Having been involved in a series of car accidents from the age of 19 onwards (none of which were my fault, just for the record! ) I've experienced numerous whiplash injuries and understand first hand what it's like to have a vulnerable, painful neck. It can be quite debilitating and interfere with your quality of life. Chiropractic treatment had, in conjunction with Pilates, kept my neck pain well under control over the years until early 2009. My trusted Chiropractor went on leave and her replacement gave me an overzealous neck adjustment with such force that I thought my head was going to detach from my body. I saw stars and it was extremely painful. This was not at all what I was used to and as I drove home I knew I had a serious issue as I couldn't turn my head to change lanes without severe pain. It became worse the next day and I began to experience nausea too as I later learned the vagus nerve had been affected. This was the start of 7 to 8 months of neck pain. After one...
For about 20 years now I have regularly seen an older woman who I will call Sarah on her daily walk in the streets near my home. My mother occasionally has a brief neighbourly chat with her and walking is her passion and only form of exercise. Once she mentioned a painful shoulder injury she was dealing with and my Mum suggested Pilates. No, she wasn't prepared to try anything crazy like that but would increase her time spent walking. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of walking, it has so many physical and mental benefits and can be a wonderful way to keep fit, but making it your only form of body maintenance is inadequate. Having observed Sarah over the years, she is living proof of this. It's not surprising she has a shoulder injury as her posture has steadily deteriorated over the years and she is hunched forward so it is difficult for her shoulders to function efficiently. Her ankles and calf muscles have tightened considerably giving her a...
Very early in my Pilates teaching career, one of my new clients was about 4 weeks into her sessions when she asked me a question.
She suddenly looked very worried and I wasn't sure what was coming next.
"You keep talking about Glutes but ummm (awkward silence) what exactly do you mean by that?
Another awkward silence. I had been talking to her about Glutes and giving her Glute exercises but she had never heard the term Glutes before and didn't know why I was subjecting her to "Glute" Exercises. It was a huge wake-up call to me to never assume everyone is familiar with the Glutes. Since then I've found many clients who have had either very little or no knowledge of the Glutes when they first start Pilates. So if this sounds like you-you are definitely not alone. Read on to discover the wonders of the Glutes!
What are the Glutes?
The Gluteal muscles, commonly known as the butt muscles, are a group of 3 muscles Gluteus maximus, Gluteus medius, Gluteus minimus.
Having just uploaded my CEC evidence to the APMA website a little over 3 weeks ago to meet the March 31 deadline, it occurred to me that the majority of people don't realise the ongoing education that is required for qualified Pilates instructors to satisfy association membership requirements. It's one thing to pass exams for admittance into the Association and another to maintain membership with compulsory continuing or ongoing education.
As a member of the Australian Pilates Method Association since February 2005, following completion of my Post Graduate Certificate in the Pilates Method at the University of Technology Sydney, I am required to complete 36 hours of CECs or Continuing Education Credits in each 3 year period, with 1 point for each hour.
Why is Continuing education necessary for Pilates Practitioners?
Once Pilates Practitioners have completed their initial course of study this is considered to form the foundation of their training,...
How do I possibly find time for Pilates? My daily schedule is already overbooked. This frequently asked question keeps coming up again and again. Everyone is busy and time management is an issue for most people. We are moving rapidly through 2019 and at the end of last year I talked about goal setting, so it's a good time to check your Pilates and health goals and asses how you are progressing. If you are on track, that's great, but if you need a little assistance read on for some practical tips.
1. Decide if you prefer going to a studio or following an online Pilates program at home
Joseph Pilates original clients all attended 3 sessions per week as standard, which he considered the minimum to achieve results with an option of signing up for 3 or 6 month blocks. Give yourself the best chance possible of sticking with your sessions, so establish whether you can attend Pilates studio sessions on a regular basis, or if this is not possible look...
In my experience, the pelvic floor has proven to be a mystery for the majority of my clients when they first start Pilates. Some have been taught how to do pelvic floor exercises incorrectly while most have never heard of it at all. When they are currently dealing with a pelvic floor issue, however, suddenly the pelvic floor takes on a new level of importance.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a horizontal muscle group consisting of several layers of muscles which form the base of the pelvis. It supports organs such as the bladder and bowel in men and the bladder, bowel and uterus in women. It goes from the pubic bone at the front, to the tailbone at the back and to each sitting bone at the sides. It can be helpful to imagine it as a trampoline or hammock.
Why is the Pelvic Floor so important?
For both men and women, the pelvic floor forms part of the core and helps to stabilise and support the pelvis and spine and is important for bladder and bowel control...
Currently, I have clients in my studio in all age groups but my eldest client is 78 years young and just happens to be my Mum, Pam.
Recently I asked her to reflect on what Pilates means to her and to describe the positive changes she has experienced since she first began her practice.
What was your first experience of Pilates?
Well, it was probably a very different experience to the usual as I was used as a guinea pig while you were completing your Pilates training at University in 2004. You taught me the basics and then practiced various new exercises and techniques on me. I suppose we were both learning together. I found the exercises interesting and I was amazed when I saw an improvement in the chronic sciatic pain I'd suffered for years.
How often do you practice Pilates?
Daily, but this wasn't always the case. Since 2004 I've made the mistake of thinking that I could take a break from Pilates because I felt great. I've since discovered that its necessary to...
Why are Healthy Bones so Important?
Many people don't realise that bone is living, growing tissue that is constantly changing and adapting in response to the forces placed on it. Bones allow for movement as they act as attachment sites for muscle tendons and as the muscle contracts it pulls on the bone which facilitates movement. Bones also have a protective function such as the rib cage which protects the heart and lungs and the skull which protects the brain. Among other functions, they are also a storehouse for minerals such as calcium and phosphorus which are released as needed by the body. Maintaining bone mineral density should be an important consideration when choosing an exercise program as brittle or porous bones known as Osteoporosis can lead to fracture. Bones are our internal framework and Pilates is ideal for maintaining good bone health as long as the exercises selected incorporate weight-bearing and resistance.
In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see a difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body" Joseph Pilates
Starting Pilates for the first time can be both an exciting and sometimes slightly daunting time, so today I'm going to share some pointers with you from both my own and some of my client's early experiences. Like many people before me, I was slightly underwhelmed during my first 10 sessions of Pilates. I had a few favorite exercises but many seemed very basic to me. Being an experienced dance teacher at the time, I felt I was capable of more complex movements. How wrong I was! It's essential to begin with the basics - correct Pilates breathing techniques and learning how to connect your abdominal muscles and how to stabilise your abdominals as you add a simple movement. There are no shortcuts. It takes time to establish these connections both mentally and physically and the first 10 sessions are a steep learning curve as...
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