Why Do Pilates

If you are a regular to my classes and/or read my blog articles you know I stress the importance of building balance in the body. But what does that mean?

There is a constant play of stability and mobility within our bodies. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable (stability) and other areas of the body function best with more range of motion (mobility).

Pilates on the apparatus (reformer, stability chair, tower, barrel, plus TRX) lays the foundation to build a highly functional body by uniquely building that balance of stability and mobility. A functional body has even strength in the muscles combined with proper flexibility of the joints.

Pilates apparatus exercises develop healthy balanced force-couple muscle relationships. Force-couple refers to the dynamic play of two opposing muscle groups, especially around a joint.

For an example: say your quadriceps (front of thigh muscles) are super tight and strong, and yet your hamstrings (back of thigh muscles)...

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Battling Text Neck with Chin Nods

 

Are you reading this article on either your phone, tablet, or laptop? Of course :)
 
It’s time to do a quick check … Is your head tilted down in order to see?
 
If you spend a lot of time in this position (and who doesn’t these days?!), you are actually at risk for developing something called “text neck”.
 
Text neck happens when you spend a lot of time with your head forward, shoulders rounded, and your back hunched. Many of us are in this position upwards of 4 to 5 hours a day!
 
When you spend a lot of time in that position the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the front of your neck/shoulders get compressed and tight – while the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back of your neck and shoulders get long and overstretched.
 
You can see how over time, this can potentially cause imbalance, pain, and real problems.
 
Especially since for every inch your head juts forward, it puts an extra 10 lbs of pressure on your neck!
...

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Core Strength and Pelvic Floor

When it comes to your core muscles, one group often gets overlooked … until it gets to be a problem!
 
That’s because when we think of our core, we usually only think of the muscles that wrap around our body’s midsection.
 
But did you know that your pelvic floor muscles are the FOUNDATION for your core?
 
They work very hard to support you – as well as all the organs that are inside your pelvic region.
 
Keeping those muscles strong and fit can make a big difference in your body’s overall stability, as well as your digestive and reproductive organs. 
 
This doesn’t just apply to women, BTW – men also benefit from having strong pelvic floor muscles. Strong pelvic floor muscles help with urinary and bowel control as well as sexual function.
 
Many things can affect your pelvic floor muscles, including pregnancy, obesity, constipation, surgery and/or radiation, and just getting older.
 
3 Exercises For Your Pelvic...

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Mini Routine to Help Balance Your Core

An out-of-balance core can make it a LOT harder for you to reach your fitness and strength goals.
 
Before I get into the hows & whys, picture this:
 
Imagine your core is like a flexible piece of tubing made of dozens of intertwining muscles. One of its many jobs is to support your torso and protect your spine as it powers your arms and legs, keeping everything stable, balanced, and strong.
 
Now imagine you bend that tube and leave it for a few hours on a chair. Eventually, some parts of the tube get tighter and others get stretched out – resulting in weakness and imbalance.
 
Keep that scenario in mind! Because we’re going to talk about…
 
SQUATS
 
Imagine putting a barbell on the upper back of the tube that’s been sitting all day.
 
Because it’s out of balance, with the muscles in the front tighter than the back, all those intertwining muscles can’t provide as much assistance and stabilization as they normally would.
...

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Pilates is Lit!

 

Having three teenagers brings home new colourful and strange slang language. My teens say "lit" a lot. Googling the word, historically it meant "drunk", but now means exciting or excellent. And I can honestly say Pilates is EXCITING and EXCELLENT, but definitely has nothing to do with drinking, lol. 

The article below is why Pilates is lit:

If you are a regular to my classes and/or read my blog articles you know I stress the importance of building balance in the body. But what does that mean?

There is a constant play of stability and mobility within our bodies. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable (stability) and other areas of the body function best with more range of motion (mobility).

Pilates on the apparatus (reformer, stability chair, barrel, plus TRX) lays the foundation to build a highly functional body by uniquely building that balance of stability and mobility. A functional body has even strength in the muscles combined with proper...

Continue Reading...

Benefits of Pilates

Pilates was developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, born in 1883. He spent his life studying the body's healthy movement patterns, first in Germany and later in New York, USA, developing a system called Contrology.

In his beginnings, Joseph worked in a hospital at the end of World War I and originally his exercises were primarily used as rehabilitation for wounded soldiers. Joseph, with his wife, then brought his method to the United States in 1923 and spent years refining his approach for all bodies.

Pilates can be performed on the mat using props or on the equipment, called “apparatus”. Pilates equipment (reformer, cadillac/tower, barrel, stability chair) are unique as it only uses springs, levers, and your own body weight to provide resistance. Pilates mat props (bands, gliders, light hand weights, rings) mimic equipment style movements, maximizing their benefits. 

Pilates movements work the whole body as every muscle gets worked from the inside out. Most of...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 4 De-Stress Techniques

 

Over the past several weeks I have been exploring methods of recovery. It’s not simply about resting the body after an exercise session, but about intelligently helping the body heal and functionally move to reach healthy balance within the body.

In the first post I explain there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best when flexible and mobile.

In the second post I explore how strength training helps build the body to function optimally. I highly recommend strength training with a plan designed by a certified personal trainer, as it’s important to have a solid program and system built to work with your unique set of strengths and weaknesses. More info about training here.

In the third post I delve into stretching and self-massage.

In today's post, I am exploring step four of six of my recommended recovery methods: ways to...

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The Importance of Recovery: Step 2 Stretching and Step 3 SMR

 

Over the past several weeks I have been exploring methods of recovery. It’s not simply about resting the body after an exercise session, but about intelligently helping the body heal and functionally move to reach healthy balance within the body.

In the first post I explain there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best when flexible and mobile.

In the second post I explore how strength training helps build the body to function optimally. I highly recommend strength training with a plan designed by a certified personal trainer, as it’s important to have a solid program and system built to work with your unique set of strengths and weaknesses. More info about training here.

In this post we are going to delve into stretching and self-massage, which is step two and three of my recommended list of recovery methods.

Certain parts of the body become tight as the...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 1 Strength Training

 

Last week I wrote an article on exercise recovery and mentioned that within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other areas of the body function best with more range of motion. I also briefly explored how six practices can help your body recover from exercise. Each week I will explore the six in more detail. 

The first practice I list is strength training, which at first may seem like a funny activity to put in a list about ways to recover from exercise. And while strength training doesn’t directly help our bodies recover from bouts of exercise, what it does do is far more important. Strength training lays the foundation to building a highly functional body. In the end this helps your body perform optimally so that it eases the demands on the body when you exercise, so less recovery is needed.

Strength training develops better force-couple relationships, which in turn creates a...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery

 

Exercise recovery is more than just resting after a workout. In this article I go over a few important practices that can help increase your body’s ability to recover from exercise.

Within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best with more range of motion.

ACE Personal Trainer manual (5th Edition) has a helpful list locating key mobility and stability areas within the body’s kinetic chain: 

  • Glenohumeral (ball and socket joint where the top of the arm and the shoulder meet): mobility
  • Scapulothoracic (shoulder blade attachment to upper back): stability
  • Thoracic spine (upper back where ribs are): mobility
  • Lumber spine (lower back): stability
  • Hip (ball and socket joint where the top of the leg and side of pelvis meet): mobility
  • Knee: stability
  • Ankle: mobility
  • Foot: stability

If you have ever taken one of my classes, you may have heard me speak...

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