What’s the difference between Level 1 and 2 Pilate’s class?

They say knowledge is power.

The more knowledge you have about how your body works and the Pilates method the more effective your training will be.

Level 1 Pilates covers not only the fundamental exercises it reviews anatomy, alignment and breathing techniques.  If you don’t understand how to identify and maintain neutral of the lumbar spine and pelvis then you definately should be in Level 1.  If you haven’t taken a Pilates class before then Level 1 is recommended.

There are several principles which takes a little time to sink in:

  • Connecting with your breath to activate the core, each exercise has an exhale and inhale phase, often beginners fail to breath effectively, even hold their breath;
  • Knowing what navel to spine means – it doesn’t mean draw navel toward your back as this triggars a spinal imprint, it means meet your navel and anterior aspect of your spine opposite the navel (L3-4) in the middle of your body – this encourages neutral alignment and activates the transverse abdominus;
  • How to move sequentially through the vertebrae – it’s surprising how most of us have chunks of spine that are stuck together, each vertebrae should move freely from it’s neighbour like a string of pearls;
  • With the above point, most of us have very stiff necks, learning how to initiate an ab prep with a head nod – moving chin to chest, lifting the head first then the shoulder blades off the mat – is often really complicated;
  • How to keep the ribcage and thoracic spine from ‘popping’ with arm/shoulder movements;
  • Keeping the thoracic spine and ribcage quiet or not moving it to achieve neutral of the lumbar;
  • Most of our shoulder blades or scapula are stuck from habitual posture and/or repetitive movements – getting the scapula to move, as well as, knowing how to anchor them so that the shoulder girdle is strong, properly aligned and stable takes a bit of time before attempting the advanced full body weight exercises;
  • How to achieve the proper range of motion of the limbs for your body during the dynamic Pilate’s exercises – if you push beyond your body’s limit, alignement is compromised and the exercise is lost one doesn’t feel the proper stretch or muscle engagement – it’s all about method – not aimlessly following your neighbour or instructor – you gotta feel it;
  • all of the above assists the body into achieving better agility (range of motion / flexibility) while holding and developing a rock solid core – we now know how and begin to move from a strong, stable center – flowing from one exercise to the other.

Once you understand the above and begin to move from a strong centered core then Level 2 is a snap!   Even those with injuries or medical conditions can eventually progress in the Pilates repetoire – keeping the movements within their body’s ability.  The point is if you’re not feeling it and Pilate’s is stressing your body instead of making it feel energized, just step it back and learn the fundamentals.  It shouldn’t hurt – it should be challenging, gentle and mindful exercise for profound results.

For further explaination of the above principles (if you are one of those cognitive learners versus a kinesthetic one) read the Stott Pilates five basic principles attached pdf document:

Pilates5-Basic-principles

To your health and wellness – Do Pilates – You will feel the difference.

Anatomically aligned posture - standing

Anatomically aligned posture – standing

Pilate’s for Athletes

After playing hockey, golf or coming off the mountain do you ever feel like your body’s been through the ringer?  Like most athlete’s you just push yourself through the pain, test your limits and not worry too much about the after affects.  You’re tough and just accept some sore muscles and achy joints.  No pain no gain right?

You don’t have to feel like that – always in need of a good massage or hot tub.  Did you know Pilate’s training can help you move more efficiently so that whatever your sport you expend less energy, put less wear and tear on your spine and joints, so that  you have better endurance and focus.  WHAT?  Yeah.  Stop exercising to feel exhausted and beat up – exercise, play sport and feel energized.

Pilates is a revolutionary full body conditioning program, which focuses on training the mind and body to work together more effectively and efficiently. Pilates dramatically transforms the way the body looks, feels, and performs. It incorporates modern exercise science and rehabilitation principles, eliminating contraindicated movements while emphasizing neutral alignment, core stability and peripheral mobility. It builds strength without excess bulk. It teaches body awareness and good posture. Pilates improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion, and is a safe form of movement.  These factors are what also make it optimal for clients that need to rehabilitate injuries, thus why most good Physiotherapists are now trained in it.

Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion – invaluable for optimal sport performance  and optimal health.  In fact, all other forms of current exercise training now borrows from the Pilates principles and system.

Leg_Pull_Front

I have been an avid athlete for most of my life.  Growing up on a farm definitely contributed to the development of a natural athleticism – from building tree forts, picking rocks out of the fields, bringing in hay,  to chasing escaped cattle, fixing fences and tractors.  Attending a small school in this farming community, enabled me to participate in all of the sports offered. I eventually found my niche with Basketball.  After being offered a scholarship to a college in New York city and recruited by several Canadian universities, I chose to attend University of Toronto – mainly because they had the most number of players on our women’s national team and was one of the strongest teams in Canada.  And so I played competitive Basketball for the next 5 years of my life which truly was my job along with studies.

Of course playing within a varsity system with a demanding coach and trainer we competed, pushed ourselves to our limits, got our share of injuries and continued on thinking it was all good.  Not until graduate studies did I find the Pilates system and it rocked my world.

I thought I was a fit athlete – a basketball player, snowboarder and Ultimate player by that time – yet after training in the Pilate’s system I was humbled.  It changed my body.  My alignment morphed – my bones actually shifted and I was able to maintain neutral of the low back and pelvis in my sports and daily activities.   I developed incredible core strength, while my superficial muscles relaxed, lengthen and got leaner.  The years of holding a ready stance (i.e. defensive or athletic stance) took a toll creating a pattern of tight hip flexors and hamstrings with compensating low back muscles.  My shoulders and neck improved mobility and lost chronic tension.  It was a different world I was experiencing.

Now when I played sports I felt incredible.  I had seemingly boundless energy; could run faster, play longer, experienced less injury and no longer felt exhausted or sore afterwards. Not only could I  move better, I could focus more on the task at hand and that, to any athlete, is golden.

What I couldn’t at first grasp about the Pilates training is how subtle the exercises were.  It wasn’t pumping out push ups or burpees, running, cycling or cardio-ing to exhaustion.  Each exercise is seemingly gentle, yet when done correctly, creates a deep connection to the target muscle where a mere 8 reps are sufficient to make those muscles tremble. (1) (2)(3)(4) If you’re not feeling that muscle shake a slight readjustment in alignment and cueing will produce results.  As they say; it’s all about method!

Ab_Prep

That’s what I found so powerful about the Pilate’s method.  It makes you focus on your own body and how it’s suppose to work.  One is not just aimlessly imitating an instructor.  It focusses you on proper muscle sequencing, breath, contraction and relaxtion – producing a re-newed, re-organized body.  Try it I guarantee you will feel the difference.

Pilate’s classes now being offered at Revelution

Schedule a class for your sports team
& feel the difference!

 

1) Functional adaptability of muscle fibers to long-term resistance exercise  Shoep,e T.C., Stelzer, J.E., Garner, D.P., et al. Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA. Medicine and  Science in Sports Exercise. 2003 Jun;35(6):944-51.

2) Muscle fatigue: what, why and how it influences muscle function. Enoka, R.M., Duchateau, J. Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO. Journal of Physiology. 2008 Jan 1;586(1):11-23.

3) Measurement of voluntary activation of fresh and fatigued human muscles using transcranial magnetic stimulation  Todd G., Taylor JL., Gandevia SC. Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute and the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia. Journal of Physiology. 2003 Sep 1;551(Pt 2):661-71. Epub 2003 Aug 8.

4) The neurobiology of muscle fatigue: 15 years later. Barry, B.K, Enoka, R.M. Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 2007 Oct;47(4):465-73. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Pilate Revelution – Revelstoke’s new studio

Revelution_Logo

 

I just wanted to let you know about the new Pilates studio – Revelution.

Grand opening this Saturday.  Final finishing construction details are in the works.  Saturday at 1 pm is a free 1/2 hour Pilates demonstration with yours truly.  I hear it is already full with newbies.  You are welcome to drop by anytime and see the new place.

The stationary bicycles, TRX suspension systems, mats, foam rollers, thera-bands and all the other equipment are in place for a class of 15.  I trust the Pilates classes won’t have that many but there is enough equipment for that many bodies.
Go to: http://revelution.ca/classes/prices/ 
to see pricing details, classes offered, to schedule yourself into a class and even pay on line.

This is going to be the best location in Revelstoke for Pilates mat training.  See you there.

Best regards;

Samantha 

Jaedan Blue – meaning of

Green-Blue
Jaedan:
     A form of Jade, resembling the green gemstone. Green the colour of nature and earth. Also said one who is thankful to God; God has heard.  
 
Green
    In English green come from the Middle English and Anglo-Saxon word grene, from the same Germanic root as the words “grass” and “grow”.  It is the color of growing grass and leaves and as a result is the color most associated with springtime, growth and nature.  By far the largest contributor to green in nature is chlorophyll, the chemical by which plants photosynthesize and convert sunlight into energy. Many creatures camouflage themselves by taking on a green hue like their environments. Several minerals have a green color, including the emerald due to it’s chromium content.  Green is most commonly associated with nature, youth, spring, hope, envy and sometimes used to describe someone who is inexperienced.    
Blue: 
   The colour of clear sky and the deep sea.  It is located between violet and green on the optical spectrum.  Blue is the colour commonly associated with harmony, faithfulness, confidence, distance, infinity, the imagination and sometimes sadness. 
 
Blues:  
   is a musical form and genre that originated in the “Deep South” of the US around the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants and rhymed simple narrative ballads.  The blues form, in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by specific chord progressions of which 12-bar blues is the most common. 
 
Jaedan Blue:    Green-Blue
 
Combination of Green Earth with the Blue Sea and Sky:  
 
     In greek mythology Gaia “land” or “earth” was the personification of the Earth one of the Greek primordial dieties.  Gaia was the great mother of all: the primal Greek Mother Goddess; creator and giver of birth to our world and Universe; the heavenly gods, the Titans and the Giants were born unto her.  Gaia brought forth her equal: Heaven or Sky (Ouranos) and to be the abode of the gods.  She lay with heaven and bore the deep-swirling Oceanus’ or Pontus (Sea), Ourea (the Hills)  “without the sweet union of love” (i.e. with no father).  Afterwards with Ouranos she gave birth to the Titans.  The gods reigning over their classical pantheon were born from Gaia’s union with the Sky (Blue or Ouranos), while the sea-gods were born from Gaia’s union with the Sea (Green / Pontus).
  
   Present day hypothesis is the Gaia Theory or Gaia Principal which proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.  Topics include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth. 
Referenced from Wikipedia
Jaedan Blues:   Kick ass music.
True That. 

PILATES AND FITNESS FOR SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING

Pilates fitness skiing snowbaording barcelona bienestar

Pilates and fitness for skiing and snowboarding

I am a snowboarder. Anyone who either snowboards or skis will know that the two sports, whilst closely related, are very different in technique and especially mentality. One thing they do have in common (apart from snow) is the training that you need to be able to enjoy the coming season on the slopes.

Specific training for skiing and snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding bring their own special demands on the body. If these demands are not adequately considered, then the skier or boarder, whatever their level, will reduce their performance potential, and thus reduce their enjoyment. By carrying out a specific training program, benefits can be gained such as:

• Improve endurance, so ski and board for longer
• Improve strength in the appropriate muscles
• Improve flexibility and agility
• Improve balance and control
• Reduce the risk of injury by strengthening areas such as the lower back and knee joints and muscles.

The fundamental skills needed to ski or board successfully are balance, rotary movements, edging movements, and pressure control. Most muscles of the lower body are used, as are the abdominal muscles and some upper body muscles. A planned training program carried out during the off-season can make dramatic improvements when the season arrives. It is also improtant to learn warm-up and warm-down routines which you should use before and after you ski.

Chris Snowboarding 21.2.14 2Happiness is a snowboard in your hands.

Why Pilates?
In order to complete a turn, there must be adequate strength in the core, buttocks, lower back and legs. Flexibility is needed, especially in the hips. We use specific Pilates exercises to target all these areas.

Pilates is a revolutionary full body conditioning program, which focuses on training the mind and body to work together more effectively and efficiently. Pilates dramatically transforms the way the body looks, feels, and performs. It incorporates modern exercise science and rehabilitation principles, eliminating contraindicated movements while emphasizing neutral alignment, core stability and peripheral mobility. It builds strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek, toned body and a flat abdomen. It teaches body awareness and good posture. Pilates improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion, and is a safe form of movement making it optimal for clients that need to rehabilitate injuries.

Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion – invaluable for injury recovery, good posture and optimal health. No other exercise system is so gentle to the body while giving it a challenging workout.

Injury Prevention
Skiing and boarding place great demands on the lower body, which can lead to overuse injuries. The most obvious place for such injuries is the legs, and especially the thighs. It is not so obvious that the core has a vital role to play in keeping the body upright and balanced, and enabling the hips to turn.

The shoulders and back can also become fatigued, and are prone to falling injuries. Such injuries can be reduced by strengthening these areas. This also applies to hand and wrist injuries, which can again be reduced by strengthening the forearm and wrist.

The time to start training for the coming season is now. If you are in Barcelona, then give me a call because Barcelona Bienestar offer specific training on a group and individual training basis. Sessions take place on the beach, in our studio or at client’s homes.  (If you’re in Revelstoke give Samantha an email – group and private Pilates training sessions available).  

There are other functional exercises that great as well, and they can be done on the slopes as a warm up. Check out my video below. I shot a sequence of Pilates/functional movements in La Molina last year.

I love the sun and the sea, but I love the snow just as much. This is one of the many reasons why I love living in Barcelona. Where ever you live or plan to ski or snowboard, you really must start to plan your fitness routine now, before it’s too late.

Origianl article written by:  Chris Hunt, an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.

 

 

 

 

 

Custom Pilates Equipment

Love Pilates but hate the price of the equipment?  Let Pilate On Designs build equipment for you http://pilateondesigns.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/custom-pilates-equipment.

Solid wood frames with modern lite weight, portable designs.

Reformers:   studio or rehab heights, including adjustable foot and spring bar, built in standing platform, cotton foot/hand loops, adjustable ropes and risers and 5 springs with tensions of your choice.  Long box additional charge. Starting at $3500.00.

Reformer2

 

Gear_System-w-Footbar

 

Stability Chairs:  solid wood ‘exo’ frame cut out side panels make this piece lighter and easier to move, two heavy springs in a single or split pedal design, custom heights. Handles at an extra charge.  Starting at $650.00.

Stability_Chair_Lite

Ladder Barrels:    Classic design following original format, sliding base to accommodate different heights or leg lengths, standard black upholstery with double padding for extra comfort.  Vertical and horizontal padded foot plates extra.  Starting at $1089.00.

Ladder-Barrel2

Spine Correctors: Following classical design format but with an elongated arch to fit more body sizes, standard black upholstery with double padding for extra comfort.  Addition of sockets and spring arms for resistance based repertoire additional charge.
Starting at $390.00.

Arc Barrels:  Classic design, light weight, with standard black upholstery.
Starting at $145.00.
arc-barrelArc_Barrel2

 

Explaining the 2 Way Stretch of the Pilates Method

Andrea Maida owner of Pilates Andrea explains the Pilates method 2 way stretch in the following article.  Well done Andrea and thank you!

2-Way Stretch and the Anatomy of Pilates

2-Way Stretch and the Anatomy of Pilates

I’ve got a secret.

As a child I underwent a series of surgeries resulting in nerve reconstruction on one side of my body. A facial nerve was cut and reattached using an additional nerve taken from my left leg.

It has been my nearly 15 years of study and continual practice of the Pilates Method that has enabled me to “uncover” a series of weaknesses along my entire left side.

Just when you thought Pilates was about sculpted abs and a tight butt…

After many years of Pilates I began to notice a heightened body awareness that developed as I continued to train in this amazing method. Yes, ‘body awareness’ is a chief benefit of the Pilates method.

But this is in fact, an understatement.

The degree of awareness one can achieve through diligent practice of the method is staggering. It manifests in the sensation of many muscle groups working in unison – a seamless reach from the sides of your back up to the tips of your fingers, or down the entire length of the back of the body.

Left Side Story

But some muscles on the weaker left side simply did not respond in the same manner as their right-side counterparts.

Hmmm… How long has that been going on?

The Pilates exercises had revealed along the left side: a weak arch, knee, buttock, lower stomach, back muscle and neck. I remember vividly the workout that allowed me to realize each of these “separate weaknesses” was really one long chain of imbalance.

Can it be coincidence that all these parts are connected?

I decided to investigate.

Joseph Pilates himself believed (and stated vehemently I gather) that his method was 50 years ahead of its time. I completely agree. The connected muscle systems one finds in the 2-way stretch, for example, are articulated and well known today in the study of connective tissues or myofascial meridians in the body.

From Wikipedia:

“Myofascial meridians (also known as anatomy trainsconnective tissue planesfascial planes, or myofascial trains) are lines of bones and connective tissue that run throughout the body, organize the structural forces required for motion, and link all parts of the body.

The idea of myofascial meridians was first introduced by Thomas Myers in his 1997 article ‘The anatomy trains’. In his 2001 textbook Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 3e, the term ‘myofascial meridians’ was first used synonymously with the term ‘Anatomy Trains’.

Myers claims myofascial meridians were described by German anatomist Hermann Hoepke in the early 1930s.”

From Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers:

Anatomy Trains is a unique map of the ‘anatomy of connection’…the interplay of movement and stability.

Ooooh…the anatomy of connection. Yum yum.

My copy of Anatomy Trains confirmed my Pilates discovery. My long chain of imbalances that the Pilates exercises had revealed is officially known as the Deep Front Line. Anatomy nerds will want to check out this amazingly über-detailed and specific discussion of the Deep Front Line which I quote:

“The Deep Front Line is a key component of all things core.”

Oh dear…

The Deep Front Line (DFL) is essentially the lift up the entire front of the body: in Pilates the lift up out of the arch of the foot reaching all the way up the inner leg to the abdomen continuing up to lengthen the neck and to the crown of the head.

So the left side of my core/powerhouse/center was not doing its fair share of the work. Well this solved a bunch of ‘Pilates mysteries’ of the “Why can’t I…?” variety, but sadly it does not make me like the Snake on the Reformer even a weensy bit more.

Please realize that an involved discussion of fascia is not really my gig. I note my experience here as just one example of the depth of information, discovery and jewels that abound within Joe Pilates’ original method.

2-way stretch, yo

The anatomy of movement differs from a study of medical static anatomy. I do not promote an ignorance of the formal study of anatomy, but it does not apply in the same ways to a body in motion as it does to address specific joints, muscles or tissues in a medical setting.

The 2-way stretch is the hallmark of a body engaged in movement. In actuality there are numerous oppositional forces in play during your Pilates workout.

I am a big fan of the 2-way stretch intrinsic to the Pilates Method. So useful, yummy, simple and satisfying, it gives you a particular way of looking at your body in motion.

Teaching the 2-way Stretch

A client of mine, Janet, a former registered nurse, is trained in human anatomy. She marvels that the oppositional forces of the body in motion are quite tangible and yet unexpected given her education in the musculoskeletal systems.

Janet remarks that her knowledge of the traditional anatomy with regard to the individual muscle groups, their function and insertion points is a completely different animal to the anatomy of movement she is finding within the Pilates exercises.

It feels totally different. It feels like the insertion points for the tendons and ligaments aren’t there, the energy [of the lower body] just flows all the way down to my feet, without the different muscles being involved. This is a whole body thing as opposed to picking out an individual muscle group.

I feel like I am using my whole body together and as a result everything works much better. It just flows.

No wonder Jay Grimes has been telling me for years:

“Whatever you’re looking for, it’s in there.

 

By Andrea Maida