While stacking on a few inches is an idea most of us would shudder at, we’d happily fall head over heels at the idea of a gain in height.
But no pain, no gain right? Wrong. Ditch those uncomfortable heels and try on Pilates instead.
Reformer Pilates is widely accepted as one of the best overall body workouts on the market, but a lesser known benefit is how it can lift us to new heights. Literally!
As well as strengthening core muscles, the popular workout can have a dramatic benefit to posture, making users both appear and feel taller.
Ok so technically, it won’t make you grow extra vertebra but the specialised workout can use and build on what you’ve got, in a number of ways, to stretch you to your very best.
“Pilates strengthens weak muscles, and stretches and lengthens those that are tight, which can turn bulky muscles into longer and leaner ones, giving a leaner and taller appearance” Amie Skinner, Head of Training KX Pilates says.
Adding to that taller appearance is an improved posture that Pilates devotees say is one the biggest benefits.
The workout retrains muscles to work together. The result, better posture, and a taller look.
Pilates can also help those of us who feel like we’re losing precious vertical inches.
Being regularly chained to a desk, and hunched over a computer can weaken back muscles causing shoulders and chests to tighten, limiting neck mobility, and making us look shorter.
By opening and stretching the front of the body, Pilates can free up and strengthen the back muscles. The workout also puts a big emphasis on stretching and lengthening the neck, helping to regain length in these key muscles, and restoring lost height.
Now we’ve already mentioned that its impossible to grow extra vertebrae, but with the help of Pilates we can create more space between them, and more space means, you guessed it, more height.
“By using rotation and extension techniques, a tiny bit more space can be gained between the vertebrae.” Says Aaron.
“By coordinating muscles around your joints, you’re improving mobility, stability, and alignment.”
And the sky is the limit when it comes to the benefits of improving posture and gaining overall strength. “ Better posture and core strength can take pressure off compressed organs, improving your overall health. It can relieve back and neck pain, but best of all Pilates creates a slimmer, taller appearance, giving you a whole new high,” Aaron says.
This article was written by KX Pilates Founder, Aaron Smith.