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The first clients of Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara were dancers who studied at their studio in New York during the 1920s and 1930s.  Today, athletes who use this method include runners, swimmers, skiers, tennis players, and cyclists. However, anyone can use the exercises to add core strength and flexibility, as well as increased mobility in the spine, hips, and shoulders.

Benefits

Pilates looks deceptively easy.  The exercises focus on a range of motion rather than resistance.  This means that the entire body is working smaller, intrinsic muscles in each exercise.   A client will increase strength in these smaller muscles that are close to the bone.  Another benefit includes the extension of the spine which increases flexibility.

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Joseph Pilates created his system of exercises for wounded veterans.  He attached springs to their bedposts to offer resistance training while moving through a range of motion; this is similar to the concept of Reformers.  Pilates can be done on the mat, or on equipment such as the Reformer, Cadillac, Barrel, Wunda Chair, and Ped-O-Pull.

As a certified instructor and athlete, I began using the Pilates system in 1997 and noticed an increase in my running speeds and less pain in my joints.  One year later I came across the finish line in first place!  Pilates became my streamlined practice, and I stopped going to the gym.  Whether you are a beginner or an athlete who has been training for years, there is a level for you. According to NFL defensive back Johnson Bademosi, quoted in Men’s Fitness:

“It’s hard to prepare for what’s needed on the field by just lifting weights.  Pilates challenges you with really unfamiliar movements.”

Schaerlaeckens, Leander (2018, March). 5 power Pilates moves to make you a better athlete. Men’s Fitness. Retrieved from https://www.mensfitness.com/weight-loss/burn-fat-fast/5-power-pilates-moves-make-you-better-athlete

Pilates and golf

Golfers will notice a better swing in their game.  We focus on rotation of the spine and exercises that increase strength, flexibility, and range of motion of the upper back, shoulders, and hips.  Exercises include the 100, a 10 cycle breathing exercise that builds core strength.  Kneeling bicycle, side overs, and single leg circles are examples of other exercises to help your golf game.

Pilates helps to tone muscles rather than shorten them.  This makes it unique to other strength training methods that use weight-bearing exercises which overload the muscle and shorten it.   Bademosi, among other athletes, uses the system to increase his range of motion, and lengthen muscles through extension, rather than shortening them.  Each exercise uses core strength so everyone can improve their game with stronger abdominal muscles.

Other benefits include improved coordination, balance, muscular control, better posture, reduced joint pain, and faster recovery time.  A growing number of athletes are finding Pilates a benefit to their daily routines.

To book your first appointment at The Pilates Room, visit https://thepilatesroomnh.com/book-an-appointment/

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Pilates has helped those living with Scoliosis.  Read on to learn more about Pilates exercises for those with living with this condition.

I would like to acknowledge having worked with Karen Clippinger, M.S.P.E., who taught the formatted Pilates exercises to help those with scoliosis. The Pilates Room is proud to offer private and semi-private Pilates sessions, in addition to building healthy working relationships with those who become clients.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis, defined as a bone condition, involves an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine.   This condition inflicts about 2% of the U.S.  Whereas; females have a higher index and experience greater severity than males.

There are two types, discussed here.  Nonstructural scoliosis can improve with specific treatment.  The second type, known as structural may be present at birth and caused by genetics, trauma, or neuromuscular conditions (abnormal muscles or nerves).

How Pilates exercise will help those living with Scoliosis

Pilates exercises will strengthen intrinsic muscles and increase flexibility.  Lateral flexion is seen in some of these exercises and will increase symmetry and balance to the thoracic spine.  Working through the range of motion and specific upper back exercises improves the mobility of the upper to mid back or thoracic spine.  Lumbar and Pelvic activities such as the Bridge, or Single Leg Stretch will increase the strength and mobility of the abdominal or other related lumbar and pelvic muscles.  The two regions of the spine discussed, thoracic and lumbar, are areas to focus on those with scoliosis.

All Pilates exercises use either resistance training or weight bearing techniques.  The equipment is known as the Pilates reformer, the Cadillac, the Wunda Chair, and Barrel.  There is no impact on the joints as related to most weight-bearing exercises.   During your first consultation, we discuss a client history and address your questions.  Please consult your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

Author: Michele McCauley, The Pilates Room
Date: March 13, 2018
Narrative: Karen Clippinger, M.S.P.E.
A Beach Yoga class enjoying practice on Jenness beach, Rye, NH

Beach Yoga

Beach Yoga is booking groups now for 2018/2019 (June-Oct), weather permissible.  Perfect for bachelorette parties, corporate gatherings. or any other small-mid size group.  Contact michele@thepilatesroomnh.com or Facebook message at https://www.facebook.com/Seacoast-Outdoor-Yoga-111315678929603/

Beach Yoga allows us to “let go.”  This is one of the most important reasons to practice yoga. Letting go of any emotional, physical, or mental tension that does not serve you.  Beach Yoga allows our senses to be captivated by the sensations found on the beach…smell of the salty air, sound of the waves crashing onto the beach, the sun on our shoulders and the ocean breeze’s cooling effect, toes in the sand, the list goes on.  Beach Yoga is exactly what your group needs to find zen before your big day.  There is no better place to practice Yoga, except on the beach.  Every Beach Yoga practice is tailored to suit your needs and will accompany any level.Y

Yoga at the beach is the highlight of the summer.  Located near beaches in and near Portsmouth, Rye and Hampton, New Hampshire, this area has become a popular spot for wedding destinations, corporate gatherings, and other outdoor gatherings.  After finishing one practice, your mind and body will feel refreshed and rejuvenated.  We all need a mini mind vacation, from time to time.

A few suggestions are to bring a towel (or old mat), a water bottle and your breath.  We will focus on breathing and practice asanas, or postures, with attention to alignment.  Beach yoga is for all levels and modifications can be made for all postures.  Before you begin any yoga practice, please consult with your doctor or family physician.  Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day and bring water with you.  I look forward to seeing you on the beach.  Namaste, Michele

 

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