Sitting at a desk all day in a static position can lead to serious back and posture issues. It can cause tension and pain in the neck, back, hips and legs. While sitting may seem comfortable for the first few years of your career, eventually these posture issues rear their ugly heads and winding down at the end of the day can start to feel similar to unfurling from being cramped in a box for a week.
Pilates is a great solution for an after work wind down. The movements are quick and effective and can be done anywhere, anytime. Do you have a floor? Do you have a towel or mat? Well then, welcome to wind down time! Each week we will be sharing simple movements that you can build up into a small home program for de-stressing the body after work.
The first thing to do is get some well earned release in the lower and mid back. These areas can become compacted or tense during sitting for long periods. A bit of relief can be found in a a simple Pelvic Curl.
Lie on your chosen surface and allow your pelvis to slightly tilt towards your rib cage, feeling your belly button gently drawing your lower back towards the floor – be careful not to push your back in the floor. Consciously relax your back, bottom and leg muscles – see if you can wake up your tummy muscles! Try this 6 – 10 times and feel how it gets easier the more you do. It is important for the movement to feel fluid so get a nice little rhythm going.
Once you feel a bit looser in the lower back, raise your pelvis up further into a bridge lift (pictured above). It is important to feel the lift in your core muscles with the support of the backs of your legs and lower bottom muscles. The front of your hip should feel as if it is lengthening (reaching your shins out towards your feet can help with this. As you come down see you if can roll sequentially through your spine, feeling each segment of your spine meet the floor in succession from top to tail (imagine a string of pearls where one pearl touches at t time.. This encourages the activation of your core muscles.