How To Do The Pilates Pushup

Do You Know The Difference Between Pushups?

Did you know that there’s an actual difference between a regular run-of-the-mill pushup and a Pilates pushup? Well, there is! View this video and take note of the differences. While you’re at it, you might even want to give it a try. (This is a Flash video so you won’t be able to view on an Apple mobile device.)

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!

Pilates Mind-Body Muscle Control

What’s Our Body Doing When We Perform An Exercise?

Clients often ask, “What muscle(s) am I using”? Well, in Pilates, as in everday life, it takes a village. And in our Pilates village, when everyone works together the product is perfect form and functional fitness. Look at all the muscles being used in just this one exercise!

The human body is truly amazing! Lots of muscles are recruited at the same time to perform our daily tasks. This illustration of the single leg stretch emphasizes this point.

Concentrate For The Best Results

When performed properly even a seemingly simple exercise like the single leg kick requires a lot of cooperation from many muscle groups. This is why maintaining the critical mind-body connection is so important to proper form and development.

Simple Rollup? Think Again!

One of the staple exercises in Pilates is the rollup. It seems and looks simple yet many people experience difficulty with it. There’s a reason – it’s not that simple!

You must call on several muscle groups in a specific order to perform this exercise. For a great animated video of what’s required check out this link. Remember, it takes practice and persistence to accomplish anything worthwhile!

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.

 

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’s First National Pilates Day

If You Weren’t Able To Join Us Here’s What It Looked Like

Our first ever National Pilates Day event was full of energy, plenty of enthusiasm, a few groans, and a lot of laughter. Visitors to our free, full session mat events included Pilates newcomers as well as students already familiar with the basics.

We’re looking ahead to a bigger, better National Pilates Day in 2012 – and we hope you’ll be able to join us then!