The Physical Art of Pilates Control

Pilates Control by Bluebird Pilates in Munich

This is a great example of Pilates control at its best. Bluebird Pilates in Munich uses a variety of studio equipment to demonstrate the ultimate in controlled Pilates movements.

Obviously, not everyone (or most of us for that matter) will achieve this level of precision and expertise. However, we can all benefit from striving to achieve our own personal best, and keeping this video in mind while performing our own practice is a good place to begin.

I hope that you enjoy watching it as much as I did.

Floor Workouts Are Fitness Fundamentals

mat floor class

Beyond Basics – Advanced Floor Classes

When someone thinks of Pilates, more often than not they’re thinking apparatus – Cadillac, Reformer or Tower usually come to mind, along with the cable shopping equipment demonstrations.

In reality, quite a few of us – myself included – were first introduced to Pilates as a floor exercise done on a skinny mat at the local club.

Not to take anything away from equipment classes, but a Classical floor exercise will challenge even the most ardent Pilates student. Add props like Magic Circles, balls and bands to target additional areas and all of a sudden the basic mat class is transformed into high energy fitness routine that stands on its own.

Finally, while a self-paced home session based on a web site dvd is better than nothing, professional coaching and equipment makes sure you’re achieving the desired results with maximum efficiency.

At YPL, we define floor work as mat and arc routines. Take the challenge and experience the difference.

Fall Into Fitness! September Mat, Arc Sale

Pilates makes you stronger every day!Fall Into Fitness – Floor Exercise Special

Feel that? Fall is definitely in the air! And if you’ve been cruising through the summertime heat and humidity, now’s the time to get back on track with your Pilates fitness schedule.

To help ease the re-entry, YPL is having a 15% off all Mat and Arc classes throughout the month! Enter promo code “floor2013” at checkout and you’ll see big savings on all class and package purchases.

Get Strong! Start Today

Offer good on any single class, class packs, and combo packages. But hurry! Offer ends 9/30!

The Reformer Arc Connection

Pilates Arc Gently Works The Spine For Maximum Flexibility

The Pilates Arc by Balanced Body is a fascinating piece of equipment that took the existing Joseph Pilates original design and adapted it for contemporary use.

Weighing only a few ounces, it’s mostly encountered as part of a vigorous floor routine that focuses on spine flexion. Pair it with the Reformer, and students get an entirely new dimension that’s quickly felt as virtually every part of the body gets a welcome stretch in addition to a new challenge.

If you haven’t yet experienced the Pilates Arc and are interested in the many benefits it can provide, ask about including it in your next Private or Duet. YPL also has a dedicated Arc class – check the schedule for times.

June 20% Off Summer Mat Sale

It’s here! Summer’s arrived, tempting you to just lounge by the pool with a latte and a Dove bar. YPL Mat and Arc classes are a great way to stay in shape and have fun while you hang out with your Pilates peeps.

Take advantage of our big Start of Summer 20% off all floor classes sale – just enter the promo code “save” at checkout and save on all classes and packages.

 

Pilates Housekeeping

One of the more challenging aspects of owning a professionally equipped Pilates studio is figuring out how to store all the odd shaped and, lets face it, difficult to manage equipment required to customize each students experience. Because floor space is at a premium, just about every studio owner looks to the wall as their first choice for keeping that odd spring or apparatus handy until needed. Continue reading

Get Ready. Get Set. Now Scoop Those Abs!

How Do I Scoop My Abdominals In And Up?

You may have attended a class and heard the Pilates phrase “scoop your abdominals.” The “scoop” starts with the engagement of the pelvic floor, and the pull in and up begins just above the pubic bone and progresses upward to the navel and upper abdominals.

The pelvic floor is the foundation, or basement, of the core. It supports the lower abdominal cavity, bladder and uterus as well as the deep muscles of the abdomen and back, just like a backyard hammock cradles a napper on a summer afternoon.

Building Core Strength

These pelvic floor muscles, tendons and ligaments help to stabilize the pelvis and form a supportive sling at the base of the pelvic bowl. They also assist in developing the Pilates goal of core strength.

Weak pelvic floor muscles often lead to attempts by other parts of the body to compensate for core weakness, resulting in a domino effect of structural imbalances throughout the body which could result in abdominal or back pain.

It is important for both men and women to do exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. But how?

1) Pilates uses the pelvic floor muscles to assist with muscular support during exercise. One of the verbal cues is to engage the muscles to “draw in and up”. How do you do that? Try squeezing the “sit bones” together and up and imagine the flow of energy hugging the center line of the body, traveling up the spine, and exiting the top of the head.

The sequence is not as easily defined as you might think. In fact, you may not feel it the first few times, but with continued practice and body awareness you will begin to perfect your scoop.

Practice Pilates To See Results

Remember, Pilates is a practice. The more you do it the the more you begin to identify and activate the muscle or muscle group that needs to be engaged to perform the task.

Note: the pelvic scoop should not occur with such an emphatic “pull in” as to result in a loss of the natural curve of the spine or create a forward flexion of the upper spine. When you are able to isolate the appropriate muscles, you should still be able to expand the ribcage and back for the deep breathing required to flow through your workout.

2) Kegel exercises also help to recover muscle tone. While Kegels are most commonly associated with women they can be beneficial for both men and women alike.

Don’t overdo this. Just use the technique to find the muscles you need to engage. Too much Kegeling can weaken rather than strengthen the pelvic floor.

Integrate your newly found scoop for a more effective workout.  Happy scooping!!!

YPL Adds Balanced Body Arc Class

New Arc Class Adds Challenge to Floor Workout

We’re happy to announce the addition of a “group mat – Pilates Arc” class to our program. If you’re not familiar with the Balanced Body Arc please view it in action on Vimeo in a wonderfully inspiring video starring elite athlete (and Dancing With The Stars contestant) Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin.

Ms. Coughlin, best known for winning 11 medals in two Olympics, works out in fantastic Pilates form that she credits for helping her achieve such a high level of impact in her sport.

The Balanced Body Arc is a classic spine corrector as designed by Joseph Pilates but –

1) It has a more gentle curve on the barrel and a more rounded step to comfortably suit different body types.

2) It’s also an exercise arc with a gentle curve on one side and a steeper curve on the other.

3) It is lightweight for use in group classes.

The Arc is a great addition to any Pilates routine to improve spine flexibility, core strength, shoulder stability and as a chest and hip opener.

NOTE: Because the class incorporates spinal flexion and extension movements, you should check with your doctor if you have back issues to make sure it’s right for you.

A Few Ounces of Foam Means A Ton of Challenge!

Balanced Body’s new Arc apparatus delivers a workout intensity that even Pilates pros will find challenging.

Used mainly as a floor workout, the Arc also adapts for use on the Reformer – part of a balanced fitness routine and especially useful for increasing spinal flexibility.

We’re adding a dedicated class to our group series this Spring — click here for more details and video.