We begin and end every studio class in primary posture, which is our most important posture at barre3. When you stand tall in this position, your body is optimally aligned, your ligaments and muscles support your joints to prevent the risk of injury, and your spine is in a neutral position (meaning it has a natural ‘s’ curvature). When you’re standing in primary posture, you breathe better, digest your food better, and minimize the potential for aches and pains. Studies show that people with good posture have more energy, feel happier, are better able to manage stress, and think more clearly.
In primary posture, your feet are hip-width apart, facing forward, and evenly weighted to the ground. Your pelvis is level, meaning your hip bones and pubic bone are on the same plane. Your shoulders are wide down your back and stacked over your hips.
Primary posture looks easy, but everyone has muscle imbalances that throw the body off this ideal alignment. Each exercise in barre3 works strategically to train the body tall so that standing in primary posture becomes effortless. For example, in class you’ll hear us talk about the importance of countering the “office slump,” which is a rounded upper back. We do this by including exercises that open the chest, which tends to get tight, followed by exercises to strengthen the upper back, which becomes weak with all the sitting we do. To achieve a balanced body and a tall, upright stance, we strengthen the postural muscles in every workout. These muscles work together synergistically to support the body and improve posture for the long term.
So the next time you notice your shoulders starting to slump or you’ve been stuck in one position for too long, stand tall in primary posture and take five deep breaths to hit the reset button. (Even better, hit play and join us for a 10 minute workout to open up, strengthen, and align your body in this strong, graceful position with us). Over time, standing tall will become second nature.