Katherine and Kimberly Corp on Ella Speakes!

Kimberly and Katherine Corp were guests on the Ella Speakes show on Monday, January 11, 2009.  They spoke about Pilates on Fifth and what is was like to own a small business in 2009, complete with the challenges and opportunities for growth and change that 2009 did provide.  You can find more information about her radio show, which is broadcast in the Oklahoma City area, at this link: http://radiotime.com/program/p_124073/Ella_Speakes.aspx .

Ella is one of the most gracious hosts we’ve worked with, and she generously informed her listeners of not only our studio, Pilates on Fifth, and our Pilates video podcast, but also our Ultimate Pilates Workouts website. We were able to speak in detail about everything our Pilates workouts site has to offer, and especially how to do Pilates correctly as well as Pilates for beginners.  We highlighted Pilates exercise routines such as the Pilates Morning Low Back Care Workout, My First Pilates Workout for Pilates beginners, as well as the Pilates Pink Ribbon workout, for survivors of breast cancer.  We stressed that the sort function on the site allows users to sort not only by duration, but also by LEVEL.  If you’re doing Pilates at home, you can select the level that’s completely right for you!

Finally, we encouraged Ella’s listeners to utilize our podcasts so that they know if they’re doing an exercise correctly.  From our podcasts page, look on the right side of the page for the list of exercises that have been covered.  From there, just look for the name of the exercise that you’d like to review!  It’s really that simple.

Ella was also kind enough to encourage her listeners to send in their testimonials, and even send us “before” pictures so that once you’ve embarked on your Pilates journey, you can follow it up with a fantabulous “after” picture with a story of your Pilates experience!  Feel free to friend us on facebook or send us an email at info@ultimatepilatesworkouts.com.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Many, many thanks to Ella Speakes for having us on her fabulous show!

January 12, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 1, ACTIVCORE®, Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

How to work your abs WITHOUT FLEXING YOUR SPINE!

short plank pilatesAs we wrote in our last blog, when a client asks to “work their abs,” it is very easy to fall into the trap of delivering an hour of flexion exercises.  Hearing our clients squeal “oh I feel my abs” is most gratifying, and as we all know, this result is most quickly achieved when many flexion exercises are performed in succession.

But for the spine’s long term health AND balance of the muscles in the torso, varying spinal movement is absolutely essential.  Additionally, exercises requiring stabilization in neutral add a new dimension of body awareness and abdominal work to a client’s routine.  Not only do such exercise help teach a client where neutral is in their own body, but also trains the muscles in the body to support the body there.

For starters, simple exercise like sitting upright, right on top of the sit bones, on the stability ball can start to bring awareness to the abdominal muscles’ role in holding the spine and pelvis in neutral.  Once this is mastered, practicing alternating lifting and lowering the legs (we call this “marching”) further challenges core strength.

Every piece of equipment, including the mat, includes exercises in neutral, so don’t forget to include them in your clients’ sessions.  The Reformer and Cadillac provide many exercises in which the spine is stabilized in neutral against the movement of the arms and legs.  These exercises can be modified for all levels, so beginning and advanced clients alike can benefit.  The Chair, on the other hand, offers many “neutral” exercises, but given the balance and core strength required for many of them, these exercises may not be the most suitable for the first session (depending on your client’s strength and ability, of course.)

Personally, we LOVE the prone exercises on the chair!  One of our biggest problems to this day is popping ribs, and the prone chair exercises help bring awareness to the muscles we need to use ALWAYS to prevent this from happening.  Because the weight of the legs is unsupported in this series, you can try backing the chair up to the Cadillac (providing your Chair and Cadillac bed are the same height) so that the client’s lower body is fully supported if necessary.  Likewise, side lying exercises on the Cadillac and Barrels are excellent ways to work all four layers of the abdominal muscles while working the legs or arms, depending on the exercise.

In fact, we encourage all readers to challenge themselves to incorporate at least 10 “stabilization in neutral” exercises into all of their sessions this week.  If you have a client with a disc injury (a herniation, etc.), you are surely an old pro at this!  If you have not yet HAD to program this way, staring now when it is “fun” is an excellent way to prepare for the client you will have – one day – who can not flex his/her spine.

June 24, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 1, Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

Pilates lovers: challenge your core with this core strength test

core_challenge_small2If you’re a Pilates instructor or an avid Pilates practitioner, you most likely think you have a really strong core.  We certainly did!  So we searched the internet for a “core strength test” to prove our power.  What an eye-opener!  The test explained below and the video link provided shows you what we found.

Joseph Pilates did not invent this test, nor did we.  This three minute test was designed by Brian Mackenzie, a British sports conditioning coach.  We have videotaped it so that you don’t have to stare at a clock or a watch the whole time (although watching the second hand slowly make its way around the clock three times does add enhance the enjoyment facor as you can imagine!)  Hopefully our cues for proper positioning will help you out as well.  If you’re at work and can’t watch the video, the “test” proceeds as follows:

Elbow Plank (as pictured) for 1 minute
Lift one arm for 15 seconds
Lift opposite arm for 15 seconds
Lift one leg for 15 seconds
Lift opposite leg for 15 seconds
Lift arm and opposite leg for 15 seconds
Reverse, lifting other arm and opposite leg for 15 seconds
Return to the elbow plank for the final 30 seconds

That’s it!  If you feel your back starting to arch (which those of you who are slightly anteriorly tilted in the pelvs — like us — may find happens), you must bend your knees and rest for a few seconds before continuing.  And for that matter, if you experience any other discomfort, REST!  You have plenty of time to work up to the full three minutes.

One final but very important note:  WE’RE NOT PERFECT!  In fact, given our body types (anteriorly tilted pelvis), this test was extremely challenging, and we could not do the whole thing the first time we tried it.  For instance, in the video, I say “keep your shoulders level” and lamentably, mine are not level, though I am trying!

A strong core has been shown to benefit people in all activities from golfers to runners, from new moms to senior citizens.  Take your time with this test and remember:  core strength is a journey!  Enjoy the journey!

April 22, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 1, Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

Golfers find better posture through Pilates, part 2

power-golf-pilates-1Yesterday we showed you “ideal” alignment in the set-up of the golf swing.  Today, we’ll discuss one of the most common errors that negatively impact the success of the swing:  rounding the shoulders and the spine.

“Most golfers bend from the waist instead of the hip sockets due to lack of body awareness and the inability to physically do it,” says our favorite Golf and Pilates expert Rick Nielsen.  “The hip girdle and spine should be tilted forward about 25 degrees to allow the arms to hang freely and the club to move around the spine in a predictable manner.”

Rick suggests holding a golf club at your back to keep the spine straight before and then leaning forward from the hip socket.  “Of course your entire spine will not stay in contact with the club due to the spine’s natural curves,” says Rick, “but doing this can tell you if you are rounding your spine.”

The below picture shows proper set-up:

power-golf-pilates-2Not only does setting up with rounded shoulders and a rounded spine take the body out of the optimal alignment needed for a good swing, it could also lead to injury.  Rotating the spine abruptly with the spine flexed (rounded) instead of straight is more damaging to the discs and the surrounding musculature.

To build body awareness and strengthen appropriate muscle groups, try the following exercises:

1.    The Spine Twist:  This original Pilates exercise will teach you to keep your hips completely still and just rotate the spine. This will strengthen the deep muscles that stabilize the spine and build awareness of the ribcage and the hips as independently moving parts.

2.    The Spine Stretch Forward:  This original Pilates exercise takes you from a straight spine to a flexed spine and then back to a straight spine again…all using the abdominal muscles instead of gravity!  This is a great choice for those of you who may not know your spine is rounded to begin with!

3.    The Saw:  This original Pilates exercise combines flexion (rounding) of the spine with rotation, building abdominal strength and body awareness.

For all of the above exercises, it may be necessary to sit up on a cushion or pad if the hamstrings or hip flexors are tight.  The most important part of these exercises is to perform them from an optimal starting position, which means the spine should be as straight as possible.  It is ok to perform these exercises sitting in a chair as well!  (Hint….you could probably sneak some of these in at work!)

Interested in longer workouts?  Try the “My First Pilates Workout” or “Technique and Fundamentals” workout from UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com!  And if you’re interested in a golf lesson, don’t call us!  Contact Rick Nielsen at PowerGolfPilates.net.

April 13, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 1. Leave a comment.

The perks of working out at Pilates on Fifth

All of us at Pilates on Fifth value the time and efforts of each of our fabulous clients. It’s wonderful to work with individual clients on their individual needs and focus in on their specific fitness goals. Our clients give us so much of their time and energies, and we wanted to give back! As a token of our sincere appreciation for our devoted clientele, we established an exciting new program at the turn of the new year. Each morning a new and different client is pulled from our database as a recipient of a free of charge Pilates on Fifth service! Free privates, free class, free downloads! Our rotating give-away calendar offers an exciting pro-Pilates perk each and every day of the month! And, who doesn’t like free stuff?!

FREE Pilates Private Session!
One-on-one Pilates equipment sessions. Our certified instructors will customize a workout to meet your fitness goals and unique needs. Voted best personal trainers in New York City!

FREE Pilates Plus Mat Class!
All the traditional and essential Pilates mat exercises plus stretch bands, stability balls, Pilates rings, BOSUs and other tools to help you tone your muscles, strengthen your core and feel great!

FREE Pilates Reformer and Chair Class!
The Reformer and Chair are excellent tools to challenge strength and flexibility all at the same time! Each piece of equipment guides its users to fire specific, subtle muscles and therefore, add further muscle tone and improved alignment to your Pilates body.

FREE Pilates on the Go! DVD!
Pilates on the Go! is a dynamic full body Pilates workout which you’ll never get bored doing! Conceived with today’s busy lifestyle in mind, you can select workouts as short as 7 minutes or as long as 110 minutes and can tailor your workouts to meet your individual needs. You can work on abs and arms one day, legs, butt and core the next – or do it all for a great full body workout. With all the options this DVD provides, Pilates on the Go! is a great workout choice for frequent travelers, busy moms or anyone who needs to squeeze workouts in when they can!

FREE Ultimate Pilates Workouts Premier Membership!
Enjoy free and unlimited access to an ever-growing Workout Library designed by Katherine and Kimberly Corp! Your Premier Membership will include:

•    Anytime Access to all Mat, Small Equipment, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrel and Specialty Workouts!
•    Create your own workout features!
•    Download any workouts at a fraction of the cost of a DVD!
•    5 free downloads per month
•    20% off purchase of training videos (download or DVD)
(www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com)

FREE Ultimate Pilates Workouts Download!
Ultimate Pilates Workouts offers full-length Pilates workouts from the convenience of your computer! Enjoy free and unlimited access to a well-balanced, strengthening and lengthening workout of your choice! Choose between Pilates Mat, Small Equipment, Large Equipment or Specialty Workouts! Visit www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com today!

FREE EnLIGHTen Private Session!
Body Composition Testing! Chart Your Progress! Fast! Easy! Confidential!
Body composition is a better health measure than weight alone. So Become EnLIGHTened and find out your percentage of body fat and lean mass. A valid, reliable method of measuring body composition with accuracy comparable to the gold standard of underwater weighing has arrived! Bod-E-Comm is a completely safe and non-invasive method of body fat testing which requires no disrobing or discomfort of any kind! After just a few seconds, only YOU see the results AND the computer software gives you a printout with diet and exercise recommendations. We will store your results and then track your progress three months later.

Visit www.PilatesonFifth.com to learn more about our studio and the various pro-Pilates services that it offers! Or, call 212-687-8885 to contact our friendly Front Desk Staff. They can help you with your questions and direct you to the program that best suits your individual needs. A calendar is posted at the Front Desk of the studio with its designated winners and their corresponding prizes. Be sure to check on your way out!

To enjoy the perks of Pilates on Fifth outside of the city, visit www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com. Ultimate Pilates Workouts is the first website of its kind, making full-length Pilates workouts available for free! Customize your own Pilates workout from the convenience of your own home, with the articulate instruction of Manhattan’s top Pilates certifying instructors, Katherine and Kimberly Corp! Ultimate Pilates Workouts offers free Pilates workouts tailored to pregnant clients, seniors, athletes, dancers, injury rehabilitation, breast cancer survivors, and Pilates professionals alike. Log onto Ultimate Pilates Workouts to enjoy free Pilates online today! Find the workout that works with your potential and meets your fitness goals!


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March 12, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 1. Leave a comment.

Pilates in Seattle: Ultimate Pilates Workouts Member Profile II

We received this email just the other day from our wonderful cousin, Liz, who does Pilates in Seattle.

“Dear K & K,

I just wanted to let the two of you know you indirectly inspired me to practice Pilates, which I’ve been doing now since October ’05. I do a routine that I put together combining exercises from the Windsor Pilates DVDs, as well as some I found on your website. I mix them up so I am not doing the same routine for every workout.

Just recently I purchased one of those big balls and added that to my Pilates workout, now doing as much of my core work on the ball as possible, and it is great. I’ve also been riding a stationary bike on my off days, which is really the only time I see any TV since I don’t own one.

What I really want to say is, thank you.”

Not only did this testimonial make us smile, but it made us happy to see that Liz is using ultimatepilatesworkouts.com so creatively!! She’s doing everythig right, ans as you can read, it’s a low cost workout regime! Mixing up your Pilates routine will keep the workouts fresh and keep you from hitting a plateau. Also, Liz’s Pilates workout regime is the perfect recipe: “Pilates plus cardio.”

What would your perfect workout be? For many of our clients, and with our cousin Liz, the answer is “Pilates plus cardio.” Our clients love what Pilates does for their bodies –like muscle strengthening, improved posture and alignment, and physical toning– but they miss the fun of a good cardio workout. Balancing Pilates with cardio is the perfect blend to create a long, strong, lean body!!

February 11, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 1. Leave a comment.

Pilates Academy International’s Corps Physique Workshop

Katherine and Kimberly Corp held their first “CORPS PHYSIQUE -Pilates Mat Extras” Workshop at Pilates on Fifth on November 14, 2008. Corps (pronounced “core”, like marine corps…) Physique features over 80 variations, spin-offs and creative augmentations of classical Pilates exercises, with some core conditioning moves thrown into the mix as well. All in all, the Corps Physique Pilates mat exercises can put more power into your Pilates!

The Corps Physique workshop is the newest addition to the Pilates Academy International workshop repertiore and was developed in our endeavors to create a more well-rounded Pilates class and keep clients satisfied and coming back for more! Many of the new Pilates mat extra exercises were inspired by exercises on the Pilates Reformer, the Pilates Chair, or the Pilates Cadillac, adding more rotation, side bending, and strength conditioning –especially for the upper body– to the traditional Pilates mat class.

In this workshop, the Pilates instructors who attended learned a myriad of new exercises to spice up the Pilates mat classes that they currently teach. “This is great for my clients who are gettnig bored,” remarked one participant. We had a blast with all 22 attendees as we went through each category and demonstrated how to progress and regress each series. We definitely found something for everyone.

Beginning two weeks ago, we’ve been incorporating the Corps Physique Pilates mat exercies into our podcasts, so look out for those! Also, check out Corps Physique workouts on UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com (www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com!) The reformer workuot is “Corps Physique: Gym Rat Reformer Workout,” and the first Pilates mat workout will be “Corps Physique Mat Pilates I (II, III, ect…!)

Our next Corps Physique workshop at Pilates on Fifth is Fridy, April 3, 2009. For more information on signing up or for a comprehensive list of all Pilates Academy International workshops, click here.

February 3, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . 1. Leave a comment.

Free Pilates Workouts Online

Free workouts online have become incredibly popular in the last few years, but it’s surprising to realize that free pilates workouts online really haven’t existed until recently.  Of course you can find 10 minutes of a Pilates mat routine on youtube, but if you want to do a full length Pilates workout online, you’re hard pressed to find it.  The longest online free Pilates workout we were able to find was 22 minutes!!

We’ve owned and operated our New York Pilates Studio, Pilates on Fifth, for almost 9 years now, and trained hundreds of students through our Pilates certification program, The Pilates Academy International, and yet we still wanted a way to reach the masses…. The millions of Pilates practitioners across the US who love to do Pilates at home or do Pilates DVDs.

Then, we started our Pilates podcasts.  While these were still not free workouts online, they did (and still do) offer clear, concise Pilates instruction for each and every Pilates mat exercise.  To our delight, the response from the Pilates community was so favorable that we knew we had to find a way to create a website to offer free Pilates workouts online, and thus launched UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com in October 2008.

Now, Pilates mat classes in NYC can be enjoyed by everyone with a computer with our free online Pilates workouts.  Whether you’re a professional to dancers to a senior citizen, the benefits of Pilates mat classes are remarkable. Because Pilates works on the “powerhouse”–the core muscles of the abdomen, buttocks, and lower back–it dramatically affects the posture. Clients who regularly take Pilates privates and mat classes at Pilates on Fifth often notice that they look taller and feel much more comfortable in their own skin.  …And now we bring our New York Pilates studio straight to your living room!

Pilates also improves spinal health. It strengthens the muscles which surround the spine in a way that is completely safe. Pilates mat classes help prevent injuries while creating muscle tone and flexibility. The fluid motions and breath work which are part of Pilates are great for relieving tension, too. Clients who regularly take Pilates have longer, stronger muscles, better posture, reduced tension, and an overall sense of vitality and relief from pain.

So, visit ultimatepilatesworkouts.com and pick the subscription package that’s right for you!  And remember, Basic membership is really free!!  Really!

January 10, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 1. Leave a comment.