The Pilates method is often touted as a system of exercise that makes one taller.
Is this an exaggeration? Scientifically it will not add an additional vertebrae giving you that extra inch, however there are ways that Pilates can positively affect your height in a functional way.
We spend most of our day either sitting or standing against the forces of gravity.
When we are not mindful of our posture and how we hold ourselves when we move, gravity wins the tug of war. As we get older, many of us appear to be shrinking.
Lifestyle plays a key role in posture. Is your day dominated by activities that promote a slumped, forward bent posture? These activities may include computer work, sitting at your desk, standing without mindfulness of your alignment, commuting in your car and collapsing at the end of the day on a couch or easy chair.
How can Pilates help?
Pilates remedies the consequences of poor posture:
- It stretches out the muscles in the front of your shoulders and chest that are pulling you into a rounded upper back posture (known as kyphosis)
- It strengthens the muscles of the back – think of all those wonderful extension exercises like Swan – which help you to maintain a well-balanced upright posture with ease.
- It corrects forward head posture.
- It strengthens your core, which helps the body resist gravity relieving compression in the spine and hips.
- It lengthens and strengthens the muscles on the front and back of your legs and hips to support a well-aligned pelvis and torso promoting better posture.
- Pilates brings muscle balance and mindfulness to your alignment and the way you move, so you will naturally stack your bones in a way that is more lengthened, balanced and healthy.
I’ve had more than a few clients report that their annual physical documented greater height.