Quote: every moment of our life…

Here’s a quote for those who are just getting starting with Pilates. Joseph Pilates said:

Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things.

I started Pilates in 1999 and have been doing it ever since. Joe was still teaching when he died at the age of 83. I don’t know whether I’ll still be teaching at that age, or even reach it, but I hope to still be doing Pilates for many years to come.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition where the spine curves sideways, in a ‘C’ or an ‘S’ shape, and the spine can twist at the same time. Symptoms vary significantly from person to person, so treatment depends entirely on the individual.

The British Chiropractic Association recommends avoid being stationary at a desk for more than forty minutes at a time, and to ensure good posture while working.

Pilates exercises can benefit those with scoliosis and are best done under the supervision of a certified teacher with relevant knowledge. Read this article from Spectator Health.

The NHS has a free video with exercises for scoliosis. It covers:

For these exercises, focus on creating as much symmetry in your body as you can. Do up to 8 repetitions of each, identify your weaker side and do an extra 8 on that side.

  • Standing pelvic tilt
  • Standing side bend
  • Semi-supine level your shoulders and hips
  • Supine hip hitching (slide alternate legs along the floor away from  you)
  • Pull knees to chest to stretch lower back
  • Chicken wing arms with
    • pelvic tilts while squeezing glut’s
    • spine curls
    • spine curls on one leg (the other in single knee fold)
  • Pull knees to chest to stretch lower back and circle them
  • Side-lying with legs bent
    • Oysters
    • Large leg circles in parallel with foot flexed (both directions)
  • Sitting with crossed-legs
    • Spine twists
    • Back bend, supported by hands on the floor behind your back

Pilates celebs: Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan, recently revealed that he has taken up Pilates to keep fit and has invested in a reformer/trapeze combo. See https://twitter.com/piercebrosnan?lang=en.

The large Pilates equipment has springs to provide either assistance or resistance helping to make the exercises more effective more quickly. If you’d like to try a workout, I have a reformer, trapeze table (cadillac), ladder barrel and wunda chair in my studio. Contact me for an appointment.

Level 4 Certificate in Instructing Pilates Matwork

Body Control Pilates is unique in having an Ofqual-ratified ‘Level 4 Pilates’ qualification. This demonstrates that a teacher has advanced knowledge and the skills to assess and develop specific programmes for a broad range of clients, including those from special populations.

I am delighted to announce that I achieved my Level 4 certificate in August 2018.

To gain this award, I had to demonstrate competence in repetoire beyond intermediate level, study special populations (older adult and bone health), movement, adaptations and produce a detailed case study for a client including an initial assessment, goal setting, an 8-week lesson plan and review.

It has been a challenging course which has encouraged me to think differently about the combination of joint and movement strategies in the exercises that I teach; not just which joints we are moving and which we are holding still, but in more detail about the muscle groups in use and the forces of gravity as we perform the same movements in different positions.

Movements at the Hip Joint

The movements at the hip joint can be seen in this diagram. They are listed below along with the muscles responsible for each action and a sample exercise.

Flexion – iliopsoas, rectus femoris, sartorius, pectineus (range increases when knee is flexed)

The hundred (prep)

Extension – gluteus maximus; semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris (limited by the joint capsule and ligaments)

Prone double leg lift

Abduction – gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, piriformis and tensor fascia latae

Side-lying leg lift in parallel

Adduction – adductors longus, brevis and magnus, pectineus and gracilis (avoid if you have had a hip replacement)

Side-lying underneath leg lift in parallel

Lateral rotation – biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, piriformis, assisted by the obturators, gemilli and quadratus femoris

Oyster

Medial rotation – anterior fibres of gluteus medius and minimus, tensor fascia latae

Sitting hip mobilisation

We can also combine movements such as lateral rotation with flexion and abduction.

Side-lying leg lift in turn-out

Note that the trunk and other joints maintain their position in all of the above exercises.

Since the structure of our joints and length of our ligaments limit our movement, a ‘full’ leg lift needs us to move other joints as well. In the exercise below there is lateral rotation with flexion and abduction of both legs. Although a good exercise for dancers, we do not usually do this one in Pilates. This is because we are aiming to use the movement of one joint to challenge the stability of other joints.

Side-lying leg lift in turn-out – ‘full’ range

15th Anniversary

3rd July 2018 was the 15th anniversary since I qualified to teach Pilates matwork with Body Control Pilates in London..

We celebrated with a small equipment circuit at all mat classes and fairy cakes all round afterwards. I made elderflower and lemon (inspired by the recent royal wedding) and Philip kindly supplied gluten free chocolate.

Pilates celebs: Anthony Joshua

However fit you already are, Pilates has benefits. I recently saw photos of World Champion boxer, Anthony Joshua, doing spine curls and neck release on an overall at a boxing academy on their Instagram feed – but these photos have since been removed.

Pilates celebs: Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson, star of the The Fifty Shades franchise, displays more of her physique more frequently than the rest of us!

To prepare herself for those numerous nude scenes her pre-film training schedule includes high-intensity body weight and light weight exercises, along with a Pilates-based ab workout.

Read the full article on the Vogue website.