Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Hypopressive® Technique for Pelvic Floor Fitness

The Hypopressive® Technique was originally created by Dr Marcel Caufiez in the 1980s as an effective tool for pelvic floor restoration in post-partum women. Its popularity rapidly spread to other fitness and rehabilitation areas due to the numerous benefits that this innovative technique induces when practised regularly. This technique is also related to certain Yoga postures such as Uddiyana Bhanda and the bodybuilding practice known as the ‘stomach vacuum’.
In 2017, Tamara Rial perfected the technique and it was promptly adopted by the Spanish medical community. who regularly prescribed it for post-partum women’s health protocol. The technique is rapidly gaining popularity and recognition world wide, not only for it’s success in non-surgically treating women with pelvic floor health issues, but as a complete Core training program that works along side other therapies (like Pilates) that benefits all ages and lifestyles.

What is The HYPOPRESSIVE® technique?

The HYPOPRESSIVE® technique was created in Europe in the early 1980s with the goal of helping postnatal women prevent and recover from pelvic floor dysfunctions such as incontinence and prolapse. From the outset, the objective was to develop a global approach to core health through the creation of a conditioning technique that would benefit the whole core system, and eliminate the injuries caused by detrimental pressure to the pelvic floor (as is so often the case with traditional abdominal exercises).
The term ‘HYPOpressive’ refers to a decrease or reduction in pressure. This form of exercise reduces pressure to the thoracic, abdominal and pelvic cavities, where traditional exercises, abdominal training, gravity, as well as the majority of our daily activities are HYPERpressive – they increase intra-abdominal pressure.  It is not to say that doing these everyday activities are bad for us, in fact most of what we do – even walking – increases this internal pressure. What we need to address is how well our bodies are able to manage these pressures and prevent the onset of injury/dysfunction.

Who can benefit from HYPOPRESSIVE® technique training?

  • Women with post baby tummy separation
  • Those with a weak pelvic floor – leading to incontinence
  • Those who suffer from recurring back pain or some kind of hernia and are looking for a safe and effective form of exercise
  • People with respiratory / breathing issues (as the technique helps to increase diaphragm conditioning)
  • Athletes looking to increase peak performance

Learning the HYPOPRESSIVE® technique at Pilates Connection

Larissa has completed her course online with Low Pressure Fitness (Spain), and is now qualified to teach the technique to Pilates Connection members. Liane is also in the process of completing training here in Australia through CoreTone, the local representative for the International Hypopressives Council.
We’ve already seen some great results with one of our clients, Belinda, here’s what she has to say about her recent Hypopressive training:
  • How often do you practice Hypopressive Technique?

Probably not as often as Larissa would like!!! 3-5 times per week. Initially I was doing it 7 days a week.

  • When were you first introduced to it?  

About 6 months ago

  • Did it take you long to master the technique, what did you find challenging about it?

It took a few weeks. Larissa was really good about explaining how to do it, and built up the technique slowly so that you were performing it properly. At first it was challenging because you really felt like you were going to choke. But with practice, the breathing element has become much easier. Larissa keeps introducing new positions, and moving while doing it is pretty challenging for me at the moment.

  • What differences have you noticed since introducing this technique to your regular routine?

It’s been amazing. I had very long term diastasic recti (> 8 years), and had noticed doming when trying to do chest lifts at Pilates. Chest lifts, and general core stability were a real issue. So Larissa suggested I try the technique. I must admit I was pretty skeptical at first, but was amazed at the results. Within 4 weeks it had started to close, and I could see significant improvements in core strength. I feel like I can get more out of Pilates now, and can now perform more challenging exercises. It was definitely worth it, and I continue to practice at home.

If you’d like to learn more about The Hypopressive Technique to see if it’s right for you, please contact Liane on 0400 012 693.
Further Reading:
Much of the content in this blog article has been sourced from the following websites –  accredited to provide information and training for Hypopressive Technique.

The Power of Pilates – Mikey’s Story

Today’s Power of Pilates story is about a relatively new member, Mikey who’s been with us for around 6 months. Like many males we have here in the studio, Mikey does a lot of work at the gym, and has been battling previous injuries, which has lead him to Pilates Connection on recommendation from his physio.

Read more below to see how ongoing Pilates is helping improve Mikey’s form and the gym, and reduce his chance of injury.

Pilates Connection Member – Mikey, 30 something from Lane Cove

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

I had previous injuries and had been seeing a physio who recommended Pilates as a great way to avoid repeat injuries and aid in my rehab. Also I enjoy the gym a lot and am always curious to learn new techniques in relation to health and fitness

How long have you been doing Pilates?

Since July 2019.

What made you choose Pilates Connection? 

Originally the location was ideal for me as it is a stones throw away from where I live. However the reason I have stayed on is the team. It’s a fun friendly environment and they are all invested in their clients. They tailor my program for every session depending on how my body is feeling that day. Also due to the smaller nature of the classes I feel I get a great deal of one on one time which is important to me.

How has Pilates helped you?

I have a much better mind body connection, I’ve taken a lot of what I have learnt from Pilates to my sessions in the gym which has improved my form and strength (and reduced injuries) immensely. I’ve also been able to tackle any new ailments that pop up with the team and really nip them in the bud before they turn serious.

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

I enjoy everything I’ve tried thus far and am amazed that there are new exercises thrown at me nearly every session. In saying that I do have a soft spot for the reformer especially when doing leg work. There have been a few times where I have class and felt every step back up to my apartment!

Here’s the links to our other Member’s stories:

Philip’s Story 

Jane’s Story 2

Rowena’s Story

Tom’s Story

Gerald’s Story

Paul’s Story

Jane’s Story

Ran’s Story

Liz’s Story

The Power of Pilates – Philip’s Story

Today, we’d love to introduce you to the most senior member of Pilates Connection – 95 year old Philip from Greenwich. He’s still working from an office here in Lane Cove, and enjoys flying  seaplanes in his spare time. Philip’s family encouraged him to come to Pilates as a way to gain more core strength, stability, and greater mobility, which is ever so important as we get older.

We hope you enjoy, and are inspired by Philip’s story – he’s a man of very few words (but still has a sharp sense of humour!)

Pilates Connection Member – Philip, 95 yrs young from Greenwich

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

It was Philip’s adult children that encouraged him to give Pilates a try. They wanted him to be able to maintain and improve his fitness, mobility and stability.

Philip also confesses to having a “dodgy right knee” and a rather “wonky left shoulder” which we’re working on.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

Since May 2018.

What made you choose Pilates Connection? 

Ask Philip – and he says “It’s because it’s downhill from my office”, however his family wanted a personalised program where Philip could be supervised one on one, with professional and highly trained instructors that know and understand his short and long term goals.

How has Pilates helped you?

Yes, they have made me “fit as a fiddle”! From a studio perspective, we’ve worked hard on his core strength to improve stability, and also his muscle strength and join mobility. We’ve been thrilled with Philip’s progress so far – he’s a true inspiration!

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

The Cadillac !

Here’s the links to our other Member’s stories:

Jane’s Story 2

Rowena’s Story

Tom’s Story

Gerald’s Story

Paul’s Story

Jane’s Story

Ran’s Story

Liz’s Story

Tingling numb toes, or burning pain on the ball of your foot?

Do you sometimes feel as though you’re standing on a pebble in your shoe, have tingling or numbness in your toes, or a strong pain in the ball of your foot? Chances are, you may have Morton’s Neuroma – which is a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes (usually between the 3rd and 4th toes). This often causes a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot, leaving your toes often stinging or feeling numb.

Morton's Neuroma, Foot Pain

Swelling of the foot nerves

It’s a painful condition that can be caused by frequently wearing high heeled- shoes, or participating in high impact activities like running, and other sports that put excess pressure on the feet in tight shoes like rock climbing, ballet, and snow skiing.  Those who have bunions, flat feet, or high arches are also more susceptible to Morton’s Neuroma. 

What are the treatment options?

  • Put the Jimmy Choo shoes back in the wardrobe, and try wearing lower heeled or flat shoes for a while. Pick a shoe that has a wider toe base to ensure your feet aren’t cramped.
  • Do some regular stretches and exercise the feet by rolling them over a tennis ball, spiky ball or a frozen water bottle
  • A trip to the Podiatrist may be a good place to start to see if orthotics may help balance the pressure on your feet. You could also try over the counter gel foot pads from the chemist.
  • You may need to cut back on high impact training while the pain subsides.
  • For severe ongoing cases, see your GP, who may also recommend steroid injections into the area.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, be sure to tell us when you’re next in the studio at Pilates, and we’ll give you some specific exercises to help relieve the pain and discomfort.

Further Reading:

The Foot Group Lane Cove

Sydney Orthopaedic Specialists 


Every day activities that can lead to spinal compression

Are you guilty?

Everyday we do activities that can lead to spinal compression without realising it.

Put you hand up if you:

  1. Slouch over a desk or a computer all day;
  2. Carry a baby on your hip for hours;
  3. Carry a very heavy ( but incredibly good looking tote) all day;
  4. Read Text messages all day on your phone;
  5. You have more high heels than Carrie Bradshaw and you wear them every day.

If you do any of the the above you are a candidate for spinal compression.   Spinal Compression can start from you neck and go all the way down to your your lower spine.  If your spine is compressed you can experience numbness, weakness and pain.  Compression can also put some pressure on your internal organs.

To alleviate this compression you need to work on your core strength.   This is where Pilates can help.  Pilates works on strengthening your core and lengthening your muscles.  We can work with you in our studio group classes or via private classes.   We really concentrate on working with you to improve your posture and core strength, and anyone who has attended our classes will attest to the fact that we talk about these two areas constantly !!

However there are a few things you can do to improve your posture right now:

  • Be mindful of your posture, concentrate on sitting up straight and not slouching.
  • If you spend hours at a desk, get up once an hour and  walk around.
  • Take a break from the high heels and find some glam flats.
  • Clear out that tote bag and only carry around what is necessary (do you really need 20 pens in your bag??)

Related Articles:

Engaging Your Core, and Pelvic Floor

Salute to the almighty glute!

We’ve recently posted a story about our youngest Pilates Connection client – Tom, and how he, even as a national long jump champion, is still in training to correctly activate his glutes, part of his ongoing rehab for a hamstring tear. That got us thinking – athlete or not, we should ALL be activating our glute muscles correctly, in Pilates class and in everyday life – here’s why:

The real benefits of a strong butt!

Aside from working your booty to perfectly fit that pair of tight jeans, your derriere is one of the most important muscles in the body for a wide range of reasons. Your glutes — the minimus, medius and maximus — are the largest and strongest muscles in your body, and the three muscles work together to abduct, rotate and extend the hip. By strengthening these muscles  your posture, athletic performance and overall strength will improve drastically. Here are some advantages of having strong glutes:

1. Injury Prevention

Strengthening and activating your glutes in the correct way plays a pivotal vital role in reducing your chance of injury. Having strong glute muscles can prevent serious injuries to your knees, lower back, groin and hamstrings, all of which are essential to simple daily activities. Weak glutes can cause an imbalance in the hip, which may lead to excessive medial rotation of the femur and lateral tracking of the patella, potentially causing knee pain, and can also cause poor lower back alignment which can lead to some serious injuries including sprains and tears in your back muscles.

2. Enhanced Athletic Performance

Your rear-end is capable of generating an incredible amount of power! Stronger glutes will improve your speed, agility, jumping skills, and quick side-to-side movements will also become much easier. Every time you take a step, your glute max shores up your pelvis and SI joint for stability. Whether you participate in sport or running at a social or elite level, the stronger your glutes, the more efficient and explosive your movements will be.

3. Better Posture

Have you heard of “sitting disease”? If you spend much of your day sitting at a desk or in a car (or on the couch), too much sitting can actually lead to organ damage, muscle degradation, and damaged backs. By strengthening your glute muscles, your spine will have more support and your pelvis will automatically begin to stabilise. Both of which are essential to improved posture.

How To Strengthen Your Glutes

While it’s important to build up strength in your glute muscles, it’s also essential to train your mind to activate or fire up your glutes when performing specific exercises, or in every day situations (like lifting or carrying heavy things). The sequence in which muscles are activated or deactivated in Pilates movements can make all the difference in getting the most out of an exercise, and helping protect other areas of your body prone to injury.

Next time you’re in the studio, as us to “check out your butt” (promise there won’t be any wolf whistles), we’ll just run your through a few checks to see if your glutes are firing as they should. If you show signs of glute weakness, we can give you some specific exercises to practice at home. 


The Power of Pilates – Tom’s Story

As many of you already know, we have all sorts of people training with us here in the Pilates Connection Studio – young, old, athletes, those recovering from surgery, and everyone in between. The fact we have small class sizes means we can tailor a specific routine for each and every one of you.

Today we’d like you to meet our youngest member, Tom, who is in his late teens, still at school, and is a highly motivated athletics star! After suffering a hamstring tear earlier this year, Tom has started regular Pilates with us to help with rehabilitation, and to strengthen his body, trying to avoid future injury. Tom has a great attitude, and is busy preparing for next season’s track and field competitions, where he hopes to qualify for the Open Age Group in Long Jump (check out his current Long Jump rankings):

NSW Under 18’s # one.
NSW Under 20’s # two.
Nationals # 3

We are all super impressed with Tom’s achievements, and look forward to seeing him compete in the future! Here’s Tom’s story in our continuing “Power of Pilates” series, showcasing how Pilates is making a difference in the everyday lives of our members.

If you’d like to share your story with our Pilates community, please see Liane when you’re next in the studio!

Pilates Connection Member – Tom from Lane Cove (late teens)

Tom training on the Reformer

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

A hamstring tear. Suffering a grade 2 tear with a bit of tendon damage was devastating and it lightly disrupted the big off season training program I had planned in the lead up to the 18/19 season. Pilates come up as way to get back on the track quicker whilst hopefully preventing further injuries in the coming years.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

I started in April 2018, so about roughly 2 months.

How has Pilates helped you?

Definitely the activation of my glutes. A bit underdeveloped and not “firing” correctly before Pilates (a main reason for the hamstring tear), I could definitely see the benefits coming through after the first few weeks in the studio, the glutes becoming noticeably more responsive and powerful when on the track or in the gym.

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

I absolutely love the reformer, mainly because of its versatility. You could be sweating it out doing an exercise for the pure purpose of strength or having a good stretch on it before or after your session. But saying that, most of the other pieces of equipment are similar and adaptable, but I just enjoy the reformer the most!

Here’s the links to our other Member’s stories:

Gerald’s Story

Paul’s Story

Jane’s Story

Ran’s Story

Liz’s Story



Quick Pilates routine for the holidays – anywhere, anytime!

Over the Christmas and New Year period, it’s easy to drop the good exercise and eating habits you’ve worked on all year – especially if you’re away on holidays. If you have a spare 15-20 minutes a few times a week, here’s a great basic routine that can be done anywhere with no equipment required. If you don’t have an exercise mat with you, just use a towel from the hotel (or sneak into the gym)!

The following article and images  have been sourced from and written by By Marguerite Ogle.

Use this quick Pilates workout anytime you want to go through a routine designed to give you a balanced and challenging set of Pilates exercises. This workout is appropriate for all levels and modifications are given for exercise.

What You Need for the Quick Pilates Workout

The exercises are done on an exercise mat without any additional equipment. You just need space for your mat and comfortable exercise clothing so you can go through a full range of motion with each move.

Getting Started with the Quick Pilates Workout

Follow the links in each exercise to get full exercise instructions and then return back to see the rest of the sequence. This workout will include these seven Pilates mat exercises:

  • Pelvic Curl
  • The Hundred
  • Single Leg Stretch
  • Spine Stretch
  • Swimming
  • Plank
  • Saw

Exercise 1: Pilates Pelvic Curl

Teaching supporting student lying on back in pilates class

Liam Norris/Cultura/Getty Images

Pelvic Curl is a warm-up for the spine and abdominal muscles. It also works the lower body and helps coordinate breath and movement. It’s a great way to start your quick Pilates workout.

Get instructions for Pelvic Curl, then return to this workout series.

The Hundreds
 The Hundreds. Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

The Hundred is a classic Pilates exercise. It builds strength, stamina and coordination. You must use your breath and really activate your powerhouse at the same time.

Woman doing pilates on beach, Malibu, California

 Single Leg Stretch. Reggie Casagrande/Getty Images

Single Leg Stretch is one of the best Pilates mat exercises for working the abdominals. It is an especially good exercise for the lower abdominals. If flat abs. is one of your goals, this exercise is for you.

The Spine Stretch

 The Spine Stretch. Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

Spine Stretch is a Pilates mat exercise that feels really good. It can show up anywhere in your workout as a great stretch for the back and the hamstrings.

Exercise 5: Pilates Swimming Exercise

Launch Of Fitbit Local Free Community Workouts In San Diego : News Photo CompEmbedShareAdd to Board Launch Of Fitbit Local Free Community Workouts In San Diego

 Pilates Swimming Exercise. Robert Benson/Getty Images for Fitbit

Swimming is a fun exercise, yet quite a workout. Swimming, like the activity it is named after, works every part of the body. This one is perfect for toning your abs. butt, back and hamstrings in a quick workout.

Exercise 6: Plank – Pilates Front Support

Pilates Front Support
 Pilates Front Support. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

While Plank really targets the abdominal muscles and shoulder stability, you will find that plank is an excellent way to get a full body challenge. It is often modified to help build core stability for beginners and those with physical challenges.

Exercise 7: Pilates Saw Exercise

The Pilates saw.

 The Pilates saw. Angela Coppola/Getty Images

Saw is a basic Pilates mat exercise that is appropriate for all workout levels. It is a good spine stretch, utilizing spinal rotation and the breath to increase the stretch.

We hope you enjoyed this great quick workout!

What is Structural Integration and who can it benefit?

What is Structural Integration?

Anatomy Trains Structural Integration, (A.T.S.I.), is a style of myofascial bodywork that helps to ease, lift and align your body organising the anatomical building blocks towards their correct position by manipulating the fascia.

This encourages better posture and for the muscles to be used properly, reducing stress on ligaments and abnormal wear of joint surfaces.

Once in better alignment, your body moves with more ease and efficiency and is much less likely to feel pain.

Unlike massage, A.T.S.I focuses on the body’s fascia. A system of connective tissue that runs throughout the body like a continuous web surrounding the muscles, bones, organs, veins and nerves, helping to give the body its shape and structure. Healthy fascia allows the muscles to slide and glide over one-another, but unhealthy fascia does the very opposite, restricting movement and pulling the body out of alignment, causing aching muscles and joint pain.

  • Less muscle aches and joint pain
  • Increased mobility and flexibility
  • Improved posture
  • Better body alignment
  • Enables muscles to work correctly
  • A sense of lift and less sluggishness
  • Long lasting results

A.T.S.I. is best suited to addressing long-term aches, pains, injuries and restrictions, which other therapies may only have offered short -term relief. Post treatment regular movement and exercise, such as Pilates will help to maintain your newfound flexibility, alignment and strength.

Who can Structural Integration benefit?

Pretty much anyone with a skeleton held together with muscles and connective tissue. From five to ninety-five years old, athlete or couch potato, all can benefit from Anatomy Trains Structural Integration bodywork, (A.T.S.I.)

Many factors contribute to the fascial tissues becoming dried, tight and ‘stuck’ . Poor posture, the body’s response to injury and trauma, the constant pull of gravity, or just spending too much time sitting behind the wheel of your car, or hunched over a phone or computer.

Over time this may cause your body to take on subtle bends, shifts, tilts and rotations as it attempts to accommodate the changes in the facial network, restricting muscle functioning, postural alignment, compressing organs and compromising movement patterns.

A.T.S.I. helps to lengthen and unwind the fascia from its tensioned or tight holding patterns, allowing greater ease and efficiency of movement. The skeletal structures then tend towards their correct alignment and long-term joint pain and stiffness is greatly reduced. This is an advantage to any body, but it’s particularly poignant as we age. Staying fit, pain free and mobile has never been so important, as more and more of us are now living to a greater age.

At the other end of the spectrum, many athletes are now trained to master the energy recoil action that healthy fascia offers and use this energy transfer to accelerate and enhance performance. For more information on Anatomy Trains in training email

Structural Integration work demands a degree of energy and focus from the participating client. So if you are currently very unwell, or pregnant it is advisable to wait until these conditions have passed before starting an A.T.S.I treatment program.

For more information on Structural Integration – please contact Liane in the studio, or visit          North Shore Structural Integration website.


Thaw out your Frozen Shoulder!

What is Frozen Shoulder?

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition characterised by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time and then resolve, usually within one to three years.

The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.

Doctors aren’t sure why this happens to some people, although it’s more likely to occur in people who have diabetes or those who recently had to immobilize their shoulder for a long period, such as after surgery or an arm fracture.


Frozen shoulder typically develops slowly, and in three stages. Each stage can last a number of months.

  • Freezing stage. Any movement of your shoulder causes pain, and your shoulder’s range of motion starts to become limited.
  • Frozen stage. Pain may begin to diminish during this stage. However, your shoulder becomes stiffer, and using it becomes more difficult.
  • Thawing stage. The range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve.

For some people, the pain worsens at night, sometimes disrupting sleep.

Risk Factors

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing frozen shoulder.

Age and sex

People 40 and older, particularly women, are more likely to have frozen shoulder.

Immobility or reduced mobility

People who’ve had prolonged immobility or reduced mobility of the shoulder are at higher risk of developing frozen shoulder. Immobility may be the result of many factors, including:

  • Rotator cuff injury
  • Broken arm
  • Stroke
  • Recovery from surgery

Systemic diseases

People who have certain diseases appear more likely to develop frozen shoulder. Diseases that might increase risk include:

  • Diabetes
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Parkinson’s disease


Most frozen shoulder treatment involves controlling shoulder pain and preserving as much range of motion in the shoulder as possible. In severe cases, your doctor may also recommend surgical and other procedures.


Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with frozen shoulder. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs.


A physical therapist can teach you range-of-motion exercises to help recover as much mobility in your shoulder as possible. Your commitment to doing these exercises is important to optimise recovery of your mobility.

Here at Pilates Connection, we are currently helping treat a number of clients with Frozen Shoulder, via specific routines designed to stretch both the posterior and anterior muscles of the shoulder, as well as doing range of motion and shoulder strengthening exercises. Regular Structural Integration (KMI) sessions can also help improve shoulder mobility and associated pain caused by Frozen Shoulder.

If you’ve had an injury that makes it difficult to move your shoulder, or think you may be in the early stages of Frozen Shoulder, talk to us about exercises you can do to maintain the range of motion in your shoulder joint.

Source: Mayo Clinic