Pilates

Bridging Then and Now

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Vintage Mat Class

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Here is a look at an original Pilates Mat Class taught by the one and only Joseph Pilates. This video and is both interesting and funn(y) to watch. Both beginning and advanced Pilates students will recognize some of the exercises taught in this video. The well seasoned Pilates practitioner will notice some modern kinesiology and biomechanics inspired adaptions absent from this video. For example, JP provides a cardio warm up in which he bounces on the balls of his feet while in plantar flexion. Nope. Don’t do it. 🙂

3 of My Favorite Arm Exercies

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Shave the Head, Forward Reach, and Boxing with Rotation are 3 of my favorite arm exercises. They are nothing new or terribly innovative, but they are dynamic and they feel great. Shave and Forward reach are especially great because they really challenge your back extensors and Boxing will provided a surprisingly good workout for your quadriceps and gluteals. The finger flip I incorporate during Forward Reach is not a component of the classical choreography, but rather hints at my early gymnastics background, muscle memory ya’ know.

Trapeze Table Origination

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Vintage Pilates Video

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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.

Holiday Special! $50 off all Intro Packages!

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Enhance your Running Performance with Pilates

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eve's lungeAccording to Christine Carbo, of Women’s Running, Pilates cross training enhances runners performance for the following reasons:

  • Increased core strength
  • Improved postural balance
  • Reduced injury risk
  • Increased muscular endurance and speed
  • Quicker and more comprehensive recovery
  • Improved breath control
  • Improved balance

Read more details here.

Arabesque/Bicycle Mashup

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This vlog is sort of an extension of my previous vlog post on Upstretch. Arabesque is a dynamic exercise and one of my favorites because you achieve both strengthening and stretching during practice of it. Also the dynamics of the movement provide tons of areas where one’s alignment can go wrong, so there is always a lot to focus on. Bicycle is also one of my favorites simply because it is challenging and can get your heart rate up. For those of you who are familiar with conventional gym exercises, Pilates Bicycle on the reformer, is kind of like a really ramped up mountain climber. We see a bit more Arabesque in this mashup than Bicycle, so I’ll have to make a post of Bicycle and some fun variations of it in the future.

Can Pilates Help Your Yoga Practice?

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Why yes, it can! Really, Pilates enhances one’s performance of any physical activity or sport. This video is of Dr.Oz performing a classic Sun Salutation flow. Dr.Oz does an overall great job of this invigorating sequence and his coach provides some important reminders like to breathe deep and engage your core. With this said there were some elements of Dr.Oz’s flow that deserved some more detailed feedback. For those of you who have taken Pilates, you will recognize this to be an intrinsic and critical element to any Pilates practice – detail. You can think of Pilates instructors as your anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology geeks of the fitness world. This geekery may cause us to be a little on the type-A side, but the best instructors also teach this attention to detail with creativity and empathy. With this said, here is a critique of Dr.Oz’s Sun Salutation through the eyes of your very own Pilates instructor, moi!

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Given the above issues with alignment, here is a list of the corrections that need to be made:

1.      chaturanga dandasana

  • Correction – protract scapulas, pull cervical vertebrae posteriorly as if making a double chin, bend elbows less so they just touch the ribcage.

4.      urdhva mukha – went from dorsiflexion to plantarflexion in both feet simultaneously.

  • Correction – Plantarflex one foot at a time, less general extension to facilitate less lumbar and cervical extension and more thoracic extension.

 

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