From crossed legs to slumped shoulders, the way we sit can be detrimental to our posture. We enlist the help of Kate Burdett, head trainer at Raw Pilates (rawpilates.co.uk) who shares her best moves to improve your posture after a long day of sitting.
1. Roll up Start by lying flat on your back. Lift your arms parallel to the floor and legs stretched with your feet flexed. Stretch your legs long on the mat, feet flexed heels tightly together. Lift your head up and look to your toes, float the arms above the thighs and start rolling the spine up stretching the fingers past the toes if possible using your abdominal muscles to roll you back down again. Exhale as the spine leaves the mat and rolls into the mat. This is key to make sure you are in control of the movement from the core. Repeat this exercise six times. Finish the exercise in a seated position.
2. Roll over Begin lying on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Keep your neck long, your shoulders wide, and your chest open.Inhale and lift your legs up and over the head, pointing them toward the ceiling at a 90-degree angle, keeping them together. Exhale and lift your legs slightly. Reach your legs up and over your head, keeping your hands pressed down on the mat and end with your feet and legs parallel to the ground. Exhale and slowly lower your legs back to the 90-degree position, placing one vertebra at a time onto the mat. Repeat these three times and then reverse, so go over with feet apart then close to roll down.
3. Double leg stretches Laying on your back, hugging your knees to your chest and lifting your head, neck and shoulders slightly. Lift up your head, neck and shoulders. Pull your knees to your chest and place your hands low on the shins. Then, reach the arms up to the ceiling and the legs out on a diagonal. Circle the arms around and hug the knees back into the chest. Remember to breathe in on the reach and exhale on the hug. Repeat six to eight times.
4. Double leg kick Laying on your front with your head turned to one side, clasp your hands behind your back high up between the shoulder blades, letting the elbows drop to the floor for a stretch. Your legs should be long and hugging together.Lift your heels up towards the ceiling, kicking 3 times.
On the third kick simultaneously extend legs long and stretch arms reaching lifting the chest up and open head looking forward and lifting.
Return to start but head opposite side.