Pilates Studio Seattle

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.

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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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.

Upstretch – Much More Than a Stretch

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Planking is all the rage and with good reason! It strengthens arm, shoulder, abdominal, back, and hip muscles. Want the specifics? Or course you do! The following muscles are utilized during your basic plank when practiced in good form:

  • Transversus abdominis (if you remember to contract it)
  • External obliques
  • Rectus abominus
  • Quadratus lumborum
  • Erector spinae
  • Gluteus medius and minimus
  • Anterior deltoids
  • Pectoralis major
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres major and minor
  • Serratus anterior
  • Rhomboids
  • Lower trapezius
  • Biceps brachii
  • Brachialis
  • Triceps

That’s an awful lot of muscles for just one exercise and this is with just a basic plank. Think of all the additional muscles groups that are added as you modify your plank. In the video above I am demonstrating one of my favorite planking exercises called up stretch. As you can see, it is really much more than a stretch!

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