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...
Its hard to believe yet another year is drawing to a close and amidst all the celebrations, many of us will be thinking about our New Year's Resolutions. If you are anything like me, you start off with the best of intentions but usually, these somehow get lost along the way after the holiday period ends and the reality of the everyday working life sets in. Come mid-year, most people have completely forgotten about New Year altogether and any resolutions they may have made are a dim memory.
For this reason, I prefer to set written goals as opposed to making resolutions and based on past experience this really method produces results.
Find somewhere quiet where you can reflect on how you feel about your health and fitness during this previous year and ask yourself some questions. Be as honest as you can with yourself in your responses. Am I happy with where I am physically and mentally? Am I dealing with any pain or discomfort that I have...
Knee issues and injuries are a debilitating problem for people of all ages, however, there has been a shocking 70% increase in young Australians having ACL reconstruction surgery over the last 15 years. This is largely due to sports that involve impact and sudden direction changes such as skiing, netball, football and martial arts. As children's sport becomes more professional and the demands on young bodies more rigorous, solutions are needed to reduce the rate of knee injury which is also putting them at risk of Osteoarthritis in later life.
Many of my Pilates clients deal with knee pain at some point in their lives due to a large and varied number of reasons.
How Does Pilates Offer Solutions?
Pilates provides the perfect tools to assist with stabilizing the knee joint and strengthening the surrounding muscles, but as muscles don't work in isolation it's necessary to view the body as a whole. Everything...
In 1928, Joseph Pilates emigrated to the USA from Europe and coincidentally opened his studio in the same building as the New York City Ballet. The dancers of the company were among his clientele and they discovered that his Method was ideal for rehabilitating their many dance-related injuries. Soon his exercises became part of the dancers daily strength and conditioning routine, for ultimately preventing injury and future-proofing their bodies and in this case, careers.
Pilates for Prevention Today
Now practiced worldwide, the Pilates Method is ideal for preventing injury, not only in the dance world but can be extremely beneficial to both elite and amateur athletes of all ages. There are numerous benefits for the general population who want to enjoy a high quality of health and fitness throughout their lives and remain fit and active during retirement. As is the case in my own studio, many people use Pilates as an alternative to surgery such as joint...
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