Modern technologies like cell phones and computers have certainly made our lives easier, but they’ve also wreaked havoc on our postures! Sharing that selfie on Instagram may keep you connected with your friends, but did you know that hunching over a phone brings the head into a forward flexion, and adds up to 50 pounds of extra strain on the neck? It also puts stress on the internal organs, and can reduce vital lung capacity by 30%.
Of course, no one is suggesting you give up your technology! Extension exercises, like those in our Pumped Up Pilates Mat classes, are a great way to counteract the negative effects of too much forward flexion. Pilates exercises such as Swan, Swimming, Hanging Back, and Breaststroke focus on strengthening the spinal extensors and maintaining muscle balance to keep the spine in its ideal position.
As with any exercise program, care needs to be taken when doing these extension exercises, to avoid lower back injury. Pulling the lower abdominals upward helps to stabilize the lower back and keeps the focus on strengthening the upper back muscles, both of which help to prevent or correct the slouched posture that can come from spending long hours hunched over computers and phones.
Sign up for a Pumped Up Pilates Mat class or a private session to begin strengthening your posture for your health!