You may recall over a year ago when I had the pleasure of interviewing my good friend Faith Hsu on prenatal exercise and her tips for staying healthy and energized during all three trimesters. I recently had the chance to visit her in her in beautiful Connecticut and ask her how her post-natal fitness was going. Amidst conversation and giggles, we had the opportunity to share our chat over video, posted below. You don't want to miss her insights, tips, and advice on incorporating exercise during this unique time in a women's life.
Stay tuned for a second video with Faith! I'll give you hint on the topic - it involves food! YUM!
As an instructor of Pilates and Yoga I am often encouraging and cuing clients to "be in their own body." In turn, I aim to practice what I preach and stay as centered, aware, and present as I can in my own life. But this week, when a client asked me an intriguing question, I began to ponder the idea of teaching effectively as being an "out of body" experience.
During our session my client asked me, "Is it easier to teach females rather than males in Pilates?" I shook my head vigoriously. "Noooooo," I said. "Pilates is Pilates" I continued, "There tend to be more females than males who practice, but they are not any easier or more challenging to teach."
But wait, have I always felt this confident?
I started thinking back to former clients. The first male client I worked with was an avid golfer who had been a former swimmer. As one would assume he had good upper body strength, but also had incredibly tight hamstrings and was somewhat weak in the quads. Exercises that felt great to me, like lunge on the Reformer, were a feat for him. Conversely, the arm series on the Ped-o-Pull hardly gave him pause unless I had him seated on a box or in a low squat. In short, I had to learn to work differently with him and subsequent male clients. I had to obtain the awareness to get out of my own body and how the exercises felt to me, and teach to his particular strengths and weaknesses.
The following teaching strategies have helped me over the years and I list them here in hopes they spring some new ideas for you.
When I moved to Camarillo two years ago and started training clients in-home and online I wanted to give them something extra besides their session. In addition to their biweekly sessions with me, my clients would receive a personalized weekly newsletter. Educational? Yes. Motivating? I hope so. Time consuming? Double yes!
I confess that some of those newsletters were completed late at night while sipping on a glass of my favorite red wine. Somehow writing about Pilates and indulging in a nice Pinot seemed to compliment one another very well. While typing away on nutrition tips, yoga stretches for neck pain, or fitness at the office, I would pause and ponder the phrase Pilates and Pinot. It had a nice ring to it.
I wasn't the only one that thought so.
The treadmill can be a convenient and accessible form of cardiovascular and aerobic exercise for people of ages and fitness levels. But before you start, you should know a few things about the pros and cons of the treadmill.
Cons (with easy fixes!):
Other posts on running....
Have you ever wondered if certain people are born with a physiological advantage that predisposed them to excel at athletics? For instance, was Mo Farah, the world's fastest long-distance runner, born with stronger, faster muscle fibers?
Quick Exercise Phys 101....
What are your thoughts? Do you think elite athletes are born or made?
McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2006). Essentials of exercise physiology. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
I love social networking. I really do. To connect with friends and colleagues around the world with a few simple strokes of the keyboard is wonderful. However, nothing replaces getting out of my office and connecting with people in person. I have always enjoyed chats over coffee and long lunches with friends, but in the last couple years I have realized that it is even more thrilling to get out and play! And what better way to do this than to vacation with great friends in a national park?
Last week I had the privilege of spending my summer trip in Rocky Mountain National Park with my husband and four close friends. We hiked 24 miles total over the course of the week, climbing to 12,883 feet in our most ambitious hike. I tried stand up paddle board (SUP) for the first time and I am not too proud to admit I was the first to fall off into the cool, glistening water! We kayaked in a calm lake, which took all the shoulder power I could muster as I attempted to steer against the wind. And of course, the trip could not be complete if I didn't climb up on those rocks and pretend they were laid out for me in perfect formation to substitute for a Yoga or Pilates mat.
Enjoy the pictures. Hopefully they inspire you to call a friend to go on a walk or hike. Perhaps you will try that LivingSocial SUP experience, knowing that the water is a soft landing if you fall. Or better yet, just get outside and climb some rocks. Mother Nature's gym. ;-)
Click here to see pictures from last year's trip to The Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona!
I'll be honest, back extension exercises are movements I formerly avoided!! I felt a combination of fear in hurting my back and weakness in executing the exercises properly. I have come to love back extension exercise, though it is still one of my more challenging movements both to practice correctly and to teach!
Of course it is impossible to "see" what the posterior side of our body is doing in this movement. A combination of body awareness and feedback from an instructor can assist in performing back extension safely and correctly.
My latest video introduces back extension to the "Pilates in Layers" library. I love the use of the foam roller in the second variation of the exercise. As a final layer, the resistance band adds a component of complexity and challenge.
Do you have a twitter account? Follow "PilatesPractice" on Twitter!
photo credit: athleticadvisor.com
Ok, I get it. Why would I just choose just one exercise? But if I had to, if I had to pick just one exercise that I would recommend to each and everyone one of my clients it would be Chakravakasana.
Don't worry, we don't need to learn Sanskrit to read this blog. :-) Commonly, this pose is referred to as sun bird pose in the yoga community or bird dog among personal trainers. So why do I love it?? If I had to choose just ONE exercise why would I choose sun bird pose?
photo credit: realsimple.com
Need I say more? Watch the video for a demo on this great exercise and tips to layer it to fit your fitness level!
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Summer is the time for BBQs, wine tasting with friends, and reading books that sat on my desk during the year! This afternoon the weather was absolutely perfect - sunny, breezy, and blue skies. I grabbed a blanket, sunglasses, and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (or two) and headed to the backyard with Lulu. There I lounged under a tree in the scattered sun until I started and finished Gary Calderone's book "The Pilates Path to Health."
It's no wonder Pilates works so effectively in physical therapy or rehabilitation setting. The history of the work stems from Mr. Joseph Pilates working with injured soldiers in WWI (more on that here) and Pilates Reformers are popping in clinics around the world. In fact, in recent years clinical trials and empirical studies have been researching the results of Pilates work on everything from low back pain to self esteem. Consequently, Pilates has been used to rehabilitate various injuries.
But what about for those of us who are not physical therapists? How can we work with or around an injury?