How To Correct Poor Posture and Set Yourself Up For Fitness Success

Today’s video is the first of three where we’re going to help set you up for alignment success with exercises that require you to lie down.

In this video you’ll also see one of my favorite props in action: the posture pillow.

We use posture pillows every day in the studio, but I’ve noticed there are lots of questions and confusion about their value. I’ll clear all that up today and show you how you can even use this prop yourself at home.

Don’t worry though, even if you don’t have a posture pillow, you can still get the benefits of this setup by folding a bed pillow in half or using blankets. I’ll show you how in the video.

Sometimes people don’t want to use the pillow because they’re afraid it’s going to make their exercises too easy and they really want to feel the work and “burn” when they exercise.

One client even came right out and said she didn’t want to “baby down” her sessions. But, once she understood the purpose of the pillow and tried using it, she was thrilled to feel the new mind/body connections she had never experienced.

If your ribs are flaring, or your pelvis is tucked, or tilted when you exercise, you’re going to have a more difficult time accessing your deep core connections and you’ll end up just recruiting more external muscles, like your external obliques.

When this happens, you actually end up training poor posture patterns deeper into your body and that’s the exact opposite reason you’re taking a Pilates class!

The posture pillow helps you go deeper into your body because it allows your sternum to drop and the bottom ring of your ribs to align with your pelvis. This allows your core musculature to activate with ease.

As you practice feeling this new alignment, you’ll also be training new neural pathways in your brain, which is a key to lasting results.

Check out the video and give it a try. I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments below.

See you in the studio,



Hi, I'm Sydney and I'm a Restorative Movement Specialist here at Pilates Tonic. My goal is to empower you with tools to connect and live in your body in new and better ways. I'm a passionate advocate for wellness through optimally aligned movement and I look forward to designing a customized alignment and movement program just for you! If you want to find out more, just give me a call at 423.702.5233, or email me at [email protected] See you in the studio!

10 Responses

  1. Hi Sydney,
    Another great video. I love the smart spine system but its not really marketed over here in the UK. You have just inspired me to ask about SS workshops here in Europe. I always bolster up people now as so many rib flare-ers around ( including me of course..)

    1. Hi Regan, there will soon be Smartspine workshops offered in Europe. The email for Smartspine’s European affiliate is [email protected]. His name is Roberto Cerini and he’s based in Italy. He could give you an idea of his workshop timeline. Thank you for your feedback. It’s always great to hear from you!!

  2. Hi Sydney,
    I am learning so much from your videos. Thank you!

    Could you tell me where to buy and which one you recommend of the posture pillows ?

    I have tried what you demonstrated in the video for flaring ribs with great success. I am willing now to buy the posture pillows.

    Your help is greatly appreciated. I hope you keep up these valuable videos.

    With kind regards

    Bernadette Gosine

    gosine [email protected]

  3. So do I do dead bugs in this position with a ramped up pillow?

    What exactly am I supposed to be doing in this position once I’m set up?

    1. Hi Max, Dead Bugs are a perfect exercise to practice with the pillow ramp. Essentially, any abdominal training you would practice lying on the floor, you can add the pillow ramp too. It’s perfect for constructive rest or relaxation too. Thanks for your question!

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