Pilates Studio Seattle

The Benefits of Pilates – Move Like a Cat, Plus More

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According to this Time article Pilates has a multitude of benefits:

  • MOVE LIKE A CAT, i.e., increased sensory awareness or mindfulness
  • improved posture
  • improved overall body control (ever knock yourself over by kicking or punching too hard in kickboxing class?)
  • reduced low back pain
  • increased flexibility
  • increased trunk stability
  • increased athletic performance
  • reduced injury risk
  • improved mood
  • reduced stress (tip: break up your workday and swing by BTP for a midday pilates class, AKA – stress buster)
  • more symmetrical body
  • weight loss (strength training elevates your resting metabolism rate, burn more calories while you sleep!)

Pilates not painkillers the best cure for backache

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According to the World Health Organization the lifetime prevalence of low back pain is 60-70%. This is significant. Unfortunately, for too many people the first intervention for back pain are NSAIDs. While these drugs may help temporarily, they do little to address the underlying issues that cause back pain. A Sunday Times article recently reviewed a study that suggests that the most effective treatments for back pain are exercise and psychological therapy, with exercise being used to treat the underlying condition and psychological therapy used to assist with pain management.

“Anti-inflammatory pills such as ibuprofen are widely used as a first choice for patients with lower back pain. However, scientists found that they made so little difference that most people would not notice the effect. Exercise is usually recommended instead, which for some patients could include Pilates, yoga or stretching.”

Read more here.

Transversus Abdominis Tutorial

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Those of you who have taken Pilates at Bodytonic are use to receiving lots of cueing for Trasversus Abdominis (TVA). TVA is the most frequently referred to “core muscle”. BTP students know that TVA wraps laterally around ones abdomen from the bottom of the ribcage to the crest of the pelvis and that it works to stabilize the spine by compressing the abdomen and also aids in forced expiration. For some, this description “clicks” quickly, but for those of you who would like a more thorough description with visual aids, here is video that may help:

 

How to Minimize Cramping

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Now that the weather is warming up (FINALLY) you might find yourself more prone to cramping, especially if you’re prone to sweating lots, such as myself. Here are some tips to minimize cramping:

  1. Audit your hydration.
  2. Check your electrolytes.
  3. Massage, myofascial release, i.e., get on that foam roller.
  4. Hydrate every 15 minutes; that’s 3 times during and hour long class.

Read more details here.

Tips for exercising in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s

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30s

  • “Exercise in intense bursts at 80 to 95 percent of your max, interspersed with recovery pauses to allow your heart rate to return to normal.”
  • “Aim to exercise five times a week with one day reserved for high intensity cardio (at least 45 minutes).”
  • “Your exercise regimen should also include balance and flexibility training.”

40s

  • “Continue training with weights three to four times a week, and up the cardio to five times a week, reserving one day for rest.”
  • “In terms of strength training, remember quality over quantity. Focus on doing the movements slowly and with control.”
  • “Maintaining or improving flexibility will be crucial in the years ahead.”

50s

  • “Focus on saving your back by strengthening your core muscles and keeping good posture. Yoga and Pilates are helpful for both.”
  • “You will also need additional recovery time after a hard workout, so go easy — aim to exercise more frequently but with a moderate level of intensity.”
  • “Ideally, get in a half-hour of cardio every day.”

60s

  • “Weight training is a must, ideally three times a week, alternating between upper and lower body muscle groups and using light weights.”
  • “Incorporate balance exercises and stretch, stretch, stretch.”
  • “Aim for three days a week of moderately intense cardio.”

Read more here.

 

Vintage Footage – The Wunda Chair

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Make More Time – Become a Morning Person

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In theme with our recent articles on making time for exercise in our busy lives, is a recent Huffington Post article with 6 tips to become a morning person. If unlike myself, you don’t have a toddler who wakes you up between 5:00am – 6:00am, these tips may come in really handy.

  1. Calculate your ideal bedtime.
  2. Identify your stay-awake triggers.
  3. Create a morning to-do list.
  4. Reward yourself.
  5. Exercise
  6. Ask yourself, “Why do you want to do this?”

Read more here.

The Power of 30-minute Work Outs

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“We were surprised when we found out that the 71 minutes a week not only prevented a loss of fitness,” Church says, “but it actually resulted in an increase in fitness.”

One of the biggest obstacles to exercise adherence is lack of time. Now that I am mother to an on-the-go toddler I understand this so much more than ever. Juggling family time, work obligations, your children’s health and education needs, plus your own health and self-care needs can sometimes seem like an impossible scheduling dilemma. However there is good news; some researchers have found that your workouts don’t necessarily need to be an hour plus in duration to receive health benefits. The study referenced here followed a group of women who exercised for 25 minutes, 3 times per week.  At the end of this study all of these women saw improved cardiovascular fitness and decreased blood pressure.

Are you among the many people who have a hard time fitting in your work outs. If so, consider trying 30-minute Private Training Sessions at Bodytonic! Not only are these sessions easier to fit into your busy lives, they are also easier on your wallets.

30 minutes sessions at Bodytonic range from $40-45 per session.

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.

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