flexibility

Foam Roller Stretching Galore

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We once again revisit the Foam Roller because it is one of the most versatile, beneficial inexpensive training props available.  Not only can almost anyone use it, but also it can be harnessed for both active exercise and strength-training purposes as well as stretching and relaxation.  In specific, the Foam Roller is fantastic for stretching out the spine.

Why stretch the spine?  Well…for one, it supports our head, our limbs, and many of our organs and so it needs TLC.  But more so, we spend so much time stooped over, in a state of flexion (think rounded shoulders, sitting at a desk, in front of the TV, or in the car) that moving in the opposite direction is vital to long-term spinal health and functionality.

As far as accurate, medically sound resources go, YouTube can be hit or miss; however, there are a number of short videos devoted to stretching the spine, especially in the Thoracic region (think ribcage area), that are easy to follow and impart sound advice.

Check out these spine stretches!!

If nothing else, lolling around on a foam roller for a few minutes before bed is a nice way to step away from the day and into ‘I really want to experience sleep soon’ mode.  Get ready to sleep tight…or better yet, sleep loose!

To strengthen that spine, and make those stretches even more rewarding, begin a fantastic Pilates program today! As we approach the holidays take the time to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of sound mind and body.  It will last a lot longer than a trendy sweater!

 


Foam Rollers

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

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


GROUPON!!

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

 

 

 

 

 

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!


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’

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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!


Installment 4 of 10 ‘Benefits of Pilates’

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4. Increases Flexibility

In Pilates, we work toward a safe increase in length and stretch of the muscles and range of motion within the joints. You won’t find quite as much “pretzel logic” in Pilates as you might in yoga, but a body that can stretch and bend to meet the flow of life is a very realistic goal.

Note the words safe and realistic – keeping in mind that some bodies are very flexible while many have injuries and range of motion issues, Pilates works to be gentle on bodies while building the strength needed to prevent injury and support both athletic and every day activities.

So remember: Sunday is a great day for Pilates!  While not many exercise classes typically take place on Sunday (beyond the morning) at Springwater Pilates we are now starting some Sunday afternoon classes to help you ease back into your work week.  Come check us out!


Installment 3 of 10 ‘Benefits of Pilates’

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It is time to learn point 3 of 10 in the top 10 reasons to maintain a Pilates Practice:

3. Creates Strength Without Bulk

Long, lean muscles are the name of the game here. In Pilates, we are not looking to build muscles for show. We are building toned muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole, and the functional fitnessneeds of a person as they move through life.One of the ways that Pilates creates long, strong muscles is by taking advantage of a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction.

By the way, eccentric contractions take place when one lengthens the muscle (versus shortening a muscle during a concentric contraction) while resisting a movement.  For example, the inward phase of a bicep curl, as the hand bends in towards the shoulder, is a concentric contraction; however, when one resists the return, slowly lengthening the arm back out, an eccentric contraction takes place. The muscle is being used and building strength yet growing longer at the same time.  Since so much of Pilates is about resistance, it is a discipline where the ‘eccentric contraction cup’ runneth over.  Pilates effectively develops long, lean muscles because of this very emphasis on the lengthening stage, or eccentric portion, of muscle contraction!
Come back to learn about benefit 4 of 10 tomorrow!

Current Class Schedule

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Also located under the schedule tab, this is the up-to-date February schedule:

Tuesday (1st, 3rd, 5th one of the month)
5:30pm – Mad Props – Mat Pilates with Props
6:30pm – Group Reformer

Tuesday (2nd, 4th one of the month)
5:30pm – Group Reformer
6:30pm – Mat Pilates R.U.B. (ripped upper body)

Wednesday
11:00am – Group reformer
Noon – All Levels Mat Pilates

Saturday
9:00am – Group Reformer
10:00am – FREE Intro to Pilates (10-15 min.)
10:15am – All Levels Pilates Bootcamp
11:30am – Group Reformer

Sunday (2nd, 4th one of the month)
4:00pm – Group Reformer
5:00pm – Mat Pilates Mystery Core – Rotating Format!

Come on down and check out a class!  There are drop in spaces available and enough to go around!


The Benefits of Pilates

Rachel Fitness, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , ,

There are so many reasons to do Pilates – from core strength to improved posture to injury preventing, Pilates is a strength training regimen that is suitable for everyone.

In the coming days we will go over the top 10 reasons to do Pilates, covering a new reason each day!  It is amazing that so many people are willing to try every new workout under the sun, yet a number of these people have never experienced Pilates…not even once!

There are countless online resources all about Pilates, and this is a great thing!  But if you want to really experience Pilates you need to go to a Pilates-specific studio and find a knowledgeable instructor.

1st reason to practice Pilates:

1. Pilates is Whole-Body Fitness

Unlike some forms of exercise, Pilates does not over-develop some parts of the body and neglect others. While Pilates training focuses on core strength, it trains the body as an integrated whole. Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints.

Attention to core support and full-body fitness — including the breath and the mind — provide a level of integrative fitness that is hard to find elsewhere. It is also the reason that Pilates is so popular in rehab scenarios, as well as with athletes who find that Pilates is a great foundation for any kind of movement they do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tune in tomorrow for reason number 2!  You can check out about.com for some more information in the meantime, to satisfy your curiosity.

 


Pilates For Men!!

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Pilates is amazing for many reasons…and more men need to be doing it!  Check out this great article on Pilates for Men courtesy of Men’s Health magazine.  Then give me a call and book your sessions, boys!

http://www.menshealth.com.sg/fitness/boost-your-fitness-pilates


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