Pre Exercise Rituals

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What do you do to prepare for your workouts? Do you fuel up on a certain type of snack, listen to energizing music, or hydrate with water or an electrolyte drink. Along with having regularly scheduled work outs, also having pre exercise rituals helps to increase exercise adherence. For ballet dancer’s preparing point shoes can be a big part of their pre dance ritual. Check out this video of PNB’s Kaori Nakamura working on her point shoes.

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The Stomach Series

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The Stomach Series is one of my favorite Pilates exercises. It is dynamic, fun, invigorating, and easily modified to suit different strength levels. The exercise involves practicing 5 or more abdominal exercises consecutively. While this exercise does wonders for strengthening all of your abdominal muscles it is also practiced in a very safe position for the vertebral column.

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Advanced Short Spine Variation

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This video is of an advanced variation of a crowd favorite Pilates exercise, Short Spine. I think Pilates practitioners love this exercise because it allows for a deep stretch and elongation of the back muscles. Like many classic Pilates exercises, the movement in this exercise involves vertebral column loading while in flexion. It should be noted that loading in flexion IS NOT the safest position for your spine. Therefore, exercises that involve loading in flexion should not be performed by everyone, and when performed they should be practiced sparingly, cautiously, and with focus. Furthermore, exercises in vertebral column flexion should be balanced with those performed in extension. During your next workout, note how many exercises involve vertebral column loading.

P.S – Please forgive my fly-aways and early 2000s workout attire. This video was made in 2014 and was originally produced for my eyes only so that I could check out my own form from various angles.

The Keys to Health – Diet, Exercise, and Altruism?

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altruism“When Canadian tenth-graders in a recent study began volunteering at an after-school program for children, the high schoolers lost weight and had improved cholesterol profiles compared to their non-volunteering peers. (Even in Canada, teenagers have cholesterol problems.) In the journal JAMA Pediatrics, the researchers concluded, “Adolescents who volunteer to help others also benefit themselves, suggesting a novel way to improve health.”

In another randomized controlled trial at Washington University in St. Louis, older adults who began tutoring children through a program called Experience Corps demonstrated improvements in stamina, memory, and flexibility, as well as levels of depression. When I spoke with Kim last year, he attributed at least part of those gains to the effects of a sense of purpose in life.” (Hamblin, 2015)

Read more here.

Holiday Special! $50 off all Intro Packages!

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Just Breathe!

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whale-just-breathJust breathe! But, how, what does this look like, and why should I do it?

We will go over the how and what in a bit, but let’s start with the why.

Why Breathe? (Aside from the obvious)

Focused, deep breathing has been associated with a multitude of health benefits:

  • reduced stress
  • reduced depression
  • reduced anxiety
  • reduced insomnia
  • enhanced immune system
  • decreased pain

Here is a NYT article that briefly reviews some of the benefits of breathing. My favorite part of this article is at the end where it explains 5 deep breathing techniques that you can easily practice. Also, here is another article from Harvard Health Publications that again briefly reviews the benefits of breathing and provides some tips to incorporate a breathing practice into your daily life.

What does proper breathing look like.

In general, when you inhale (inspiration) your rib cage draws upward and expands three dimensionally. When you exhale (expiration) your ribcage drops and deflates 3 dimensionally. When I say 3 dimensionally, I am referring to the anterior, posterior, and lateral surfaces of your ribcage.

How do I breathe? What muscles are involved?

Did you know that there two different levels of inhaling and exhaling. These levels of breathing are known regular or passive inhaling/exhaling and forced or active inhaling/exhaling. Inhaling and exhaling, both in regular and forced forms require different structural movements and therefore different muscular actions. The following video summarizes these concepts nicely. Note how transversus abdominis facilitates forced expiration and how the neck muscles, sternocleidodmastoid and the scalenes facilitate forced inspiration.

And here is another video the reviews the mechanics of breathing in a more detailed fashion.

Enjoy and breathe on!

BOGO!

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Buy one, Get one!

bogo-1

Buy One Private Equipment Lesson, and Get a Second Lesson for FREE!

Valid for 1st time clients and clients who have been on hiatus for 6 months plus.

Offer valid until October 16th 2016

signup.

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Vlog – Ab Series!

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This vlog post is of one of my favorite abdominal series. For my advanced ladies this series usually serves as a warm up, while a modified version might serve as an exercise in a beginner or intermediate class. Notice how slow and controlled these ladies are moving. The results of this style of movement are enhanced neuromuscular connection, more opportunity for healthy skeletal alignment, increased muscular endurance, and increased physical awareness/mindfulness. Additionally, slow and controlled movement is generally a safer method of moving compared to quick and sloppy. No sloppy Pilates here!!!

Bodytonic Pilates is Hiring Pilates Instructors!

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Bodytonic Pilates, a progressive and fun to work at urban boutique Pilates studio in Seattle’s Pioneer Square is looking for Pilates instructors for part-time and substitute contract work. We are looking for instructors who are available to cover the following shifts:

Mondays 11:30am – 2:30pm
Tuesdays 11:30am – 2:30pm & 4:30pm – 8:30pm
Fridays 11:30am – 2:30pm

You must be experienced and have a high client retention rate for this opportunity. Instructors teach private, duet, and trio equipment and mat lessons.

Our studio prides itself on its detailed commitment to our client’s needs and abilities and for offering a warm, non-intimidating, yet challenging and positive environment to everyone who walks through our doors.

We provide:
✩ A beautiful boutique space housed in a historic Pioneer Square building. The studio is equipped with 3 Stott Reformers, 1 Stott Rehab Reformer 2 Stott Stability Chairs, 2 Stott Trapeze tables and a variety of small equipment.
✩ No more than 2 instructors work at once, providing for a focused and intimate workspace.
✩ Inclusion in our website, mindbody software and bi-monthly newsletters.
✩ A professional, open and positive work environment.
✩ Competitive pay.

Qualifications:
✩ equipment certified
✩ carry your own liability insurance & business license
✩ we prefer you to have 3 years of experience, but are open to the right instructor
✩ appreciation of and ability to work with both contemporary & classical approaches
✩ ability to work with both post-rehab and athletically oriented clients
✩ experienced, detail oriented, dedicated, and mature is a must
✩ collaborative & enthusiastic work attitude

To apply: send your resume, cover letter, availability, and desired compensation to nadia@bodytonicpilates.com.

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More on the Sacroiliac Joint – SI Joint Dysfunction

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