One of my favourite activities to do is run! 20 years ago my body starting to cease up from doing running , too much running without the counter balance of other activities Thank fully I addressed the feeling and found Pilates, I'm about to turn 40 and remain injury free and I truly believe that is down to Pilates and body awareness. .Whether you’re a competitive runner or weekend jogger trying to shed a few pounds, there’s no doubt that running is an easy way to keep in great cardiovascular shape. But your body can take a beating - this is especially true if it develops asymmetries. Body asymmetries develop because of poor body mechanics, causing certain muscles to become overused (a common trait in runners), while others become underused. This can result in a variety of ailments from lower back pain to hip bursitis to arterior knee problems and can also lead to a wide variety of tears, strains and pulls.
Pilates exercises will:
I've been seeing a LOT of tight psoas muscles lately at my Pilates classes, one to one's and my Kida Yoga class! This muscle attaches to your lower spine and to your thigh bone. If it's tight (sitting too much perhaps?) it pulls your lower back. It's ONE of the common causes of lower back pain! If you can stretch this regularly then your lower back may feel a lot better! (makes your abs look a bit flatter too.) During the stretch I describe the muscle as attaching from lower rib to hip - focus on separating these two parts to target this muscle and stretch as effective as possible. It's not all about you - are you a parent? Can your son or daughter perform this stretch? : ))
Despite all of the opportunities for our children to “get out there” and join a sports team, go to the school track, or simply play outside – today’s society is bombarded with technology that is often more appealing. Children are easily enticed by video games, television, and MP3 players etc. But unfortunately these modern activities are far from beneficial to our children’s physical development, posture and confidence and can be attributed to poor school grades and performance. As a result, many parents have concerns regarding their children’s physical conditioning and self-confidence – as well as the lack of programs available at fitness facilities or schools that specifically target core strength, coordination, balance and flexibility. Not to mention something that’s going to keep their interest for more than one session.
This is where Pilates comes into play, literally. Pilates is the very form of exercise that works the entire body with emphasis on function for overall health. And parents are taking note for their youngsters.
This weeks focus at classes is our Pelvic Floor. Pelvic Floor exercises are essential to every persons exercise routine and they can be done anytime, anywhere, and without anyone noticing. Not only do they increase your control over your bladder, your pelvic floor supports your vagina, uterus and bowel, so keeping your pelvic floor in good working order is beneficial for women of all ages and stages of life. The pelvic floor is found in both men and women so it is important t...hat men do PF work too.
Pelvic floor exercises are designed to improve muscle tone and prevent the need for corrective surgery. A strong pelvic floor may also help shorten the second stage of labour and, after the birth, Pelvic Floor Exercises may also help to heal any damage by increasing blood supply to the area.
Pilates exercises are a great way to strengthen your Pelvic Floor as these muscles need slow exercises as well as fast exercises.
Next week I'll be attending a workshop with Continence Foundation Australia specialising in safe exercise for PF - watch this space for more PF info.
Do you find it hard to mobilise the upper/mid back (thoracic spine) without just moving from the neck and lower back in class? Given that most of us spend long days in spinal flexion, bent over our computer, moving through a good extension ...can be really really tough!
As you know I'm always researching and finding out better visuals to get the best results in the movement - try this for swan dive! Once you are lying on your stomach and have connected your stabilising muscles,imagine there is a rope that reaches forward and out of your chest bone (the sternum) and that the same rope also travels down the spine and out of your tailbone. This imagery will assist with the lengthening in both directions so that you can articulate your spine into a longer extension. Give it a go!
I describe myself a Pilates Geek! On an evening you'll find me researching books and the internet on new findings of just why Pilates can be life changing. Or you'll find me in the kitchen!