Try This 16-Minute Pilates Core Workout To Ease Neck and Shoulder Tension and Improve Your Posture

At the end of a long work day, you can pretty much always find me in my natural habitat: typing "why does everything hurt" into Google. It is my personal belief that when we all originally downloaded Zoom, we should've received a coupon for one free neck and shoulder massage. In the meantime—while you fantasize about being in a spa with cucumber slices on your eyes—there are lots of ways to take care of your worn-out WFH muscles through targeted strengthening.

For this week's Trainer of the Month Club workout, trainer Brian Spencer of East River Pilates is bringing you a 16-minute Pilates core series that will improve your posture and do wonders for your upper-body aches and pains. As Spencer explains, even though we may think posture means "shoulders only" our core muscles and posture muscles are very connected. That's why for this workout, put your neck muscles on mute and let your core run the meeting. Too soon for a Zoom joke?

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Pilates workouts, like this one, allow you to explore how different muscle groups work together and ensure that each one is doing its fair share. You know how if one co-worker is working much harder than another, they'll burn out faster? Well, the same thing can happen to your muscles. If your core muscles aren't pulling their weight, your neck and shoulder muscles are going to be working overtime, which will leave them stiff and sore by the end of the day. Luckily, this workout is the perfect remedy. "We are going to feel how we can strengthen those muscles to alleviate shoulder tension, neck tension, and low-back discomfort so we can be blessed and not stressed as we go through life," says Spencer.

You'll spend most of this workout on your back with your head, neck, and shoulders pressed flat into the ground. By giving your upper-body a much-needed break, you'll be able to really focus on getting your core to fire in a way that may feel unfamiliar. The best way to know you're working a muscle in a brand new way? You start to shake like a chihuahua. If you start feeling those shakes. just know that it means you're challenging yourself to work smarter—not harder. Follow along with the video above for a core workout to improve your posture.

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