Category Archives: Classes

NBC News Gives Pilates Shoutout

Pilates Gets National Recognition

Last night NBC News With Brian Williams broadcast a medical report segment by Dr. Nancy Snyderman that called into question how this country defines, diagnoses and treats back pain.

The report points out how common back pain is in our population and the problems that arise because of how it’s currently treated by the medical community. Expensive testing, surgery, and prescription medications are called into question for their effectiveness as well as their expense.

Back Pain Too Often Mistreated By Medical Community

The report correctly points out that most back pain is the result of a weak core – a much more complex region of the body than the infomercials fascination with “abs” – and that readily available physical therapy is often the best treatment for the condition.

Dr. Snyderman specifically mentions Pilates and yoga as healthy, affordable alternatives to the much more common medically prescribed routes handed out by practices and hospitals.

If you or someone you know suffers from back pain in varying degrees, it’s highly likely Pilates can be a very effective part of a treatment plan to properly alleviate the condition.

YPL Works Out In Boca

this is what a roomfull of Pilates pros looks like!Girl power! hanging out at a weekend workout in boca with my pilates peeps!

 

Sometimes You Need To Have Someone Else Looking Over Your Shoulder!

In June I visited Pilates of Boca in Boca Raton where I was first Power Pilates certified to learn about Swami Juice and for a day long work out with some former classmates.

workouts with my friend LeePilates Pros In Action

I was happy to see so many of my former gal pals under slightly more relaxed conditions than our formal training and was glad to be able to partner with my friend Lee, from my original Power Pilates certification class.

We were all exhausted after a full day of going over the basics and then making sure we were up to par on our PIlates technique. It was a great weekend getaway – Boca Raton on old U.S. 1 is one of my favorite places for relaxing!

 

Should You Be Sweating?

megaformer workout another version of Pilates

Just Don’t Call It Pilates!

This article in the New York Times titled “A Souped-Up Pilates Workout” made me think about what’s behind the comments people make when it comes to their idea of how they should feel after a workout.

In this case the writer, who admits to being a Pilates novice, says, “In reality, however, the few classes I’ve taken have done nothing to work up a sweat or amp up my heart rate — not the best outcome for an adrenaline-seeking exerciser like me.”

I suspect she’s never tried a Classical Pilates class, one that incorporates flow with breath and mind control. Too often the group classes offered at gyms and clubs fall far short of what Joseph Pilates intended and end up like a lazy day at the beach.

Can You Say Jumpboard?

At Your Pilates Lifestyle, I offer classes for all levels from beginners to professionals, and pay particular attention to those who may be physically challenged yet who will still get plenty of benefit from a toned down Pilates routine.

At the other extreme are my superfit clients, the ones who thrive on an intense Pilates workout. One that includes plenty of non-stop flow that leaves everyone short of breath and dripping with sweat! Cardio? You’d better believe it!

Learn How To Walk Before You Start Running

You may not be working to capacity in the beginning as you are learning the exercises and correct body mechanics. However, as you move into intermediate, advanced or even super advanced exercises you should be working to capacity. If you’re not – it’s on you!!

Joseph Pilates was a genius when it came to the order and flow of his exercises to work the entire body in a demanding and efficient way to achieve total body FUNCTIONAL fitness. When was the last time your daily life required you to bench press a desk to fatigue?

There really is no reason to change Pilates as it was designed unless it’s to periodicially shake things up and challenge the client in a totally different way.

Not All Reformer Work Can Be Called Pilates

The reformer is a brilliant piece of equipment that can be used in many ways. If you’re going to use it to perform gym based exercises, then it should be labeled accordingly.

If the workout strays too far from it’s original intent then it shouldn’t be called Pilates. I will sometimes gear a class to more of a gym based exercise session, but I always specify when an exercise is not “Pilates”.

 

 

Reformers That Fit Your Body Style

When Joseph Pilates designed the original Reformer, students were built much differently then they are today. Today’s typical Pilates student comes in a much wider range of body shapes and styles than those original pioneers.

One of the major drawbacks of the original Reformer design is that it doesn’t easily allow for adjustment to the wide variation found in a modern studio’s clients’ height, which can mean a difference of a foot or more!

Solution: the Revo Adjustment System

Our custom built Balanced Body Reformers feature the innovative Revo Adjustment System (see photo inset), a multi-position locking mechanism for quickly and accurately moving the carriage (mat portion) of the Reformer in or out on the chassis, based on a student’s height and range of motion.

This allows the spring bar (which offers the resistance) to move in unison with the carriage to maintain the proper no-load (neutral) initial spring tension while performing the exercises and providing the adjustability needed to create the best ergonomically correct position for every client.

Why Is This Important?

Without the Revo Adjustment System, the client that’s 6’2″ and the client that’s 5’3″ must both begin from the same position relative to the foot bar, creating imbalance and an unequal range of motion and spring tension.

This unique feature means our students get the full benefit of a reformer class without having to compromise form over fit. It’s a perfect combination of comfort and efficiency.

TV News Reviews Pilates

“I feel like I’ve been slapped with a basket full of energy!”

That’s what the reporter in this video said is a primary benefit of her newly discovered Pilates practice. I thought this short (five minute) news report was interesting, informative, and might help take some of the scary out of Pilates. Not everyone will reach the level of a master instructor (and there aren’t that many that reach that level) but everyone can feel stronger, more flexible and physically fit, and achieve an overall sense of wellbeing through the practice of the Pilates method.

If your browser doesn’t display the Flash video, just follow this YouTube link.

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!!!

Pilates Looks Scary!!

Newbies: It’s Not What You Think

No doubt about it, one look at some of the Pilates equipment (reformer, tower, cadillac, chair, etc.) can strike fear in a newbies heart. Don’t be afraid! It’s not as scary or intimating as it looks. After all, Joseph Pilates created the piece of equipment called the “cadillac” as a result of working with patients in a hospital bed.

There are exercises for all levels of fitness as well as modifications. However, when in doubt – leave it out, should be the mantra.

That’s not to say “don’t challenge yourself,” but if there is a valid concern about fitness level, safety or injury because of a pre-existing condition, any exercise can either be modified or omitted. In short, Joseph Pilates created a wonderful system of exercises that can be modified to achieve positive results in almost any instance.

While Pilates may not be appropriate for or appeal to everyone, most people can safely and effectively incorporate it into their workout regime. Even in a group setting, Pilates is an individual practice utilizing YOUR BODY and YOUR MIND! Just ignore your classmates, “put your blinders on”, and work with what your mind/body can do that day.  Most important of all – have fun!!

NYAC Rugby Team Trains With Power Pilates

Team sports benefit from Power Pilates training. The New York Athletic Club Rugby Team takes advantage of the Pilates focus on mobility, flexibility and coordination to improve their game. Here’s a look at the “real world” of team centered Power Pilates fitness training.