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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

 

 

Flexibility Training for the upcoming football season

Whether it’s rugby union, league, AFL or soccer you play at an elite or social level, now is the time to start pre-training for the upcoming Winter season. We’ve written before about flexibility training, and there is much debate in professional circles as to which type of training is best for which sport. At the end of the day, studies have shown that increased flexibility can increase performance in some sports, and also greatly reduce the risk of injury (because let’s face it, sometimes our aging bodies can’t keep up with our teen like enthusiasm!)

What is flexibility?

Flexibility is defined as the range of motion of your joints or the ability of your joints to move freely. It also refers to the mobility of your muscles, which allows for more movement around the joints. Range of motion is the distance and direction your joints can move, while mobility is the ability to move without restriction.

Here are some excerpts from an article on Sport Fitness Advisor to give you more insight into the benefits and different types of flexibility training:

The Benefits of Flexibility Training

By increasing this joint range of motion, performance may be enhanced and the risk of injury reduced (3,4). The rationale for this is that a limb can move further before an injury occurs.

Tight neck muscles for example, may restrict how far you can turn your head. If, during a tackle, your head is forced beyond this range of movement it places strain on the neck muscles and tendons.

Ironically, static stretching just prior an event may actually be detrimental to performance and offer no protection from injury (5,6). The emphasis is on “may” however, as a closer examination of the scientific literature shows that effects are often minimal and by no means conclusive.

Muscle tightness, which has been associated with an increased risk of muscle tears (7,8), can be reduced before training or competing with dynamic stretching. For this reason many coaches now favor dynamic stretches over static stretches as part of the warm up.

Competitive sport can have quite an unbalancing effect on the body (9,10). Take racket sports for example. The same arm is used to hit thousands of shots over and over again. One side of the body is placed under different types and levels of stress compared to the other. The same is true for sports like soccer and Australian rules football where one kicking foot usually predominates. A flexibility training program can help to correct these disparities preventing chronic, over-use injury.

Of course, a more flexible athlete is a more mobile athlete. It allows enhanced movement around the court or field with greater ease and dexterity. Some other benefits may include an increase in body awareness and a promotion of relaxation in the muscle groups stretched – both of which may have positive implications for skill acquisition and performance.

Types of Flexibility and Stretching

1. Dynamic flexibility — the ability to perform dynamic movements within the full range of motion in the joint. Common examples include twisting from side to side or kicking an imaginary ball. Dynamic flexibility is generally more sport-specific than other forms of mobility.

2. Static Active flexibility — this refers to the ability to stretch an antagonist muscle using only the tension in the agonist muscle. An example is holding one leg out in front of you as high as possible. The hamstring (antagonist) is being stretched while the quadriceps and hip flexors (agonists) are holding the leg up.

3. Static Passive flexibility — the ability to hold a stretch using body weight or some other external force. Using the example above, holding your leg out in font of you and resting it on a chair. The quadriceps are not required to hold the extended position.

A flexibility training program can be made up of different types of stretching:

Dynamic stretching
Ballistic stretching
Static Active stretching
Static Passive stretching
Isometric stretching
PNF stretching
Which type of flexibility training is best?

It depends on the sport and the athlete’s outcomes – something which will be examined more closely in the articles below. As a general rule, dynamic stretches are used as part of a warm up and static stretches or PNF flexibility training is used for increasing range of motion.

To read the full article and reference notes – click HERE . Don’t forget, Pilates is also a great form of flexibility training, and we’re always happy to customise a program specific to your sport and your current or desired body condition.

Related Articles:

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 www.verywell.com 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!

The Power of Pilates – Gerald’s Story

Meet Gerald, Pilates devotee, who has been practicing since the 1990s! He’s been a Pilates Connection member for the past couple of years, and through hard work and great focus, Gerald has become quite the master of balance! Strong balance is such an asset as we age,
as poor balance can result in falls and tumbles, which tend to lead us down the slippery path of injured hips, knees and worse.

We are all super impressed with Gerald’s achievements, if not a just a little bit proud of him too! Here’s Gerald’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 – Gerald from Lower North Shore

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

To keep my body and muscles moving as I age, and to develop good core strength and balance.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

I have been attending classes at Pilates Connection since July 2015, when my daughter relinquished her Neutral Bay practice.Since 2009 – 8 years

What made you choose Pilates Connection?

I came to Pilates Connection on the recommendation of my daughter, Ingrid Shaw,
with whom I had taken Pilates classes intermittently from the 1990’s and regularly from the early 2000’s

How has Pilates helped you?

The biggest benefits from my Pilates classes are that it slows the ageing process and I remain fully mobile and not subject to continual stiffness and strains. When I have strained anything, e.g. my back, it is soon put to rights

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

All of the equipment is well designed and it is difficult to single out any in particular,
but I am constant challenged by all the equipment which requires me to keep my balance and develop my core and other muscles.

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

Paul’s Story

Jane’s Story

Ran’s Story

Liz’s Story

 

 

The Power of Pilates – Jane’s Story

Proving to be one of our most widely read blog articles, we’re continuing our “Power of Pilates” series, showcasing how Pilates is making a difference in the everyday lives of our members.

We hope you’re inspired by these real life stories, and if you’d like to share yours with our Pilates community, please see Liane when you’re next in the studio!

Pilates Connection Member – Jane from Lane Cove

 

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

I wanted to be able to be more flexible & have more strength. Also I had a “few” ongoing issues, and needed to get on top of them

How long have you been doing Pilates?

Since 2014 – 3 years

What made you choose Pilates Connection?

I’ve loved engaging with the Pilates teachers, and meeting a great group of people.

How has Pilates helped you?

Learning to stretch properly, and become more flexible.

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

I love the Cadillac (trapeze), as it really stretches my hips out.

 

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

Ran’s Story

Liz’s Story

 

 

 

The Power of Pilates – Ran’s Story

Here’s the second installment of our “Power of Pilates” initiative, showcasing how Pilates is making a difference in the everyday lives of our members.

Our members come in all shapes, sizes and ages, and for a variety of reasons, each with their own unique story to tell. We hope you enjoy reading about the Pilates journey that unites us all together, and if you’d like to share your experience, please see Liane when you’re next in the studio!

Pilates Connection Member – Ran from Lane Cove (40 something)

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

I was having significant problems with my lower back which was preventing me from doing my sport and causing me a lot of pain.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

I’ve been doing it at Pilates Connection for the last 4 years.

What made you choose Pilates Connection?

The teachers are extremely good and I always leave feeling better than I did when I arrived at the class.

How has Pilates helped you?

My back and core are now a lot stronger and I only get pain on rare occasions. Pilates has also improved my overall strength and flexibility which is helping my sport

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

Its difficult to pick one exercise I like the most, what I enjoy is that there seems to be an infinite number of different exercises, so you never get bored.

The Power of Pilates – Liz’s Story

We’re pleased to present a new initiative on our website and Facebook page, allowing current Pilates Connection members to share how the “Power of Pilates” is helping their everyday life.

Our members come in all shapes, sizes and ages, and for a variety of reasons, each with their own unique story to tell. We hope you enjoy reading about the Pilates journey that unites us all together, and if you’d like to share your experience, please see Liane when you’re next in the studio!

Pilates Connection Member – Liz from Lane Cove (40 something)

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

Following intensive treatment for breast cancer last year, I wanted to get as strong and flexible as possible to prepare for surgery. I was also dealing with a lot of after effects that left my body not quite working in the same way as before. It felt very empowering to be in control and be able to steadily build core strength on my own terms and at my own pace.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

14 months

What made you choose Pilates Connection?

A friend recommended Liane’s studio because of its highly personalised nature. There are a maximum of 4 people in each class, often less, and the instructors all get to know everyone. We all come along with our own issues that need addressing but I can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t benefit from Pilates.

How has Pilates helped you?

After my surgery and an unlucky run with infections, I could barely move my arm or shoulder. Pilates Connection really helped me with an individualised program to help regain movement and flexibility. The earlier ‘pre-hab’ work also made a big difference. It really is a fantastic exercise course as you build at your own pace. Today, without doubt, my core is 100% stronger than it’s ever been before. In fact my surgeon actually filmed me doing a sit up to show her other patients – she couldn’t believe it!

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

I love the foam roller. It can fix a thousand things, whether you’re rolling out tight shoulders or stretching out all your body parts. Plus once you get the hang of it you can easily use one at home.

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.

Symptoms

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

Treatment

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.

Medications

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.

Therapy

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