Tag Archives: pilates

Pilates Fix-Ups: Are you making these mistakes in Tabletop position?

As those who come to our classes know, we generally commence our routine on the mats before progressing to the equipment based exercises. The foundation of many floor exercises starts with Tabletop legs, which is an exercise in its own right, but also leads on to several variations. The tabletop position challenges the transverse abdmoninus muscle (a deep core muscle that’s difficult to engage in many other ab exercises), and when done correctly, builds strength and stability in your abs and back.

It may look easy, however getting into this tabletop position correctly can be tricky. It’s important that the right muscles are engaged at the right time, to prevent “doming of the abdomen”, and curving the spine, which can lead to injury.

Take a look at the video below, where Larissa demonstrates what you should and shouldn’t be doing when getting into tabletop position. If you’re still in doubt, please check with us next time you’re in the studio!

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical Pilates Vs Regular Pilates – What’s the difference?

With the huge explosion in popularity for Pilates worldwide, there seems to be new studios regularly popping up on every corner. The same can be said for our local Lane Cove area, with locals spoilt for choice when it comes to the variety of Pilates classes on offer.

Whether classes are offered as part of a gym membership, in a local community space, or in a  purpose built studio, there is a class for everyone – but what is the difference between these classes, and which is best for you?

Essentially it depends on what you’re trying to get out of Pilates. If you’re fit and healthy, and are happy to work in larger groups with minimal individual instruction, then a gym solution may be fine. If however you are new to Pilates, or have any specific imbalances or past / current injuries, then a more tailored program with a small teacher to student ratio is recommended.

You may also hear people use the term “clinical Pilates”, which is often run by Physiotherapists, and other highly qualified trainers. This is the sort of Pilates that we offer here at Pilates Connection, where we also hold the highest level of Pilates training certification as a member of the professional body, The Pilates Alliance of Australasia. Whilst we don’t diagnose injuries or conditions, we do work alongside many healthcare professionals to develop injury management and rehabilitation programs for the individual.

Ongoing staff training and development is key to our success here at Pilates Connection.  One of our core instructors, Larissa is a trained Physiotherapist, whilst Owner and Instructor Liane is a fully qualified Pilates Instructor and a certified Structural Integration Practitioner. This may give you a better understanding as to why we’re continually analysing movement patterns and restrictions before prescribing exercises to address any recognised imbalances or specific conditions or pathologies.

Here’s a quick look at the core differences between Clinical Pilates and Regular Pilates (larger group classes on the mat or reformer):

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

The Power of Pilates – Tom’s Story

Today, Pilates Connection member Tom is sharing his Pilates experience with us. After suffering a burst disc in his back, Tom suffered major back pain, and was told he would most likely never be able to play competitive sport again. Find out how Tom made a comeback to competitive basketball below ….

Pilates Connection Member – Tom F, 50 something from Chatswood West

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

It was recommended to me after I had had a major issue with my back. Having had back pain for several years, I burst a disc in my back about 4 years ago. The recovery was very slow and at one point it looked like I would not be able to do anything “active” going forward. Pilates was recommended to me and it has been a game changer. I am back playing competitive Basketball, something they said I would never be able to do.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

I’ve been doing classes at Pilates Connection for 3 years.

What made you choose Pilates Connection? 

Initially I choose the studio based on the location in Lane cove as it is very convenient for me. But I soon discovered there were several convenient studios in the area. I have stayed with Pilates Connection because of their professionalism, the great staff and the approach they take in working with their clients. They took the time to understand why I came, what my goals were and have the skills and talents to help me achieve those goals.

How has Pilates helped you?

As mentioned above I was coming to terms after my back injury with never being able to fully exercise or play sport again. Pilates has been a major factor in proving that wrong.

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

The reformer –  because it’s always best to exercise whilst laying on your back!

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

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

 

 

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 – Paul’s Story

Many new to Pilates have the perception that it’s just for women. This couldn’t be further from the truth, with Pilates growing in popularity among men of all ages and fitness levels from pro athletes to those recovering from surgery. Here at Pilates Connection, we have several male members who are up for the challenge, looking to improve their strength and flexibility.

Here’s Paul’s story in the next installment of 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 – Paul from Lane Cove

Pilates Connection Member - Paul

Pilates Connection Member – Paul

What were your main reasons for starting Pilates?

To build more flexibility. I had plenty of aerobic exercise i.e. swimming but wanted to develop good core strength and balance.

How long have you been doing Pilates?

Since 2009 – 8 years

What made you choose Pilates Connection?

Liane had begun her Pilates with my wife Cindy, and then went on to gain her certification to teach Pilates. Exercise is hard – so it is always good to do it with enjoyment. Liane and team provide a fun environment with a lot of jocularity/jokes etc, and it’s great to know you are doing yourself good – whilst having fun. Also it is very apparent that Liane and team “know” their stuff.

How has Pilates helped you?

Pilates has enabled me to recover from a knee and hip replacement – by enabling me to build out the requisite strength in those areas – prior to the operations and then afterwards as part of a rehab program.

Recently I had a traumatic period in hospital, and Pilates has helped me rapidly build up my strength as part of my rehab.Learning to stretch properly, and become more flexible.

What’s your favourite exercise or piece of equipment?

I enjoy all aspects of the Pilates equipment – as they say “variety is the spice of life” – and the multiple pieces of equipment make it enjoyable and interesting as you move around the floor. If I had to choose – the reformer just pips everything else.

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

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

 

 

 

How does Pilates fit into your health plan?

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Pilates – working alongside modern medicine and complementary therapies for optimal results.

Here at Pilates Connection, we are fortunate to have a high referral rate from doctors, surgeons, and other specialists, who send clients to us for strengthening and rehabilitation work. This may come in the form of clients who have a specific injury they need to recover from, and strengthen parts of the body to help prevent future occurrences, right through to those who have had spinal surgery, or are embarking on hip / knee replacements and are looking to strengthen the body pre and post-surgery for more effective recovery.

Offering private and small class sizes allows us to focus on the individual needs of each and every client here, and provide a tailored program in a safe environment. We also work very closely with many local practitioners such as physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and others, to help treat our clients as a “whole person”, not just a specific injury or disease. As with many complementary therapies, Pilates focuses on having a better balanced body, and is founded on six core principles that make up the foundation on which Pilates is built:

  1. Centering:This concept is defined as physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Energetically, Pilates exercises are sourced from center.
  2. Concentration:If you bring full attention to the exercise and do it with full commitment, you will obtain maximum value from each movement.
  3. Control:Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices. It is all a conscious, deliberate movement that the mind is controlling.
  4. Precision:In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.
  5. Breath:Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.
  6. Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way.

All of these principles relate to one another, and using these through Pilates, we teach you about body awareness, and how to control your mind, which in turn controls your body, allowing it to function and move better.

If you are new to Pilates, or a local health practitioner who would like a personal tour of our studio, we’re happy to show you around and share some success stories of wonderful results our clients have achieved with Pilates working alongside modern medicine and other complementary therapies. Please contact Liane on 0400 012 693 for more information.

 

Is your body ready for skiing this season?

spring-skiing

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first dusting of snow has fallen in NSW and VIC, meaning the ski season is getting closer. Given most of us only visit the slopes once a year, skiing can be very taxing on the body. On one run, you may be flying down the mountain, and the next minute you’re face down in a pile of snow. Whilst there are some things you can’t control on the mountain, like the weather, terrain, or other skiers, you can train and strengthen your body, reduce the likelihood of injury, and lessen fatigue.

Skiing requires strength (especially leg strength to protect the knees), endurance (to avoid fatigue), and agility (to react to sudden changes in the terrain).  To get maximum benefits on the snow, you should focus training on the following three major muscle groups, in the lead up to your next ski holiday:

  1. Quadriceps – located at the front of your thighs and joining onto the knees, these muscles are very important as you gain speed down the mountain, allowing you to control your turns and soak up the impact of the terrain (especially when it comes to moguls!). The stronger these muscles are, the more they will protect the knees from possible injury.
  2. Gluteals (the buttocks) – play a big role in skiing by stabilising your legs and helping you to balance. Conditioning your gluteal muscles will also help increase your power and endurance.
  3. Abdominals – essential for core stability on the slopes, helping you to stay upright, turn more easily, and prevent lower back injury.

We spend so much time and effort making arrangements for a ski holiday when it comes to accommodation, transport, and equipment, but don’t forget, if your body isn’t in the right condition, it can lead to soreness and injury. It’s all very well having a great first day on the slopes, but if you’re so stiff that you can’t get out of bed on day two, it can put a real dampener on the trip!

Pilates is a great way to strengthen all of the muscles groups essential for skiing, and can help pave the way for a more enjoyable and injury free holiday. If you’d like to find out more about how Pilates Connection can get you ready for the ski season, please phone Liane on 0400 012 693.