Pilates

The Importance of Good Posture

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

As fitness professionals it is often assumed that good posture represents itself in one way, namely correct skeletal alignment with respect to the plumb line, seen here:

While the plumb line is very important, the point that this article makes is that good posture involves the active use of ones postural muscles.  What does this mean?  Well, postural muscles support our daily movements (these are the core muscles utilized in PILATES class).  These muscles help us to sit up straight, or walk in a bio-mechanically sound way because they support our joints and therefore our skeletal system.  For example, when a person sits at a desk all day the lower abdominal muscles do not get to work, and muscles that do not get exercised stop properly functioning altogether.  Then it becomes the responsibility of other body parts to do a job they are not meant to do, which sets into motion a chain reaction of over-taxing certain parts of the body while under-utilizing other areas.

The point is, we need to exercise out muscles, especially postural core muscles, to keep them conditioned and on call to do their job!  Without them we end up with pain and, over time, potentially serious conditions.

If you live in New York you are in luck: Rachel Rettman will help you move your body in all planes of functional motion in order to preserve and build vital core musculature.  Other things, like food choices, daily habits, and more all go into this topic of posture.

Have you ever seen someone slumped over, stooping while either standing or sitting?  Do they look happy?  Usually not!  Our posture is also a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and the world around us, and proper (and improper) posture sends important messages to those with whom we come into contact.  When considering two equally qualified job applicants, you can bet the person with the great posture who stands tall and conveys confidence will have an edge over a counterpart who is slumped over and shrinking away from the world.

Lesson: remember to stand up, be proud, and most of all exercise those core postural muscles so that you can remain upright and pain free!  Head to our Individual tab to get going on some Pilates sessions!


Foam Rollers

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Foam Rollers are amazing.  If you have never seen one, it is a cylindrical tube, about 3 or 3.5 feet long and about 7 inches in diameter and it is used to roll along the body to stretch and ease muscles pre- and post-workout.  Additionally, it is used as an exercise prop in order to increase the intensity of certain workouts.  For example, in Pilates one can lay on the foam roller so it is underneath the length of the spine, and it creates a balance challenge when moving ones arms and legs.  The core has to work overtime to keep the body still as it is now lying on a moving cylinder instead of on the floor!!

Here is a foam roller in action:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By rolling it along the outside of the quads, one can loosed the hip flexors all the way down to the knee.  Oftentimes, knee pain can be attributed to tight hamstrings and quadriceps, and therefore rolling out those muscles for 5 minutes each evening helps to alleviate knee pain.  Try it for 3 weeks; if tight muscles and pains are not diminished, you can hold me to a free Pilates class (where we will deploy the foam roller)!!

Check out this link for some great foam roller stretches:

Fitsugar


It’s Official…303 sold!

Rachel Fitness, Groupon, News, Nutrition, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

While a few more might yet sell in the coming weeks (I have yet to figure out how one can get a Groupon after the deal expires but apparently you can) I have sold a total of 303 Groupons in the last 1.5 months.  This is extremely exciting since building a business is a huge challenge and there is only so long a person can survive without covering expenses, going into more debt, etc. before re-evaluating and considering other opportunities.

But as of now things are on track and the business is poised to grow.  People are calling and emailing, excited to begin their new fitness plan, and we are delighted to have them on board!  Loving what you do is vital to success; working with people who are also excited to have your help and support makes it a lot better and that much more fulfilling.

Now that Groupon is over, it is back to other health-related topics, items, articles, monologues, and so forth.

Lets start here:  Happiest (and unhappiest) States in America!  The Huffington Post has some interesting articles in its Huffpost Health Living section, like this article:  Happy March! 7 In-Season Superfoods.


Dedicated Groupon Clients!!

Rachel Groupon, Pilates Leave a comment   , , ,

It is wonderful to see all of the people who are not only purchasing Groupons for Pilates mat and reformer classes (and private lessons) but also scheduling those classes so quickly!  Those dedicated to their own health and fitness are inspiring to us all.  Thanks to all of my great clients, old and new, who make coming and teaching a pleasure!

If you have yet to get your awesome Groupon deal, you still have 24 hours!  Click here to purchase!


75 and counting on GROUPON!

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We have sold 75 Groupons so far and are looking forward to selling more!

Visit Groupon Portland to purchase this amazing 72% off Pilates deal (private, group, and mat class options).

Buy one for you and gift one to a friend…your friend will LOVE YOU!

See you in the studio!


GROUPON!!

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We are running another Groupon Beginning Monday February 27th (that is an hour from now) and midnight on the 29th.  This is a LUCKY deal as it runs on a leap year!  The options will be:

  • For $25, you get five Pilates Mat classes (a $75 value)
  • For $59, you get one month of unlimited Pilates Mat classes (a $200 value) and one group Reformer class (a $30 value, a $230 total value)
  • For $65, you get one 60-minute private lesson (a $65 value) and three group Reformer classes (a $90 value, a $155 total value

Pick up this hot deal while you can; get one for you and one for a friend!

Available to new clients only please.

See you all in the studio!


Tipping Trainers

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Money, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tipping etiquette is a touchy and debatable topic, but the question of tipping personal trainers, Yoga & Pilates instructors, etc. is an issue worth addressing.

While tipping is technically never required, it is something we do to express gratitude for a job well done, and ultimately it is an engrained part of American culture (others as well, to greater and lesser extent).  Overall Americans are generous tippers.

It is standard to tip hair stylists, massage therapists, aestheticians, and other one-on-one service providers between 15% and 20%.  These service providers have undergone special training and are creating a (hopefully) positive experience that clients both want and need.  When it comes to trainers, private exercise instructors and the likes, in theory it should be no different.  Once again this is a specialized individual whom, at least in the case of a comprehensively trained Pilates instructor, has spent many hundreds of hours learning and honing his or her skill set.  A private session is taking place, and individualized attention to specific needs, conditions, concerns, and more are factoring into the interaction.

If you think about it, physical trainers are facilitating physical wellness; from a physiological, purely medical perspective this is very important to living a long, healthy life.  Indeed haircuts and facials are important and beloved services, but someone could suffer from serious and life-threatening conditions and find help through something like Pilates or Yoga (burn fat, build muscle); no one ever died from not enough hair cuts or too few massages.  Having said that, one would think a client would LOVE tipping the health instructor who is making life more livable.

It is also important to consider things like rental space and other costs that instructors incur.  Just like many hair stylists split their earnings with the salon, instructors give a (sometimes very large) percentage of earnings to the studio they use.  Or, if employed by a studio, work at a rate that is often far less than is paid by the customer.

Bottom line, as a society we are not conditioned to tip trainers in the same way as we are hair stylist, massage therapists, etc. and yet these services fall within similar categories.   If you see an instructor 3 times a week a smaller tip is certainly understandable, but overall a Pilates or Yoga instructor or Personal Trainer working in a private setting (versus a big box gym with certain policies) should be viewed like a ‘body’ stylist and tipped accordingly.  Remember, personal exercise instructors/trainers are not dieticians or acupuncturists; those are medical providers and often are dealt with and paid for by insurance companies.

Next time you take a private Pilates or Yoga lesson for $70 consider giving the instructor $10 -$15.  Of course there is no need to tip in group classes – the point is to express gratitude for a customized, individual service.

 

 


New online Scheduler!!

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Book appointments with us now!!

 
Schedule online now

 

We are excited to get you going!


Installment 10 of 10 ‘Benefits of Pilates’

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

10. There are Many Ways to Learn Pilates

Pilates instruction is easy to come by these days. The ever-growing popularity of Pilates has put it on the map all over the world. This is good because when you start Pilates training, it is important to start with live Pilates instruction at a studio or gym, and from a certified instructor. But there are lots of ways to supplement your learning once you get going. You can practice at home and you don’t need one bit of fancy equipment, just comfy clothes and a mat.

The ‘learning from a certified instructor’ piece is key.  Because Pilates is not a regulated field with uniform certification requirements (like massage or acupuncture) it is important to check into the kind of certification your instructor has.  Someone could take a weekend course and call herself a certified instructor; more appropriately, your instructor will have taken a lengthy comprehensive course full of hundreds of personal practice, observation, and practice teaching hours.  All told, the Body Arts and Science International certification undertaken by yours truly required well over 500 hours of practice/teaching/observation/class time/studying in order to become properly and comprehensively certified in mat and all equipment-based Pilates.

As with anything, do your homework before you get going on a new exercise regimen.  Or just make your life easy and fill out our contact form and come see us!

 


Installment 9 of 10 ‘Benefits of Pilates’

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

9. Increases Awareness – Body/Mind Connection

Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates, or Contrology as he called it, was about “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” This is one of the secrets of Pilates exercise: we practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. The Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow — are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.

One of the things that almost always happens in a Pilates class is that students move too quickly through the exercises.  Even as instructors count to keep a pace or flow for the class, people speed up even without realizing it.  What do we get when we speed up?  Yes, that’s right, momentum.  While momentum might make exercises seem easier, using propulsion to get up off the floor or swing our legs behind us, speed degrades the quality of movement. Some of the most difficult Pilates moves are so because they are done slowly, with precision.  As a Pilates instructor, if I had to choose one principle on which to build my Pilates practice, it would be precision.

Make Joseph Pilates (see below) proud…and execute your movements with precision and concentration in order to build beautiful, strong and lean bodies!


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