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Alix’s Top 5 Daily Must-Do Pilates Exercises

exercise pilates Jan 12, 2016

As a Physical Therapist and Pilates instructor, I am CONSTANTLY asked for that one “quick fix” exercise.

I hate to tell you, but just one doesn’t exist. BUT these five Pilates exercises that I do every day keep me going.


#1 – Bridging. This is my favorite way to start my day and loosen up my spine after a “long” night of sleeping. Starting on my back with feet placed on the floor, I start with a couple pelvic tilts to get my lower abs firing. Then I go into 15-20 bridges, really focusing on the segmental mobility of my spine, and using my core to help.


#2 – “Dead Bugs”. Lying on my back, I stabilize my core in a neutral spine and pelvis. I then bring my legs into tabletop and extend alternating legs away from my body. The focus is on the deep lower abdominals. After about 20 on each leg with my head lowered, I do another 20 with my head, neck, and shoulders rolled up.


#3 – “Clam...

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New Year’s Resolution(s)

holiday lifestyle Jan 04, 2016

After the plethora of holiday parties, dinners, sweets and treats, the new year offers a chance to start over with a clean slate.

Almost everyone decides to make a new year’s resolution and very often it’s about losing weight or something vague. I prefer to make many small resolutions. I think we all have more than one area we can improve upon in our lives so why not pick a few, attainable changes we’d like to make in 2016. Here are some ideas for possible 2016 mini-resolutions that I hope you can add to your list.


Stop texting and driving. I have to admit I am guilty of this myself sometimes. When the phone is sitting right on your lap it’s hard to fight the temptation of looking at your phone when it lights up and makes a noise. Yet, I think the research is undeniable that texting and driving is more dangerous than drunk driving! With that in mind, let’s decide to break this addiction and put the phone away while driving–preferably...

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Put This In Your Cabbage and Wrap It!

Have you ever found yourself with a head of cabbage and no idea what to do with it?

Ok, maybe that is not such a common problem. BUT, I was recently in just that predicament and the result was one of the absolute best recipes I have ever made. (Trust me: Not one, but TWO friends told me after trying my creation that it was “the best thing I’ve ever had!”) I looked up recipes, but none were too enticing… and one can only eat so much Weight Watchers cabbage soup. Then I noticed a cabbage wrap and thought… Brilliant! A wrap sans bread. But what do I have around to fill it….


Behold. The roasted chicken cabbage wrap. It’s simple. It’s delicious. It’s simply delicious. Next time you find yourself with a head of cabbage and no idea what to do with it, try this. Trust me.




  1. Cabbage leaves (as full and large as possible)
  2. Alfalfa sprouts
  3. Roasted chicken (I just get a roasted chicken from Publix or...
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Get In Bed With Pilates

Have you ever noticed that your friends who take Pilates seem to walk around a little taller?
Have a little more pep in their step? It’s probably because they are having mind blowing SEX.
(You thought I was going to say something about posture and confidence didn’t you? I did- a few blogs ago when I talked about Amy Cuddy- check it out here: Pilates: Power Pose Your Way to Success)
Yes. I said it. Pilates makes sex better. Whether you are a man or a woman, the benefits of Pilates to your sex life are undeniable. Orgasms are the result of a multitude of factors and can be finicky for some and elusive for others- but when the stars align and an orgasm is reached- is there really anything better? So, let me count the ways that Pilates will help rock your (and your partner’s) world:
1. Pilates makes you look good naked: Feeling sexy in your own body is the first step to great sex. Strength and empowerment changes the game...
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It’s Not About The Reformer: How Pilates Takes a 360 Degree Approach To Health and Wellness

In Lance Armstrong’s 2001 autobiography, It’s Not About The Bike, the pro cycler depicts his inspiring journey from cancer diagnosis to Tour De France champion. He helps us to understand how the miles on his bike led him to a state of enlightenment far more powerful than any victory ever had. His words resonated with me, particularly because throughout my many years of teaching Pilates to people of all ages and abilities, I continue to witness a similar kind of mind/body/spirit transformation in my Pilates clients.


Pilates founder Joseph Pilates believed that our physical and mental health are closely connected, and as a result, centered his method on principles that provided both internal and external benefits. Initially, such benefits are generally physical. We feel more toned, more flexible, stronger and leaner. Most people will admit that they started Pilates to develop a body like J-Lo but notice that as they continue to practice the method a transformation...

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Pilates and A Healthy Spine

“If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.”


This is probably my favorite Joseph Pilates’ quote. For many of us, the majority of our day is spent sitting at work, walking forward, sitting in the car, sitting on the couch, and lying in bed. If we’re being good we might run, use the elliptical or stair master, or go to a spinning class. All great options but there’s something missing. All the aforementioned activities are in what’s called the “sagittal plane”, where everything is moving forwards and backwards. There is very little side bending or rotation in the spine- or even the extremities.


A healthy spine is able to move in all directions with an appropriate distribution of movement throughout the entire spine. When we focus on only one direction of movement, usually flexion, we lose both flexibility and stability in all other directions. Spinal...

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Embodying Change With The Franklin Method

I found Pilates looking for six-pack abs, but I fell in love with it for all the things it brought to my life that I never saw coming. Like many great loves, it is the unexpected things that hit you the hardest, and really get you hooked.


As I built strength in my body, I felt a calmness in my mind.

As I became more efficient, I slept better.

As I learned to control my movement, I learned to control my emotions.

As my range-of-motion increased, I stopped rushing through life and started to appreciate the world around me.


The impact that Pilates had on my life was so much bigger than six-pack abs or a tight butt. I needed to understand this amazing practice in a deeper way, and I enrolled in my first certification program. I didn’t expect to actually teach at first, but when I started practice-teaching as part of the certification, I, again, got hooked. After a few sessions my clients would come in and tell me the positive impact that their practice was having on...

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Make the Park Your Gym

As long as I can remember, I loved early morning workouts in a big park, with lots of trees, fresh air and a cool breeze. I can turn a park into one big gym and get a full body workout featuring cardio and strength training all in the great outdoors.


I would like to share with you my routine and a few of my favorite exercises. All you need are good shoes, comfortable clothes, park bench or a picnic table and a fence.


I always start with a warm-up. I start with Pilates standing roll downs, which I will explain to you later in the blog.


Before each exercise I do a light jog or a walk. I come up on a bench and perform one of my exercises. To me this is the perfect way to work out. It makes it more interesting and fun. I want to share five of my favorite exercises I do in the park.


Pilates Standing Roll Downs


  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart and your spine in a neutral position. Relax your arms beside your body.
  2. Inhale and lengthen your...
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My DIY Home and Beauty Favorites

I love the idea of certain commercial products and what they do, but I just hate all the chemicals and toxins they’re loaded with, so I started making a lot of my own home and beauty favorites.

Below are some of my absolute favorites that are easy and smell great.





  • Keep an empty bottle
  • Fill about ¾ of the way with distilled water
  • Add 2 TBS of baking soda
  • Add essential oils of your liking to the concentration you like. I use Doterra oils: 20 drops Serenity, 20 drops lavender, 15 drops cedarwood, 10 drops sandalwood. (I tend to go heavy on the oils because of having two dogs in the house.)
  • Spray as you would Febreeze


Bathroom/shower cleaner:

  • Keep an empty spray bottle
  • Fill about ½ way with Seventh Generation Chlorine-Free Bleach
  • Fill another ¼ of the way with distilled vinegar
  • Fill rest of the way with water
  • Add essential oils of your liking to the concentration you like. I use Doterra oils: 10 drops lemon,...
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Top 5 Reasons Why Pilates is a Great Addition to any Fitness Program

1. How does Pilates strengthen abdominal muscles?


Pilates is well known for strengthening your core or abdominal musculature. There are a variety of ways this is accomplished through the practice of the Pilates method. First off Pilates is based on efficiently contracting your abdominal muscles with every exercise in the repertoire therefore when you are performing an upper body exercise on the equipment or on the mat the abdominals will also be contracted improving the endurance of the abdominal muscles. For example, during the seated arm series on the reformer the abdominals must stay contracted to hold the spine stable, upright and in proper alignment to correctly perform the exercise. Throughout a Pilates session or class clients are constantly reminded to “pull in your belly button” or “ engage your powerhouse” to ensure constant contraction of the abdominals.


Secondly Pilates focuses on strengthening the abdominals from the inside-out...

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