The PT may very well refer you to pilates themselves. I also see a postural therapist. I would say those exercises are pre-pilates type movement, and stretching. It gets to be a little much doing the postural exercises, the personal training, and Pilates. As I said above, the cues to the pilates movements are something that is transferrable to everyday life, and great reminders for correcting your posture.

Last edited by caligirlz; 08-01-2012 at 12:39 AM.. Reason: clarification
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