Month: August 2013

Slooow Down – The Benefits of Eccentric Contractions



Has your Pilates instructor ever directed you to sloow down? If you’ve worked out at Bodytonic Pilates, you’ve certainly heard this cue in one if not many of your classes. While this direction could be stemming from a number of objectives, one of the most common reasons to slow down while you are working out is to elongate and emphasize the time spent time spent in eccentric contractions, basically that part of the exercise that your muscles are producing force and lengthening as opposed to producing force and shortening (concentric). For those of who are familiar with the Pilates exercise the Teaser, when you are rolling up into your teaser you are contracting rectus abdominis (6-pack abs) concentrically, when you roll down and out of your teaser you are contracting rectus abdominis eccentrically. Now, if you let gravity take over and just plop down out of your Teaser, you reap little of the benefits that eccentrically contracting rectus abdominis has to offer. Focusing on eccentric contractions is a very efficient way to develop strength and flexibility, and increase metabolism.

The following two articles nicely cover the benefits of eccentric contractions. The first is a nice layman’s read and the second is a little bit more scholarly and geeky, it goes into muscle cell structure and biomechanics (sliding filament theory).

Read the layman’s article

Read the geeky article

New Mat Class Schedule Starting in September


We have a new and improved mat class schedule that we hope better accommodates your ability to attend a class! Our Mat Classes really give your abdominal muscles a run for their money, so we hope you join us!  Strong Abdominals = a Strong Body.

Mondays – 6pm w/Jennifer
Tuesdays – 11:30am w/Nadia
Wednesdays – 5:30pm w/Nadia
Thursdays – 11:30am w/Nadia

Welcome back Amanda and New Fall Mat Schedule


I’m very excited to announce that Amanda is returning to teach at Bodytonic after a leave of absence to complete her final year of naturopathic medical school.  Amanda graduated from Bastyr and gave birth to her first child this past June!  Impressive, no?  We’re soo proud of her!!She will be starting back on September 4th and her schedule will be:

Mondays 8am-11am
Wednesdays 10am-1pm
Thursdays 8am-11am
Saturdays 9am-1pm

For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to meet Amanda, here is a little about her:

Amanda Lucero began her work in the fitness industry in 1999, teaching a variety of group exercise formats including NIA, cardio kickboxing, and spinning. In 2000 she discovered Pilates at the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado and was hooked. While witnessing the profound personal changes resulting from a consistent Pilates practice, she began to view physical fitness in an entirely different light

After that she moved to San Francisco and became certified through the Ellie Herman Studios in 2004 and Lizz Roman’s Pilates physical rehabilitation intensive in 2005, which is based on the physiotherapy teachings of Dr. Vladimir Janda and his approach to chronic pain syndromes. While she enjoyed a busy and fruitful career as a trainer, learning about the rehabilitative aspects of Pilates inspired Amanda to deepen her education in health and wellness. In 2008 she moved to Seattle to study Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University.

During her five years at Bastyr, Amanda was trained as a primary care physician, using both conventional and naturopathic approaches. Her education includes physical medicine modalities such as myofascial release techniques, osteopathic/naturopathic manipulation, CranioSacral therapy, and Kinesiotaping. During her time as a student clinician, Amanda did four rotations in physical medicine, including one in pain management. Amanda graduated with a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr in June 2013, one week after giving birth to her first child. She plans to start her Naturopathic residency in 2014 at the Evergreen Center for Integrative Medicine.

Amanda enjoys teaching Pilates to all fitness levels and ages, including pre and post-natal clients. She believes Pilates is nurturing to the mind, body and spirit and loves providing a fun and effective workout for her clients. When Amanda is not training or healing others, she enjoys cooking, crafting botanical products, studying astrology, and spending time with her newly-expanded family.

If you’d like to take a class from Dr.Amanda, email Nadia!

Sitting & Mortality rates, the Importance of Integrating exercise into lifestyle.


The Mount Baker Hill Climb road race.

Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity. Public health programs should focus on reducing sitting time in addition to increasing physical activity levels…So, the key idea is for committed exercisers, and really the population as a whole, to find ways to build more physical activity into their day at work.
Michael J. Joyner, M.D.  “Why Exercise isn’t Enough”. Outside.