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Top 3 Reasons To Practice Pilates During Pregnancy

Top 3 Reasons To Practice Pilates During Pregnancy

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard “Can I do Pilates when I’m pregnant?” YES! And furthermore– YOU SHOULD!

Here are my top 3 reasons why

1. Improved core strength, especially of your transverse abdominis, can help prevent a diastasis recti.  

This condition is when the rectus abdominal muscle or “6-pack” muscle separates along the lines alba. In all pregnancies there is a thinning and widening of this fascia as the uterus pushes up against the abdominal wall- but in many women this separation widens greater than the normal 2 finger width and becomes problematic from both a function and aesthetic standpoint. The stronger the deepest layer of abdominal musculature is (the transverse abdominis), the more the rectus will be supported and less likely to separate. Pilates focuses on this deep abdominal layer and can help teach you how to engage your TA more...

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Pilates for a Healthy Spine

Pilates for 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.

Flexibility

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...

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Top 10 Pilates Reformer Exercises for Osteoporosis

Top 10 Pilates Reformer Exercises for Osteoporosis

54 million Americans have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. 

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by too little bone formation, excessive bone loss, or a combination of both, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. (National Osteoporosis Foundation [NOF] 2015). Kind of motivates you to try to prevent this disease right? Well, the good news is- the fact that you’re reading a blog on a Pilates page written by a physical therapist means you’re already in the right place to start taking control of your bone density!

Exercises for Bone Density

There are two types of exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density:  weight-bearing (high or low impact) and muscle-strengthening...

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Using a Pilates Jumpboard – Jump For Health!

Using a Pilates Jumpboard – Jump For Health!

I started practicing Pilates at a very young age.

I was told it would improve my balance, alignment and strengthen my core. I was also told Pilates would make me an all-around stronger dancer. I respected my mentors and believed everything they told me. But one thing I didn’t tell them was I dreaded going to Pilates. I have to confess. I thought it was boring. But you have to understand, as a teenager I wanted to turn, jump and just move. Then one day our instructor attached the Pilates jumpboard at the end of our reformers and converted it into a horizontal jumping machine. I loved it! Her choreography was fun and energetic, as she incorporated low impact petit allegro (small jumps) combinations to the routine. That young girl who thought Pilates was boring is solely devoted and made it her long life career.

I have clients asking me many times “what else can I do besides Pilates? How can I get more cardio?” I tell...

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Pilates: Power Pose Your Way To Success

Pilates: Power Pose Your Way To Success

In 2012 Amy Cuddy gave a TED talk that became a sensation… and is now the second most viewed TED talk that has ever been recorded. It’s become such a sensation because the information she shares might actually change your life.

Amy Cuddy is a researcher out of Harvard who studies posture and it’s impact on your blood chemistry, mood, and how you are perceived by others. In her TED talk she discusses her amazing research on nonverbal behavior, body language, posture and how people can literally “fake it until they make it”- i.e. acting strong and powerful until their brain believes it to be true. She has demonstrated a significant change in hormone levels: increased testosterone (our confidence/dominance hormone) and decreased cortisol (our stress hormone) after just 2 minutes of what she calls, POWER POSING. This means that after doing a power pose, people have more confidence, and feel more assertive and...

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10 Best Areas to Benefit From Do-It Yourself Myofascial Release

exercise health treatment Jul 09, 2015

10 Best Areas to Benefit From Do-It Yourself Myofascial Release

We’ve had previous blog posts about the benefits of foam rolling and Myofascial Release treatment from a trained practitioner, but what happens when you need treatment ASAP and the foam roller just isn’t hitting the right spot, or you’re traveling and want a more convenient solution? Enter the amazing TENNIS BALL. A tennis ball is an inexpensive, easy, and effective way to give yourself a localized deep tissue massage and it is great at targeting smaller areas that a foam roller may not quite get to.

How to use it?

Place the tennis ball onto a knot/tight/sore area of your body. Once the tennis ball is in place you can apply deep, consistent pressure, or you can slowly rock side to side over the area. You can lie down on the floor using your arms to support you if need be, or you can stand up against a wall when targeting your neck, shoulders and back.

A few other guidelines to consider 

  1. Hold the...
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Conscious Voting and Conscious Eating

Conscious Voting and Conscious Eating

Some of us are passionate about voting and make sure to vote not only in presidential elections but also for governors, congressmen, new laws, etc. Whether or not you are a dedicated voter, we can probably all agree on the importance of our right to vote and how our votes, when combined, can bring about change. But have you ever stopped to consider that you are voting at least 3 times a day on an issue that affects yourself, your family, each human being, animals, workers around the globe, the environment, and plant earth! If that’s not a giant privilege (and responsibility) I don’t know what is.

So why should we care about what we eat? Of course we should think about our health. There’s plenty of research to support a plant-based diet to prevent or reverse numerous diseases such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, dementia, coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure and cholesterol, etc. But there’s so...

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The Best Exercise of All Time

The Best Exercise of All Time

When clients ask me what exercises they can do at home or while traveling; the #1 exercise I give them is push-ups.

Push-ups are my personal favorite exercise, and also one of the best exercises you can do for your body. They seem so basic and sometimes overlooked; yet they’ve been a staple in military fitness, martial arts, and just about every other type of exercise program that’s ever existed. Push-ups are as close to a perfect exercise as you can get, yet are probably one of the least loved exercises (or at least it’s the one where I hear the most moaning and groaning over). Only because they are difficult! The more you do them, the easier they get.

Why are they so amazing? Because they’re more than just an arm exercise! By working your back, shoulders, triceps, abdominals, and chest muscles, simply incorporating more push-ups into your regular routine can help you reach all sorts of fitness goals. Alongside having...

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Pilates for Runners

Pilates for Runners

Most runners feel their running activities alone provide them with a well rounded exercise program.

However, while running is great cardiovascular work, it can lead to imbalances in the body. Those imbalances can sideline runners and must be addressed in order to continue the activity in a healthy and beneficial way. Pilates is an excellent complement to any runner’s routine as it can help strengthen muscles to allow for decrease stress on the body during running.

There are many different kinds of runners. There are marathoners and other distance cravers who may or may not be competitive; there are short distance runners who also may or may not compete and then there are casual runners who just try to fit in a few miles a week to keep their cardiovascular systems in good working order. No matter which type of runner, the same muscle groups are used to propel the body forward. Primarily the hip flexors to pull the top of the leg forward, the quadriceps to...

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Baby on board? 6 Benefits of Pilates during pregnancy

Baby on board? 6 Benefits of Pilates during pregnancy

Since Pilates is a low impact workout that increases flexibility, alignment and strength, it’s a wonderful and safe exercise option for mothers to be.

It is ideal for pregnancy because of it’s gentleness on the body while reducing most unwanted side effects of the pregnancy including back pain, poor posture, loss of muscle tone, poor sleep, edema, collapsing foot arches, and ultimately helps with labor and delivery. It can also help boost your mood and energy level too! It is a very adaptable form of exercise that can be modified as your body and abilities change throughout the pregnancy.

Here are a few specific areas of focus that Pilates will target for pregnant woman

1. Pilates incorporates pelvic floor work into its workouts.

The pelvic is a group of muscles that work to keep organs, and your baby (among other things), inside the body instead of falling out from the force of gravity. Not only do pregnant...

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