Diet tips and fitness hints in this Dog Days of Summer August, 2014 newsletter.
Do These Wrist Exercises For Greater Mobility
You don’t have to be a student of body weight training to get plenty of benefit from these easy to perform wrist exercises. They can be done just about anywhere, anytime, and the results could offer significant gains in your Pilates practice and everyday living.
Our wrists are complex structures comprised of bone, tendon, muscle, and nerves. Keeping them loose and limber while we go about our often repetitive daily activities, often using some form of computer or tablet, is a challenge.
This brief video is a great guide to keeping our wrists healthy and in top notch condition.
Making The Most of Every Pilates Session
Ana – “Tita” to her friends – is one of my favorite clients. This Lisbon, Portugal, native and former pro basketball player loves our weather and enjoys riding her bike the short distance to the studio from her nearby Madeira Beach home whenever she can.
Ana estimates she rides 20-plus miles daily. Typical trips include the grocery, banking business, and checking her mail at the beach post office, all part of her route around town.
The 2-wheeled commute to her weekly YPL workouts means crossing the intracoastal waterway, with its panoramic post card view of Boca Ciega Bay in front, the Gulf of Mexico behind, and a steady stream of leisure boat traffic passing below the Tom Stuart Causeway bridge draw span.
Exercise Bonus – A Ride With A View
Not only does Ana add more international flavor to the studio, her Pilates enthusiasm can be contagious. Just ask her workout partner and local friend Vinkica after they teamed up for Classical mat sessions (above). And yes, it is all about the abs! Note the extra challenge holding the ball between the knees.
Although riding bikes for general transportation is much more common in Europe, Ana says she enjoys it here more than when she travels home to Portugal several times a year. She likes that she’s saving gas, helping the environment, and improving her health with this pleasant exercise every time she heads out the door.
While in the U.S. her travels include trips north to Tallahassee to visit her son, currently a business and finance major at Florida State University. Meanwhile her daughter helps run the family’s businesses back home in Portugal.
How Men Benefit From A Pilates Fitness Plan
Unlike running, swimming, weight lifting or many other fitness pursuits where you’re likely to find men working out, Pilates doesn’t immediately come to mind as an option for male physical training. In reality, Pilates is perfect as a solo activity or as the focal point for a broad cross training regimen.
While other exercises are easy to picture, Pilates doesn’t immediately conjure up a physical image. Ha! As we know, when done correctly Pilates thoroughly and completely challenges virtually every single part of the anatomy. And these days you’re seeing more and more Pilates being practiced at the highest levels of professional sports by athletes whose contracts depend on the flexibility and specific strength found in the program.
Balance, Strength, Endurance, Flexibility
Generally speaking, Pilates focuses on building, strengthening, and developing the core. But there’s much more than that, in a progressive training program that at the highest levels approaches the impossible.
Men’s major structural weak points are tight hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulders, and chest. Pilates incorporates stretching these areas in both basic and advanced workouts, with exercises designed to loosen and lengthen the muscles and tendons that cause so much trouble for so many men spending too much time at a desk.
At YPL, I don’t train a lot of male clients, for reasons that mostly stem (I think) from unfamiliarity with the routines and an overall impression that it’s mostly just for women. On the other hand, some of the biggest compliments I’ve received have come from that small percentage of men who are exploring the benefits of a full Pilates training schedule.
If you’ve got a man in your life who could use a low-impact fitness program that delivers positive results quickly and safely, encourage him to check out Pilates.
Bluebird Pilates Does The Happy Dance
Some of you might have already seen this but it’s just soooo cool!!! Makes me happy – how about you? Who says Pilates can’t affect your daily outlook on life.
Advanced Moves Performed On The Reformer
When we talk about Controlology, we’re referring to the connection between the mind and the body. That connection is important whenever we’re performing our Pilates movements, and it’s essential when practicing the advanced moves on our apparatus.
Whether you’re a Pilates professional or a first time beginner, this video from Munich’s Bluebird Pilates Studio is a perfect demonstration of what that connection means and why it’s so critical in our practice. And before anyone asks, no, I don’t teach these exercises at Your Pilates Lifestyle!
I’ve included this clip just for inspiration for your own Pilates practice (but definitely not for comparison purposes!). Whatever level you work at the principles are the same -concentration and control (mind/body connection) being an integral part. Deepen the work by being fully present in each exercise you perform and make it the best that YOU can make it!
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.)
This short list of my most popular Facebook posts explains why Pilates is the perfect low impact, all around fitness workout for young and old of both sexes and just about every interest.
Whether you’re a woman dealing with osteoporosis, a professional athlete focused on improving his or her game, a casual runner trying to get the most out of a 5K, or just interested is improving your brain power, there’s something here for anyone who wants to improve their quality of life.
- Exercise May Help Knees More Than Glucosamine And Chondroitin This NPR article questions dependence on supplements for joint health.
- 6 Ways Pilates Can Improve Your Running I love it when I can show how Pilates may be the best go to all around workout for improving your running routine.
- How Your Spine Changes As You Age For women, here’s a look at what you might experience as your spine ages – and tips for prevention.
- Pilates For The Professional Athlete Flexibility and stretching are just as important as strength and speed to one NFL player.
- Strong Women Make Stronger Women This YouTube video from the International Osteoporosis Foundation offers five ways to decrease the risk of contracting the disease.
- Sweat Your Way To A Healthier Brain Is exercise good for the brain? You bet! NPR article proves you can sweat your way to a smarter you.
- The Art of Pilates Control This gorgeous video by Munich’s Bluebird Pilates studio is an inspirational example of Pilates control.
- Why Pilates Belongs At The Forefront Of American Fitness A well reasoned argument on the low impact benefits of a PIlates fitness routine.
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.