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...

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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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Benefits of Strength Training PLUS Workout Described Below

 

Exactly what is strength training? Strength training is any planned exercise that challenges your muscles by adding load (weight) to your movements.

By challenging your muscular system you slowly and gradually built your lean muscle mass. As an added bonus you also strengthen your ligaments and tendons that surround your joints. 

Why is this 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 go about your daily activities. 

One of the cool side effects of exercising consistently is your body functions better even at the cellular level. That is why after a couple of weeks of exercising, you gain more energy. Amazing that when you exercise you are even making your cells stronger and more efficient! 

Other Benefits of Strength Training:

  • Increases in muscle mass increase metabolism, meaning our bodies are able to...
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Strength Circuit Aug 8 2020

 

I taught this strength circuit three times this week: to the Wednesday evening crew, Thursday morning Older Adult 55+ crew, and the Friday morning crew. All thought it was pretty intense...however my Older Adults crew didn't complain too much. I promised my clients I would also be tortured by it Friday afternoon. I had so much fun I decided to film myself to share :)

Being my first time filming myself performing a workout, I realize after the fact that horizontal filming is the way to go (not vertical as most of this footage is) and definitely some of my camera angles need improvement, a bit too much of the bright ceiling light. Oops!

I did not make all my clients work as hard as the video shows...well except for my client Agnes! All exercises can be modified. The wonderful thing about small group personal training is I tailor the exercise to suit each client to be successful and safe in their joints. 

The workout:

Warm-up

5min dynamic stretches and...

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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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What is the Pain-Free Movement?

As an experienced Pilates instructor, certified Exercise Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist, many new clients have come to me with over-use injuries, even with a few acute injuries. While diagnosing and treating acute injuries is not within my scope of practice (that is the purpose of a medical doctor and a physiotherapist) I can help you prevent future injuries and work with your current chronic pain and over use injuries. 

Chronic injuries develop over time. They often develop from poor movement patterns. Patterns we have formed over years depending on the type of work we do, how many hours we sit in a day, how we walk and stand, and how we move our bodies with load (our bodyweight) and what trauma our bodies have experienced in the past. Every individual is unique with their own habitual movement patterns. 

However, it's guaranteed that if we don't work on fixing our patterns at a certain point incorrect movement patterns will cause pain,...

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