Good posture not only makes you look confident, but it can also make you look up to 10 pounds thinner. No matter how toned those abs might be, slouching curves the spine forward, creating rolls on the belly. It can also make you appear inches shorter than you truly are. From my time in the Pilates studio, I can tell you the majority of my clients tuck the pelvis under and let the ribs fall behind their center, allowing the shoulders to round forward. This makes a giant C-curve out of the spine. And this is definitely not good posture.

The solution to the droopy spine and tucked pelvis is pretty simple:

  1. Stick out your booty: You need to correct the pelvis before you can affect the rest of the torso. To untuck your pelvis, you need the pubic bone and the two bones at the top of the pelvis (known as ASIS) to form a triangle perpendicular to the ground. To find your ASIS, put your hands on your hips.
  2. Move ribs forward: Once the pelvis is aligned straight up and down, you need to place the ribcage on top of it. I like to think of the pelvis and the ribcage as the building blocks of the torso. Moving your ribcage forward over your pelvis, rather than having it hang back, lengthens the front of your torso, which naturally helps to pull in the abs. Think of the ribcage moving up and forward. With the ribs and pelvis in alignment, pulling the deep abs to the spine — without squeezing your butt or rounding the spine — will help maintain this neutral position of the back.
  3. Open your chest: Slouching allows the shoulders to roll forward and inward, closing down the chest. Simply think of expanding your shoulders wide to the sides. Your breast bone (aka sternum) is technically part of your ribcage, so continue the process by moving that forward-and-up feeling in your chest, too.

This postural tip works whether you're sporting a bikini or a one-piece, wearing a halter dress or short shorts. Not only will you look good, but your spine will appreciate your good posture too.