“Dance as though no one is watching you”…. but do Pilates like everyone is!!

single-leg-stretchYes, we know that Souza did not end his famous poem as such, but if we’ve learned one thing from the filming of our Pilates workouts, it’s how to increase the intensity of your . If you don’t think Pilates is hard enough, then imagine that you are doing Pilates in an Olympic arena, equipped with a full panel of judges who score you based on proper execution…. WOW!! Take it from us, it’s grueling. You can take a “beginner’s” workout and turn it into one of the best workout sessions just by focusing on all the little details and fine tuning. We like to think of it this way: as long as you’re investing the time to work out, then why not get the most that you can out of your session? Here are some few helpful hints based on what we’ve gleaned from filming our Pilates videos for the site:

1) Pull your abs in!! …And when you think they’re in, pull in a little more! Then, with every new exercises and every other repetition, repeat!

2) Straighten your knees fully! We know that we’ve written about the knees before, but it really is a way to kick up the intensity and get the whole body involved.

3) Open the shoulders! Involve the muscles of the upper backto keep the shoulders from rounding forward and create that beautiful, trademark Pilates posture.

4) Don’t forget your glutes! When doing side lying or prone exercises, your glutes (the muscles in your buttocks) are key to stabilizing your torso and upholding Pilates as a total body workout.

So there you have it! Just a few simple tips to help you get the most out of your Pilates workouts. Also, in addition to the four points above, proper form and technique will make the Pilates exercises even more effective. If you need help with an exercise or just want to know if you’re doing a Pilates exercise correctly, simply check out any of our podcasts. (link to podcasts)

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March 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings. Leave a comment.

Pilates and weight loss, part 3

obliques-roll-downThis week we have been discussing Pilates, weight loss and the factors that contribute to weight loss.  Stress is often cited as a cause of weight gain — or weight loss — and Pilates is often cited as a stress-reducing exercise system.  So today we will explore the effects stress has on the body and how Pilates can help.

After sifting through all the information available on the internet regarding stress and weight fluctuations, we came to one conclusion:  doctors and researchers disagree on the exact hormonal changes stress induces in the body that could lead to changes in weight.  In short, some believe stress increases cortisol levels which causes weight gain.  But according to the Mayo Clinic, “…there is no evidence that the amount of cortisol produced by a healthy individual under stress is enough to cause weight gain.”  In fact, popular diet pills which claimed to be “cortisol blockers” were recently banned by the FDA for unsubstantiated claims of weight loss, and the companies were forced to pay millions in consumer refunds.  For a review of other diet pills by the Mayo Clinic, click here.

Other sites discuss stress-induced insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome as additional causes of weight gain.  Undoubtedly, stress is damaging to the body, but each individual has his/her own unique health concerns and his/her own predispositions to certain health issues.  Thus, we have included links to the additional information, but would prefer to focus on that which the experts DO agree!

scissorsMost researchers, physicians and nutritionists agree that “emotional eating” or “nervous eating” remains the true reason stress leads to weight gain.  While some respond to stress by NOT eating, many of us reach for the chocolate chip cookie or the entire bag of chips in times of stress.  Because eating healthily — like choosing the carrot sticks over the candy bar — can feel like punishment to the overworked, exhausted, frazzled body, we seek to “take care of ourselves” with food that instantly gratifies us and makes us say “life is good after all!”  The desire to take care of one’s self is a positive act, yet the choices made usually are not the best for the body in the long run.

The good news:  Pilates can help keep stress in check!  It can be hard to shift your thinking to viewing exercise as a reward and a gift you give to yourself, but our suggestion is simple — give it a try!  Wouldn’t it be worth it if you slept better or felt better about yourself after your workout?  Try the Renew and Revitalize Workout from UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com for an energizing, core strengthening workout, or the Strength and Challenge Workout for a more challenging routine that will surely release excess stress!

If you’re struggling with cravings, unfortunately, there is no easy solution.  Try a Hershey’s Kiss instead of the entire candy bar, or buy a smaller bag of chips if you fear you’ll devour a large bag before you know it.  Satisfying a craving is not the problem…the degree to which one satisfies a craving usually is!  You just have to decide “will eating this make me more or less happy in the long run…..”

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

The potpourri of Pilates in New York City

treeDo you remember your favorite teacher from high school? If you’re like most people, your favorite teacher significantly influenced your interest in the subject she taught. Well, it’s no surprise that your first Pilates teacher will most likely shape your preferences for one type of Pilates over another — for better or worse!

As for the two of us, we don’t have “Pilates bodies” — and some Pilates teachers we’ve had through the years made us abundantly aware of that fact! I wanted to feel GOOD leaving a session, but instead felt like Quasimodo and wished I’d had a potato sack to hide my deformed, twisted, imperfect body. Of course we both ended up embracing the type of Pilates that was taught to us by a teacher who was open, fun, inspiring, life-affirming, attentive to imbalances but full of compassion and had us feeling really GREAT about our bodies and our potential after the lesson.

If you have tried Pilates and hated it, then by all means, give it another try. Maybe you and the teacher just didn’t “click.” To make this easier for you, we have included some links to some great Pilates studios in the city, all of which teach slightly different styles of Pilates. Of course we’d love to see you at our studio, Pilates on Fifth, but we also know that location and style can be everything, and there are many great Pilates studios here in NYC! Here’s the list….and we know all of these owners and can state confidently that they are exceptionally qualified AND kind individuals who are dedicated to their craft.

LindaFit by Linda Farrell: www.lindafit.com. Linda is a beautiful lady both inside and out and teaches fabulous body-sculpting mat classes throughout the city (just check out her legs if you don’t believe us!) She teaches at Steps, Broadway Dance Center and Equinox among other locations.

Rolates, run by Roberta Kirschenbaum: www.rolates.com. Roberta is kind and wise — a perfect combination for a great Pilates instructor and studio owner. Rolates often conducts innovative, educational workshops and has the added bonus of inhabiting Joseph Pilates’ original studio space!

Pilates Reforming New York, run by husband and wife team Ann Toran and Errol Toran: www.pilatesreformingny.com. Ann delivers challenging core-strengthening, elongating workouts conveniently scheduled throughout the day. Pilates Reforming New York specializes in energizing group reformer classes.

Power Pilates, presided over by Dr. Howard Sichel: www.powerpilates.com. Dr. Sichel and Power Pilates has an amazing team of leaders in the Pilates industry providing high quality instruction at 6 locations throughout New York City and more throughout the country.

So remember….if you tried Pilates once and didn’t like it, please give it another chance! Maybe it isn’t for you, but if you’re reading this, then you’re interested enough to give it another try!

March 19, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings. Leave a comment.

Pilates and weight loss, part 2

my_first_pilates_workout_watchdog1In our last article, we discussed many factors that contribute to weight loss.   Today, we explain how lack of sleep inhibits successful weight loss.  For all those who force themselves to stay up late and get up early, this article is for you!

The body produces many hormones, two of which are directly related to sleep and appetite.  One is ghrelin and the other is leptin.  Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and triggers hunger, while leptin is produced in adipose tissue and signals satiety, in other words, it tells the body “I’m full.”  In healthy individuals, ghrelin levels are naturally higher before a meal and leptin levels are naturally higher after a meal.

When one is sleep deprived, however, ghrelin levels climb and lower the levels of leptin in the body.  A sleep-deprived body receives signals that it is hungry beause the appetite control hormone leptin has been “turned off” by the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin.  A study in the journal PLoS Medicine shows the correlation between short sleep duration and high levels of ghrelin.  Over a 15 year period from 1989-2004, the study shows that people who consistently sleep only five hours a night exhibit a 15% increase in ghrelin (the appetite stimulant) and a 16% decrease in leptin (the “I’m full” signal).

According to the researcher behind the study, Emmanuelle Mignot of Stamford University, this proves a regulatory problem exists in people of today’s “unnatural” society.  Before the desk job became the dominate characteristic of modern work, the human race engaged in physical activity daily as a natural part of life.  Physical activity both increases one’s appetite and one’s need for sleep.  But today, most of us are sedentary much of the day, yet forgo sleep to try and squeeze more work into the day.  So we’re not getting enough physical activity AND we’re not sleeping!  Thus, the hormone ghrelin is flowing causing us to feel hungry and eat more, though we’re not engaging in the activity necessary to burn the calories of the additional food intake.

Most people tend to brag about how little sleep they get or how little sleep they need.  Somehow, sleeping less has become the sign of a “hard worker” or a “dedicated employee,” but please don’t fall into that trap!  Sleep is good!  You can do the “Hundreds” thousands of times and do Pilates workouts (or any workout for that matter) until you are exhausted, but if you are not sleeping adequately, the hormone ghrelin is most likely thwarting your progress.  Sleep is not only replenishing, it also serves to balance these important hormones — so get to bed — NOW!

Our next article will discuss how stress is related to weight gain so tune in next time!

March 18, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings. Leave a comment.

The secret to flat abs and a healthy spine

hundredsAs I was climbing into bed last night, I was pondering the best way to write about proper abdominal usage.  I figured I’d think of something, so assumed my usual supine position, snuggled close to my two bulldogs and drifted off to sleep.  Then, in the wee hours of the morning, I was awakened by the weight of one of my (hungry) 45 pound bulldogs traipsing across my stomach to lie on my torso and exfoliate my skin (a proven method for getting me up to feed them).  Instinctively, I tightened my abs and pushed OUT to prevent her dagger-like paw from impaling my liver, pancreas, stomach or any other vital organ.

As I deliriously poured some kibble into the bowl, it hit me!  We humans KNOW what to do to protect our organs but don’t know what to do to protect our lower backs!  Clearly, with a bulldog on your stomach, you’re going to tighten your abs and push OUT — so obvious, right?  But to protect your lower back, you must PULL IN the abdominal muscles and keep the belly-button glued to the front wall of the spine.  If it’s not initially obvious, think of it this way:  to protect your lower back, you want the abs to be as close to the spine as possible.  So pull in!

“Pulling in” targets the deepest layer of the 4 abdominal muscles, the transversus abdominus.  The transversus abdominus, or “TA,” wraps around the abdominal cavity like a corset or girdle with horizontally running fibers that compress the abdominal contents when contracted.  We won’t go into the debate currently looming in the Pilates/kinesiology world regarding its role in stabilizing the core, but we will tell you this.  If you focus on keeping your belly button drawn to the front wall of your spine through all of your abdominal work (this includes crunches, push-ups, etc.) you will see a dramatic difference in core strength.  Our clients have experienced great success focusing on this deep muscle, instead of just the Rectus Abdominus (the “six pack” muscle) or the Obliques.

flatabspullinginflatabspushingout

Do:  Keep your abs flat!                     Don’t:  Let them pop!

Try this:  do “the Hundreds” and follow the directions exactly.  Can you keep you abs FLAT, with your belly-button pulled to the spine the whole time (see the picture on the left above).  Or do your abs “pop” halfway through (as in the picture on the right)?  If they do, a great way to start training is to keep the knees bent for exercises like “The Hundreds” until the endurance of transversus abdominus increases.

After years of teaching, I know that the idea of “pulling in” and not “pushing out” can be confusing, but learning to pull in will do wonders for your abdominal strength and your lower back, not to mention a flatter stomach and a more defined mid-section!

Just getting started with Pilates or want to brush up on technique?  Try “My First Pilates Workout” at http://www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com!

March 9, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . ACTIVCORE®, Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

Attention to details brings success with Pilates

spine-twistWhen very fit individuals come to our studio for their first Pilates experience, we often hear “my abs are really strong and I’m super-fit, so I want a hard workout.” So they take a class or a private, and while the instructor tries to cue them to follow proper technique and work more deeply, their mind is fixed on a “feeling” delivered by another workout and NOT focused on Pilates. So sometimes, Pilates can be a disappointment! Well, by the logic of “my abs are really strong and I’m super fit, so….”, we should walk into a martial arts studio and say “we can kick (from our Rockette days) and we’re strong (thanks to Pilates), so just put us with the black belts.”

That’s hilarious, right?! I hope you got a good laugh out of that. True, “fit” individuals may progress faster than others at a new endeavor, but everyone must adopt a beginner’s mindset when starting a new activity if they want to see results. Though there are exceptions, people who don’t see results, usually didn’t take the time to learn the proper way to do it. Every sport or dance style — or almost every activity, really — has a technique that should be followed to achieve maximum results. From a golf swing to a quarterback’s throw, from a hurdler’s leap to a pirouette, some expert in the field has taken the time to document the proper biomechanics that make the ball go further or the hurdler go faster or the dancer turn beautifully.

This week we’ll focus on different aspects of Pilates technique from pelvic placement to ribs to shoulders, but until then, here are some general tips you can follow:

1. SLOW DOWN! Don’t speed through your Pilates session. Slower is harder. Faster is easier. breathing deeply and fluidly (no grunting!) may help with this.

2. Listen to your instructor and follow their cues. Could you pull your abs in more? Are your shoulders down?

3. Think QUALITY not QUANTITY: are you stretching your legs fully? are you pulling your abs in as much as possible?

4. STOP if something hurts. Pilates is not meant to hurt. If your neck hurts, set your head down. If your hip flexors are gripping, rest.

If you’re just aching to have more info now, please log onto www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com and watch the technique video on the training page. (You must be a “basic member” to do this, but basic membership is absolutely FREE!! Ultimate Pilates Workouts offers free and unlimited access to full-length Pilates workouts! Free Pilates workouts online! Create your own cutomized Pilates DVD! And, it’s perfect for all levels!) And try the Spine Twist….an exercise that seems very simple when done improperly, but when done well, can really make you feel your abs!

March 6, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

A Great Review of UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com

As we embarked upon the world of blogging, we started reading other fitness blogs just to see what the whole thing was about.  We stumbled upon a number of blogs, and one that we really loved is Every Gym’s Nightmare (www.everygymsnightmare.com), written by Kelly Turner.

Her fitness blog is fabulous…. It’s not a Pilates blog per se, but it’s a super fun read and very informative.  She offers a great perspective to the fitness world on the sometimes delicate balance between a healthy focus on diet & exercise as opposed to a fanatical one.  Because we liked her blog so much, we asked her to review www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com on her site.  Happily, she didn’t take as much convincing as others that we really offer free Pilates workouts online!  She jumped right in, and here’s an excerpt from her blog:

“I started with the beginner video, because I am a beginner at Pilates. I know I’m in shape, and am usually prone to jumping into advanced things before I know the basics, but decided to do this properly and learn the fundamentals.

The cueing was perfect. Instead of becoming confused trying to figure out on my own if I was doing an exercise properly, I knew exactly where I should be feeling things and what motion I was trying to achieve. I’m a trainer, I know how hard it is to cue for the core, but with Katherine’s direction, I knew exactly what to do.

…Pilates is perfect for focusing on your core, and how to engage, and keep it engaged, throughout all the exercises. It’s a full body, low impact, flexibility and strength workout. I’m hooked.

It’s the perfect melding between a good sweaty workout and yoga. I get my flexbility and calming effect, while appeasing my gym side with reps and muscle fatigue.

I really recommend this site for all levels: beginners to test the waters for free and see if they like it, and the most advanced Pilatuers (pronounced pi-la-tooooooors) for great downloads of workout with equipment and the Reformer…”

But don’t just read this!  Go to Kelly’s blog and read the entire review.  While you’re on her site, make sure you bookmark her site and sign up for her email alerts.  Kelly holds weekly give aways (yes, free stuff!), and she makes it very easy for her readers to submit to win.  You also might learn something in the process!

February 9, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

ACTIVCORE…. Versatile, Adaptable, Remarkable!

After introducing ActivCore to our studio in early January, we have been both amazed and swept away by how swiftly we are getting stronger, correcting bad habits, and seeing amazing results.  Our clients are seeing significant results too, and as more clients and instructors try ActivCore for the first time, two new questions are emerging:

1) Do you have to be really strong to do this?

2) How is ActivCore different from TRX??

We decided to answer both questions simultaneously, as they actually are interrelated. In a nutshell, the answer to the first question is a big “NO”! And in response to the second question, the two biggest difference between ActivCore and TRX are the following:

1) The Scientific Knowledge of Neuromuscular Activation (Neurac.)

2) The Bungees (See video Japanese PT.)

However, it’s not that simple.

For starters, ActivCore has a presence in three markets:

a) Rehabilitation (using the Neurac Technique)

b) Wellness/Pilates/Fitness

c) Athletic performance

In a rehabilitative setting, there is obviously no expectation of a certain strength level, and this extends to the Pilates and wellness applications as well. With ActivCore as well as Pilates, we can just as easily train someone who has very weak core strength as we can someone with a super strong core. TRX is comparable to ActivCore only in the area of athletic performance. Some of the exercises even look similar. Just after watching a few TRX exercises, you can see how the core is continually challenged by lifting the body’s own weight while combating multi-directional forces with the suspension system. There is no doubt that TRX practitioners will get SUPER strong, but it IS up to the user to know his/her own “edge,” and hopefully to know ahead of time whether he/she has the appropriate strength of any given exercise. With ActivCore, however, trainers have the luxury of a system that allows for off-weighting so that the right muscle is engaged in the right amount at the right time, with no risk for injury. Because of this, ActivCore will increase core and muscle strength (which will of course enhance athletic performance) while being mindful of limitations or weakness in any joint.

Refer to the chart below for the comparisons.

ACTIVCORE

TRX

Multi-planar movement harnessing body’s own weight enhances core strength

Multi-planar movement harnessing body’s own weight enhances core strength

Workouts can be customized quickly by adjusting the system

Workouts can be customized quickly by adjusting the system

Able to isolate & stimulate impaired neuromuscular connections, usually stabilizing muscles

No applications for neuromuscular dysfunction

Bungees allow for “off-weighting”, which permits 100% pain free exercises while stimulating the target muscles

No off-weighting option available, and pain is often present if core muscles and stabilizers are not strong and functioning optimally

No risk for injury, as the muscles never hold more than their load threshhold and key stabilizers are activated for optimal results

Great risk for injury, as weakness may cause the load threshhold to be too low for a given exercise, and fear or neuromuscular dysfunction can cause the wrong muscles to engage

Movement targeted at the neuromuscular and physical level

Movement targeted at the physical level only

System includes tests to discover “weak links” in muscle chains

System not designed to include muscle impairment tests

ActivCore has spent the past 10 years specifically developing a technique that, combined with the Redcord tools, is able to isolate and stimulate impaired neuromuscular connections, usually in stabilizer muscles. TRX is not designed to nor has the scientific research behind it to do this. While it may get into some closed kinetic chain exercises, it is extremely limited in the loading and unloading compared to the bungee, and it does not feature an application for neuromuscular dysfunction.

So How Do these Bungees work?

The bungee itself allows any patient or client to do these exercises or stimulate the specific muscles in a pain free environment by un-weighting themselves. Once they isolate the specific muscle and do the exercise pain free, they immediately begin stimulating the brain to fire those muscles again. Then they can continue their progression to strengthen that restored neuromuscular connection even more. We have heard through the grapevine that the TRX can and has actually hurt people if their core strength and joint stabilizers are not strong enough to perform the exercises. With the ActivCore system of Redcord, the bungees to make it very easy and pain free, eventually strengthening the body (both physically and on a neuromuscular level) to the point where it doesn’t need the bungees anymore. Moreover, the muscle imbalance tests which are part of the ActivCore system allow the instructor to assess the weak links and thus choose exercises to restore and strengthen the weak or dormant muscle on a neuromuscular level, so now those stabilizers are firing at 100% instead of 40%, for example.

For more about the scientific knowledge of neuromuscular activation (Neurac):

Neurac is an innovative stabilization exercise and muscle activation therapy technique developed in Norway. Experience in 22 countries is a testament to the effectiveness of Neurac in the identification of muscle imbalances and activation of deep stabilizing muscles to restore core stability and address a wide range of neuromuscular dysfunctions. The Neurac technique utilizes highly specialized Redcord equipment and its unique and highly effective because it allows trained professionals to evaluate core and joint instability in clients of ability levels and facilitate precisely graded stabilizing exercises that activate and strengthen weak or inactive muscles, restore proper function, and reduce muscle pain or discomfort.

It’s no wonder that the Pilates world has embraced ActivCore with open arms!!! ActivCore is AMAZING at filling in the gaps that Pilates leaves, which makes Pilates and ActivCore so complementary. ActivCore is a fabulous addition to Pilates on Fifth, and to any Pilates studio! For information about ActivCore certification in New York, email activcore@pilatesonfifth.com or 212-687-8885. Outside New York? Email info@activcore.com.

 


 

January 28, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . ACTIVCORE®, Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings. Leave a comment.

Pilates and the Secret to Flat Abs, Part II

<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–> In our continuing endeavor to help you all get the most out of your Pilates workouts, we’d like to share with you one of our secrets: The “Aborama.” Never heard of it? Of course not! This is the pet name that we created to summarize five classical Pilates exercises that we string together in Pilates mat workout after workout, after workout… so much so that we got tired of writing down the exercises separately. The official components of the Aborama are as follows: Rolling Like a Ball, Single Leg Stretch, Obliques, Double Leg Stretch, and Scissors, and all Pilates certification programs include these staples of the Pilates repertoire. Many of you have probably already noticed that we use this special “Aborama” at Pilates on Fifth, in our Pilates on Fifth podcasts, and in most of our UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com mat workouts. Why do we love the Aborama so much? For one, it offers A LOT of bang for the buck, AND it offers Pilates enthusiasts and Pilates instructors alike an amazing, effective and easy way to alter the level of difficulty and endurance required.

For example, here are some recommendations and modifications for the Pilates Aborama:

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Level I

Level II

Level III

Level IV

Level V

Rolling Like a Ball

4-6 reps

6-8 reps

8-10 reps

10-12 reps

10-12 reps

Single Leg Stretch

3-4 sets; legs high

4-6 sets; legs a little lower

6-8 sets; legs 45° or lower

8-10 sets; legs 45° or lower

10-12 sets; legs 45° or lower

Obliques

3-4 sets; legs high

4-6 sets; legs a little lower

6-8 sets; legs 45° or lower

8-10 sets; legs 45° or lower

10-12 sets; legs 45° or lower

Double Leg Stretch

4-6 reps; legs high

6-8 sets; legs a little lower

6-8 sets; legs 45° or lower

8-10 sets; legs 45° or lower

10-12 sets; legs 45° or lower

Scissors

4-6 sets; bottom leg high

6-8 sets; legs a little lower

6-8 sets; legs 45° or lower

8-10 sets; legs 45° or lower

10-12 sets; legs 45° or lower

So there you have it. Now of course, it is very common that you get a little ambitious and increase the repetitions of the first three, only the reduce them for the last two exercises. That’s OK!! Also, if you need to take a break and then resume, then do that, too! If you feel like your abs have fatigued and that they’re no longer supporting you, they’re probably not, and that only means band news for your lower back. And remember, if you’re not sure if you’re doing an exercise correctly, you can always visit our Pilates technique videos.

Moreover, don’t let ANYONE fool you! There is no magic number as far as repetitions go for Pilates exercises, and because  quality beats quantity hands down with Pilates, doing Pilates exercises incorrectly doesn’t really do you alot of good. As long as you’re going to put in the effort, you might as well get the most out of it!! Starting slow and then gradually increasing the reps and level of difficulty is not only smart (it will keep you injury-free), but it will also help prevent the dreaded plateau effect.

So, enhance your at home Pilates workouts with the Aborama, using the chart above to pick a plan appropriate to your level. And remember, it’s better to do a little every day than to exercise to fatigue one day and be incapable of doing any abdominal work for the rest of the week!! Take it slow, do a little each day, and you’ll be on the road to stronger abs, a healthier lower back*, and a flatter tummy in no time.

We truly want our blog to be the ultimate online resource on Pilates, so please e-mail us your questions about Pilates! We’re happy to answer questions on everything about Pilates!

*if you have back problems or experience in regular back pain, please consult your doctor!!

January 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

Top 10 Reasons Pilates on 5th clients love ACTIVCORE®

So, after two wonderful weeks of ActivCore® integration at Pilates on Fifth, we thought that we would survey our clients and see what they had to say about it.

For starters, everyone “loves it”! Because the same comments kept popping up over and over, we’ve compiled our own Top Ten List…. TOP TEN COMMENTS WE HEAR ABOUT ACTIVCORE®:

10. “Wow! I really feel my core!”

9. “It’s so intense!”

8. “I didn’t know I had those muscles!”

7. “It’s like my lower back pain just dissolved”!

6. “I can feel myself getting stronger!”

5. “It’s so intense!”

4. “Why am I shaking after only 4 reps?”

3. “I’ve never felt my inner thighs work like this!”

2. “I feel like it’s correcting all my bad habits!”

1. It’s so intense!”

And there you have it. With one system, you get a core strengthening, ab flattening, muscle targeting, inner thigh shaping, lower back pain relieving, super-intense workout. Who could ask for anything more?

January 23, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . ACTIVCORE®, Pilates on Fifth Postings, The Pilates Center of New York Postings. Leave a comment.

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