MELT Your Body Workshop at Pilates on Fifth!!

Pilates on Fifth is proud to be hosting our first MELT Method workshop at our New York Pilates Studio on Monday, March 22 at 11am!  The MELT Method was created by Sue Hitzmann, and she and the MELT Method were just featured on LIVE with Regis & Kelly with resounding success.  View the clip of the presentation here (www.meltmethod.com).  The class will be held in our spacious, sunlit, penthouse Pilates studio from 11am-12:15pm.

Now you can experience  this amazing method for yourself!  Discover the benefits of MELT Your Body:

  • Prevent pain
  • Heal injury
  • Erase the negative effects of aging
  • Improve efficiency and performance
  • Reduce stress

Register in advance and save!!  Only $15 if you register in advance, $19 on the day of the workshop.  Purchase your spot in the workshop online here (link to http://shop.pilatesonfifth.com/category_s/36.htm) email us at workshops@pilatesonfifth.com or call 212-687-8610.  Space is limited, so register soon to reserve your spot.

Join advanced MELT instructor Karen Wells from Karen Wells Fitness.  Karen teaches at Georgia State University and has taught MELT to the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the American Dance Festival, and Atlanta’s Several Dancers Core, just to name a few!  To learn more about MELT, go to www.meltmethod.com or check out www.facebook.com/karewellsfitness.

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March 5, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. 1 comment.

ActivCore® Fast Track Basic and Intermediate Courses at Pilates on Fifth

Kimberly and Katherine Corp taught 4 intensive days of ActivCore® training to Pilates professionals, PT’s and GYROTONIC® instructors from Pilates on Fifth in NYC, from Brooklyn, and from Toronto, Canada. This fast track course was structured with the ActviCore FEX® Basic course on days 1 & 2, followed by the ActivCore FEX® intermediate course 5 days later. Thus, students could complete the required Basic course plus the 25 practice hours before moving on to Intermediate.

Toni Mercogliano doing "Pec Flies" on ActivCore®

The course covers the gamut of exercises in ActivCore’s Function EXercise curriculum.  The Basic course covers highly effective exercises for the lower body, including outer thighs, inner thighs, glutes & hamstrings, as well as upper body exercises for the chest, back and arms.  Despite the varying strength levels in the class, everyone easily found a version that he/she could do effectively.  And all participants saw immediate improvement.  For example, Rena Lichtblau, owner of Pilates by Rena noticed that after the first day, the pain in her hip was diminished while the range of motion increased, and EVERYONE was sore from the upper body exercises, especially the pull ups!

The next four days were spent practicing the exercises, both doing them and teaching them.  …And there was no shortage of volunteers at Pilates on Fifth of Pilates instructors and clients to work with the ActivCore FEX® system and experience the results.  We even held an in-house ActivCore® workshop during this 4 day break for all Pilates on Fifth’s ActivCore® graduates, with much success.  Kurt Gorrell, a Pilates instructor at Pilates on Fifth as well as a gymnastics instructor at Chelsea Piers and Suzanne Gerdes, another Pilates instructor at the studio and a graduate student of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Columbia University, were in attendance, creating workout plans to use with their clients.

The second weekend, the Intermediate FEX course, commenced with learning the EXTREME exercises.  Sound daunting?  Well it is!!!  These exercises take the ActivCore® exercises from the Basic Course, and take them to the next level.  This provided the immediate opportunity to introduce the most unique feature of the Redcord Equipment, the bungees!  Participants were able to experience the magic of weightlessness, even with the most difficult of exercises.  It’s really not magic, but the feeling is so incredible that it almost feels as such!  For example, take the exercise below, the Side Plank.  This exercise is VERY challenging, requiring a great deal of strength in both the abductor of the bottom leg, the obliques, and the shoulder girdle stabilizers.  For many people, this would call for too much strength, which is why the ActivCore FEX® Intermediate series teaches how to place a sling around the pelvis to take the offweight the body.  Voila!  A previously insurmountable exercise is do-able!!  Toni Mercogliani, owner of Toni PT and Pilates, loved the offweighting techniques because of the easy crossover and application with her Physical Therapy clients.  She also loved the upper body exercises, as shown!

Kurt Gorrell from Pilates on Fifth doing "Side Plank"

The final day of the fast track course ended with a written exam as well as a practical review of all the material covered in both courses.  Here are some pictures of the exercises covered!

February 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . ACTIVCORE®, Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

The New Year and Resolutions

Happy New Year!!!

Now is the time of year that everyone flocks back to the gym, the personal trainer, the Pilates class, or the yoga studio after weeks, or even months of abandoning the regular “routine”.  At our Pilates studio, we too are jumping on the Resolution bandwagon with the implementation & promotion of “Fit & Fabulous in 50 Days!”, assuming, of course that 50 days would be about the time it takes to make a lifestyle change.  Actually, it’s very easy to resolve to make a change, either by deleting or adding something to our lifestyle, but how easy is it to MAKE the change?

Well, we decided to do a little poking around, and we found a number of sources that stated, and with a great deal of “authority” at that, that it takes 21 to 28 days to change a habit.  By this logic, if all of us can just stick with our new routines, whatever they may be, until January 31 or so, then we’ll have no problem keeping our resolutions until the end of the year.   …Yeah, right!  We all know that it’s not so easy!!

So, we continued to search for other articles about habits, and habit forming, and we came across this one (click here!) We highly suggest that you read it, but this article sites a study in which it took some participants UP TO 245 DAYS to change their habits!!!!  The average was around 66 days.  Well, if 66 is the average, then maybe we’re not too far off with our 50 day plan!

At our studio, because we offer not only Pilates (Pilates mat classes and Pilates Reformer classes, yay!), but also XTEND™, CARDIOLATES®, GYROTONIC®, and ActivCore, we figure we have enough in one location to keep even the most ardent sufferers of ADD satisfied and entertained!  Couple that with the whole idea of muscle confusion that has become popular, and our New Year’s Resolution plan should really kick off the New Year right!!

We’re actually looking for 10-12 people who want to be case studies at our Manhattan Pilates studio!  If you are interested, please send an email to projects@pilatesonfifth.com and please put PILATES NYC in the subject line!!

THANK YOU!!

Katherine & Kimberly

January 6, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . ACTIVCORE®, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

Booty call! The anatomical and aesthetic benefits of the gluteus maximus

shoulder bridge pilatesWho doesn’t want a butt that seems to defy gravity and fill out that snazzy pair of jeans? Of all body parts, women AND men care about their derrieres. After all, Mia Michaels choreographed an entire routine for the third episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” (click here to watch) around the appeal of a pleasant posterior. But a beautiful backside is not all that is obtained by strengthening and toning the gluteus maximus!

First of all, human beings’ unique gluteus maximus is a consequence of upright walking. (click here to read more.) BUTT (ha ha ha), because we in the developed world spend most of our time sitting at desks, our gluteus maximuses on the whole are “woefully underdeveloped” (click here to read more.) A weak gluteus maximus not only leaves you with droopy jeans and sagging skirts, it also wreaks havoc on the lumbar spine, the sacrum, the hip joint and the lower leg!

A strong gluteus maximus not only helps tense the thoraco-lumbar fascia (thus providing additional support to the low back), but also indirectly stimulates the multifidus to fire. (click here and click here to read more.)
As the gluteus maximus should engage at the point of the heel strike when walking, when it is weak, the trunk lurches backward at heel strike on the weakened side, thus straining the lumbar spine and causing imbalances in the pelvis, sacrum and hip joint.

BUTT, Pilates offers many exercises to strengthen the gluteus maximus safely and effectively! (click here for this excellent back and butt toning workout!) First of all, engaging the gluteus maximus at all times when performing prone exercises is important. This helps to stabilize the pelvis so that the lower back (lumbar spine) does not over-extend in any prone extension exercise. For example, in Breast Stroke, only the thoracic spine is meant to extend and keeping the gluteus maximus engaged helps ensure that the lumbar spine does not extend and the pelvis remains in neutral.

For exercises such as Swan Dive and Double Leg Stretch which require full spinal and hip extension, engaging the gluteus maximus keeps pressure out of the lumbar spine and helps create even extension along the backside of the body.

If the above mentioned prone gluteus maximus exercises cause any discomfort in the lower back, try lying prone over an Arc Barrel so that the lumbar spine is in flexion. Then practice lifting one leg at a time into extension to concentrate on firing only the gluteus maximus while leaving the erector spinae relaxed. This can be challenging, but with practice, it can be done!

Exercises such as Shoulder Bridge, Hip Rolls with Heel Lifts and Heel Squeeze are excellent ways to focus on pure hip extension, i.e. pure gluteus maximus work without extending the lumbar spine. In Shoulder Bridge, the spine stays neutral throughout and the pelvis must be stabilized using the gluteus maximus and the abdominals against rotation. Hip Rolls and Hip Rolls with Heel Lifts adds articulation of the spine and while lifting and lowering the heels targets the hamstrings more than the gluteus maximus, the latter is still challenged by holding the hips in extension at the top (and stabilizing against rotation!) Finally, Heel Squeeze is a great way to practice keeping the pelvis in neutral since you can focus on all three bony landmarks – the hip bones and the pubic bone – remaining in contact with the floor as you engage the gluteus maximus. Advanced students may add a lift of the thighs as the heels squeeze ONLY if this can be performed with a neutral pelvis and spine.

Finally, standing lunges target the gluteus maximus and a slew of other muscles as well. In the classical Pilates mat repertoire, lunges and squats are not included, but if you plan on running to a gym and doing lunges/squats to strengthen your gluteus maximus, please keep the following tips in mind: 1) keep your abdominal muscles pulled in and engaged at all times; 2) do not allow your lower back to arch as you lunge or squat and 3) make sure your knees bend directly over the 2nd and 3rd toes without rolling out or in as this puts undue strain on the knee joint.

Lastly, oftentimes we Pilates instructors say “squeeze your glutes” when we really mean “contract your gluteus maximus.” This is merely for time and does not reflect one’s lack of knowledge in what the various muscles do! So please know that 95% of the time, when your instructor says “squeeze your glutes,” she/he means gluteus maximus!!

Best wishes for a terrific buttsky this summer!!

July 2, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. 1 comment.

Why We Love Props For Pilates

yespilateshundredswithband-articleFrom exercise bands to BoSUs to stability balls, props can add challenges, assistance or variety to a regular Pilates workout.  The right prop can make a hard exercise easier and a simple exercise extremely challenging! Targeted use of props can also help spice things up for clients who have been practicing Pilates for years and need a little pizzazz thrown into their workout.

So why do we love props?  The first reason is simple and perhaps the most important: props help facilitate the proper execution of an exercise. They help clients achieve neutral, fire into the “right” muscle group and activate dormant muscles that have not been doing their job!  Pads and cushions help clients begin an exercise in as close to neutral alignment as possible, which is essential for a biomechanically correct, pain-free Pilates practice.  We would not survive at our New York studio without pads to place under clients’ heads to bring the cervical spine into proper alignment when supine or cushions for them to sit on to bring the pelvis into neutral.  Pilates Rings and Small Balls between the ankles or knees on certain exercises can help engage inactive inner thigh muscles and help clients deepen their abdominal contraction.  Arc Barrels or BoSUs can be effective teaching tools for prone spinal or hip extension exercises.  Placing the lumbar spine in flexion on the barrel helps deactivate the often over-active erector spinae of the lower back and can help clients isolate the erector spinae of the upper back or activate the hip extensors without going into lumbar extension.

Second, props help build the strength or awareness necessary to perform the “real” exercise properly.  The original Pilates exercises are fabulous and effective on their own, but some people just can’t do them right….yet!  Props can be the stepping stone a client needs to succeed in a Pilates mat environment.   The “Roll Over,” for instance, can be challenging for many individuals who lack either abdominal strength or spinal flexibility (or both)!  By performing the “Roll Over” on an Arc Barrel and beginning with the hips elevated, the client can build the strength necessary to execute the exercise properly without using momentum and jeopardizing the lower back.  Similarly, for those with tight lower backs (such as the authors here), the “Roll Up” can be absolutely lovely holding a 4 lb mini-body bar.  Of course one needs to be careful with the shoulder girdle given the extra weight, but this little bit of extra weight adds leverage where it is needed to assist with articulation of the spine through the tight spot.  As another example, those clients seeking to transition from “Hundreds” with bent knees to “Hundreds” with straight legs but still find maintaining a strong imprint challenging benefit from using an exercise band around the feet.  The band helps support the weight of the legs, and thus allows the abdominal muscles to build the strength necessary to maintain imprint, protect the lower back and support the lower body simultaneously.

Finally, we love props because they introduce muscle confusion training into a Pilates mat workout, which helps any body get more out of their Pilates routine.  Simply put, the muscle confusion training principle states that muscles adapt to a specific type of stress and need to be challenged in varied ways in order to continue experiencing results.  Muscles improve from being subjected to new and different stresses and challenges which is exactly what props can provide.  Athletes cross train for this very reason, as the body benefits overall from allowing certain muscles fibers to rest and others to engage.  Moreover, incorporating props into a Pilates workout can help prevent the well-known plateau effect and even boost clients over a “road block” that keeps them from progressing.  Use of props can kick up the intensity of the workout quite effectively without placing undue strain on the body.  In fact, research shows that something as simple as performing a bench press on a stability ball is 62% more effective than a bench press with the same weight conducted on a regular bench.  (Source)

Pilates props with Katherine and Kimberly CorpFurthermore, muscles performing the same action day after day “get bored” just as clients get bored with the same workout!  Varying a workout ensures that clients continue to see results and stay interested.  Pilates enthusiasts who regularly work out on the Pilates equipment already benefit from the muscle confusion training practice as integrating all equipment into sessions over the course of a week or month allows muscles to perform in different ways each workout.  Thus, just as “Side Bends” activates different muscles groups on the Ladder Barrel, Cadillac and Mat, so to does “the Hundreds” challenge the body in different ways using the Stretch Band, the BoSU and the Pilates Ring.  Focusing on different muscle groups and adding variety will not only enhance core stability, but also turn your Pilates routine into a fabulous cross-training program, which will improve your overall fitness and decrease your risk of injury.  (Source)

With all the props available today, one can quickly become overwhelmed when deciding which props to choose. Is your goal to challenge your client?  Help her do an exercise correctly?  Target his core?  Facilitate better alignment?  Knowing the merits of each prop and which ones best suit your clientele’s objectives is the first step to integrating props successfully into your Pilates workouts.  We have included a chart below to highlight the various benefits, but please keep in mind that the categories are exercise specific!  The exercise band, for example, can assist the “Roll Up” but challenge the “Double Leg Stretch.”  Also, one very dangerous trap to fall into is watching others use props and then copying them in your sessions.  Never EVER use clients as guinea pigs!  Incorporating a prop often changes the emphasis of the exercise, so be sure to try the exercise with the prop first before teaching it to an unsuspecting client.

In conclusion, we offer three basic rules of thumb to follow with regard to incorporating props into Pilates workouts.  First, choose a prop with a specific goal in mind for the client or class you are teaching.  (In other words, do not choose a prop because you, personally, are bored and need some entertainment!)  Second, remember that most clients can focus on one thing at one time.  Thus, multiple props used simultaneously tend to destroy — rather than enhance — the integrity of the exercise.  Though the picture to the right is humorous, you clearly want to avoid this scenario with your clients.  Finally, because props do change the original exercise a bit, be mindful of what is gained — and what could be compromised — with the addition of a prop.  Shoulder Bridge on the BoSU, for example, helps activate the core because of the instability, but the hamstrings may cramp because of the increased effort required to stabilize.

Pilates Props Table

The Pilates repertoire has not only withstood the test of time, it continues to impress and amaze both the fitness and medical worlds with its benefits.  Make sure to honor this system with thoughtful use of props that enhance the client’s overall Pilates experience.

June 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. 1 comment.

ACTIVCORE® cured my neck and shoulder pain

ActivCoreFEX 007When we first started doing ActivCore ® , we couldn’t wait to try every exercise that we could get my hands on.  As dancers, we’re also always first enticed by the exercises for the legs and the core… the upper body exercises have always been a secondary focus.  However, as we began the training and learned more about ActivCore’s amazing ability to get the right muscle to fire in the right amount at the right time, we started wondering if there was any hope for the nagging neck and shoulder pain that we had been silently suffering with off and on for years.  Katherine had lost hope that anything would make her pain go away.  It had actually become so bad that I couldn’t finish the last sip in a tall glass of water without being forced to support the weight of my head in my free hand!!

To our amazement, the secret recipe for completely “fixing” shoulder and neck pain was ActivCore ® … particularly the pull ups and the push ups.  Who knew?!  The first time we tried the pull ups (not being able to do a single pull up on my own), we knew we were using our legs more than our arms, but we LOVED the way it opened my shoulders and how we were so connected through our backs.  Because ActivCore ® allows you to set the difficulty appropriate to your own personal strength level, you really can’t go wrong.  We have all our clients doing their own personal pull ups with the ActivCore Activation Station ® because of its incredible adjustability.

With the push ups, because the ropes are unstable every direction except straight down, we were total wrecks…. both of us on the left side  (for different reasons, we promise!!!  We’re not clones!!!)  Neither of us could really complete one push up without our left arms freaking out and shaking like gangbusters.  We couldn’t keep the rope still!!  ….And that’s when it hit us.  None of the local stabilizers in the left shoulder were firing.  It was like they were on vacation on another planet.  The solution?  Find the setting on the ActivCore Activation Station n® that would allow us to complete four push ups without collapsing or shaking uncontrollably.  Then I repeated three more sets of four, adjusting the height of the ropes or where I was standing so that I could alter the level of support.

In the first week, we probably did the pull up and push up sequence 2 times….. that’s a total of about 32 pull ups and push ups, and both our shoulders and necks felt better after that one week, not to mention that we felt like our posture improved immensely.  (…And we’re not the only ones who’ve said this!  One of our best friends and workout buddies said to us the day after doing one set of pull ups:  “Could it really be possible that my posture is better after only one session????”  The answer:  yes!)

Pull Ups 003Now, we’re completely addicted to the pull ups and push ups!!  Katherine’s neck pain is gone, and I no longer have to hold the back of my head when I’m enjoying my last sip of my favorite beverage.  Kimberly’s rotator cuff pain is gone, too!  We make both push ups and pull ups a mandatory part of our ActivCore ® workout sessions, and as a result we have happier necks and shoulders!!

June 10, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . ACTIVCORE®, Pilates on Fifth Postings, The Pilates Center of New York Postings. Leave a comment.

Tired of your Exercise Routine?? TRY SOMETHING NEW!!!!

stretchAt our Pilates Studio, we hear people complain often about being sick and tired of their workout regime.  There is actually a really easy remedy to this problem:  quit your typical workout regime for  a week or two, and try new things!!  With the beautiful weather comes the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, so why not take a walk, ride a bike, etc?  Better yet, why not try something you’ve never tried before?

Trying new things not only refreshes your mind, but also gives your overworked muscles a break, while introducing movement and stimuli to often dormant muscles.  Moving the body in planes of motion different than what you typically do can reap lots of benefits, including balancing out muscle groups as well as exposing you to a weakness that you may have not known that you had.  With that knowledge, you’ll have something new to target when you return to your regular fitness routine.

You will be amazed with the outcome if you give your mind and body a necessary break.  You’ll come back to your usual Pilates routine refreshed, revived, and invigorated!!

May 28, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

Shape Up for Summer – Best Pilates Exercises for the Butt

pilates blogThe season of shorts, short skirts and bathing suits begs one question: How do we get buns that defy gravity? Or, better yet, how do we get a well-toned butt quickly? We’ve listed our favorite Pilates exercises for beautiful backsides. Read on…

As far as Pilates exercises go, there are PLENTY that will help shape up your backside, as well as give you super flat abs in the process. The following “Butt Blaster” routine can be done in as little as ten minutes!

1) Hip Rolls

2) Hip Rolls with Heel Lifts

3) Shoulder Bridge (any variation will do…. Start with #1 & work up to the full exercise)

4) Watchdog

5) Short Plank with Leg Lifts

6) Swan Dive #2 (Slow Rock – One Leg)

7) Swimming #1 or #2 … your choice!

End with a nice cat stretch just to relax the muscles that have been stabilizing your spine throughout! If you have a question about any of these Pilates exercises, just watch any of our podcasts at www.pilatesonfifth.com/video.

For a great workout featuring the stretch band, try our “Strong, Svelte & Savvy – Legs & Butt with Band workout” on ultimatepilatesworkouts.com!

And to top it off, don’t forget your cardio!! The only way to truly reveal the beautiful muscles you’ve sculpted is to get rid of the superfluous fat that might be lying on top. And you don’t have to go crazy…. Just adding 20 minutes of cardio a day can do wonders! Click here for more information on 20 minute cardio workouts!

May 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

Watch Ultimate Pilates Workouts on television!

tvUltimate Pilates Workouts is today’s leading internet resource for instructional Pilates exercises and full-length workouts. The website was designed to promote cost-effective Pilates with convenience. Ultimate Pilates Workouts offers an ever-growing library of full-length, well-rounded workouts accessible to a variety of levels of Pilates lovers. Since membership accounts exist online, users can login from any computer and pick the perfect workout for their day. Enjoy professional Pilates instruction from the convenience of your own laptop or desktop computer! Or, better yet… enjoy Ultimate Pilates Workouts on your own television screen!

Laptop and desktop computers come in all shapes and sizes these days. In fact, it has become increasingly more impressive just how skinny, compact, lightweight, etc, etc… (you name it!) computer designs have evolved. However, as a do computer screens. Compact computers are excellent for those of us on the go! It’s easy on the back and shoulders, and paired with wireless internet it brings modern convenience quite literally to our fingertips. However, all of us at Ultimate Pilates Workouts understand that this can bring extra challenge to your Pilates workout. The Pilates method is already difficult, with a myriad of details to recount while supporting our pelvis, circling our arms, softening our ribs, connecting our inner thighs and relaxing our shoulders down. We’re not interested in exercising your vision. Why add extra challenge with a miniature computer screen to follow along with for your favorite Pilates mat workouts?

Forget the inner thighs! Well, not entirely… Rather, let’s also connect our laptops! Let’s connect our laptops and desktop computers to our televisions to make Ultimate Pilates Workouts come to life in our living rooms! Connecting computers to television screens is quick and easy! Follow these simple steps:

1. First you need a video cable for making the physically connection.

Most computers have an S-Video port that can be connected to the S-Video input of your TV screen using a very cheap S-Video cable (it’s round with 4 or 7 pins).

For better picture quality, you should connect the computer to the TV using standard VGA ports or via the DVI to HDMI cable provided your TV supports these ports.

2. Open the “display settings” in your Vista computer and activate output to the TV screen. You can either mirror content of your computer on the TV or extend the display just like a dual monitor screen.

3. Pick up your TV remote and switch to “External Inputs” from the menu. You will need to change the default “Video 1” to a different selection which may be “HDMI 1” or “Video 2” depending on how you have made the connection.

Important: Make sure you connect the cable to the TV before turning on the computer as sometimes it may fail to recognize external display.

For easy-to-follow instructional videos on how to connect your laptop to your computer, check out these two fabulous clips!

Click here for laptops!

Click here for desktops!

May 11, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

Shape Up for Summer: Get the most out of your Cardio!!

woman-runningSo we’ve talked so far about shaping your arms, your abs and waistline for summer, but the main ingredient to this Shape Up for Summer Recipe is CARDIO!!!!  Despite the hours you may put in toning your body and sculpting your muscles, if you do not burn the fat that might surround them, YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR BEAUTIFUL MUSCLES!!!!  At our Pilates studio, we encourage our clients to cross train with cardio, to the extent that we have cardio equipment in the studio and offer CARDIOLATES® classes so that more cardiosvascular exercise may be integrated into a Pilates workout routine.  However, success with cardio exercise depends on many factors other than the type of cardio fitness plan that you choose.

cardio-dvdSuccess with a cardio routine depends on three factors:  frequency (how many times per week), duration (how many minutes) and intensity (degree of difficulty), and they are all interrelated.  For example, a cardio routine that is of super high intensity may be sustainable for as long a duration as something that is of moderate intensity.  And there is also the enjoyment factor!  For example, something like climbing stairs is VERY intense, burning up to 150 calories in ten minutes for someone my size (click here for more information); however, if you loathe climbing stairs and cringe at the sight of a stairmaster, you may not be likely to stay on the stairmaster for a sufficient duration to see great results.  On top of that, torturing yourself with cardio you hate will likely make you feel justified in skipping your workout the next day (frequency).  However, if you love walking, even though it burns less calories when compared with that of other, more high intensity choices, you will most likely increase both the frequency and duration of your workouts, burning more calories over the long term.  Some of our clients over the years who are the tiniest are the ones who walk all the time!!!

Plan your cardio routines over a week, not each day, so that you give yourself some leeway.  Don’t worry about having to burn 500 calories in a single workout session, especially if you know that you typically can only squeeze that killer workout in twice a week.  Wouldn’t it be better to do something that burns only 300 calories, but actually has you doing it 4-5 times per week?  That’s a net gain of 200-500 calories per week.  And everything adds up.  EVERYTHING!  So, find a form of cardio that you love to do, because then you’ll do it!!

Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured, and that goes for cardio, too!!!

New CARDIOLATES® workouts will be up on www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com next week!!!

May 4, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

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