Budget-proof Pilates

In an effort to create inexpensive Pilates for those who love the Pilates method but have found that the economy has them choosing necessities over Pilates group classes and private lessons, internationally acclaimed Pilates instructor trainers Katherine and Kimberly Corp have devised an effective solution. Their modus is the internet and their intentions are in your best interest. Launching the first-ever Pilates workout website, Ultimate Pilates Workouts.com makes the high quality and expert Pilates instruction available to the clientele at the Corps’ premier NYC-Pilates studio available to everyone and anyone, with two major causes in mind: time and affordability. They’ve taken their Pilates on Fifth repertoire to the internet! And, all you need is a computer connected to the worldwide web.

There is no need to forego your favorite Pilates workouts either at home or at your Pilates studio. Katherine and Kimberly Corp have created a comprehensive, perfect for all levels, workout library online for the convenience of our Pilates-at-home clientele! The website, entitled “Ultimate Pilates Workouts” (www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com) features both full-length workout videos and classic training exercises. Ultimate Pilates Workouts is free to join, and by selecting the membership category that best accommodates your personal needs and interests opens up access to full-length mat, small equipment, and specialty workouts! Each month the website features four unique workout videos to its members… free! This month stars the following 60-minute mat workouts:

My First Pilates Workout
Bride to Be
Morning Low Back Care
The “I don’t have to workout” Workout

The innovative site also offers a unique exercise catalogue for the reformer, cadillac, chair, and barrel equipment. Brand-new, target-area, and thoroughly instructed workouts are added each month to spice up variety for each of our member’s workout regime. The first website of its kind, Ultimate Pilates Workouts aims to offer Pilates workouts tailored to individuals with lower back pain, pregnancy, athletes, dancers, seniors, and the everyday Pilates enthusiast alike! The broad range of videos available to both view and download make Pilates accessible to anyone, anywhere at anytime!

Do you want to improve your golf swing? Ultimate Pilates Workouts.com can make it happen. Do you want to be able to lift your grandchild without lower back pain? Katherine and Kimberly will help you achieve your goal. Do you want to develop long, strong muscles, improve your posture, or increase your flexibility? Tell them, and they’ll help you achieve them.

Don’t wait any longer! Visit www.ultimatepilatesworkouts.com! And, don’t hesitate to forward any questions or concerns to their courteous and knowledgeable staff by email to info@ultimatepilatesworkouts.com.

Advertisements

December 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com Postings. Leave a comment.

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.

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.

POSTURE ANALYSIS AND PILATES

This past weekend the Pilates Academy International held its very popular Anatomy, Biomechanics and Posture Analysis course at the Instructor Training headquarters at Pilates on Fifth in New York City.  The course was taught by Katherine Corp and Anna Hillengas, and was well received by the participants, a great group comprised of Pilates instructors and people who wish to become a Pilates instructor from New York, Philadelphia, Japan, Sydney and Spain.

My favorite part of the course is the Posture Analysis, as this is the point in the course where the somewhat “rote” memorization of anatomy and biomechanics comes to life in three dimension.   Suddenly the students discover their own postural abnormalities and can link their own posture to a muscle/group of muscles that are tight or loose, too-strong or too weak, or over/under-developed.  …And then there’s the “EUREKA!” moment, in which students realize WHY they’ve been having problems with a certain exercise or group of exercises.

Natural Curves of a Healthy Spine

Take, for instance, the case of excessive kyphosis of the thoracic spine.  While the thoracic spine is supposed to have a slight curve posteriorly (see picture right), the curve can become excessive, as in the picture below (see picture below).  In this type of posture, the muscles in the FRONT of the shoulder, the pectoralis major, minor, and anterior deltoids are usually tight, while the muscle in the back of the shoulder girdle, the middle & lower traps and the rhomboids, are usually long and weak as well.   The muscles in the back of the neck, the cervical extensors, however, will usually be tight.  While every case is unique, just by looking at the posture, you can assume that exercises like Breast Stroke and Swimming will be very difficult, if not impossible to perform with a great deal of success IN THEIR ORIGINAL PILATES FORM!  It is the job of the Pilates Instructor to find a way to work around the initial postural stumbling blocks so that clients can perform Pilates safely  (click here for our safety videos on Ultimate Pilates Workouts.com).  We suggest modifying exercises to start upright, or lying at the edge of a bed (or a Cadillac) to work the extensors just to bring the spine into a more neutral alignment.

Kyphosis

Curvature of the Lumbar Spine

Another example is the case of excessive lordosis of the lumbar spine.  Similar to kyphosis, the lumbar spine has a natural curve, but its curve is anterior (see picture right).  However, the curve can be excessive, as seen in the picture.  For these individuals, oftentimes the external obliques are usually weak, while the hip flexors are very tight.  In the back of the body, the hamstrings are relatively long while the erector spinae are short and tight.  People with lordosis who do Pilates have to be very careful with exercises like The Hundreds, Double Leg Stretch and Teaser, as it will be difficult for them to maintain a strong connection in their abdominal muscles against the weight of the legs.  We suggest starting with seated exercises like Half Roll Down or Obliques Roll Down, and doing supine exercises with the legs in the air with the legs in Table Top, or knees bent.  For more suggestions about Pilates exercises for Lordosis, we suggest you check out one of our Pilates Instruction Manuals or our training videos on Ultimate Pilates Workouts.com.

Vertical, Posterior Tilt and Anterior Tilt of the Pelvis

And finally, just not to leave any postural deviation out, there are those with the flat back posture.  These individuals distinctly do not have curvature in the lumbar spine, and the pelvis is in a posterior tilt as well (see picture left).   In terms of muscles, tight hamstrings are usually rampant, so don’t expect your client (or yourself, for that matter), to be able to sit right up on the sits bones with the legs outstretched in front…. It might not be possible!!  Be prepared to modify the start positions of all Pilates exercises that start seated with the legs straight, such as Spine Twist, Spine Stretch Forward, Saw, etc.  Additionally, the abs may be a little short and tight, so exercises such as Swan Dive, which involve full extension of the spine and lengthening of the abdominal muscles, may be challenging.

It’s actually easy to do a postural assessment on most people, but keep in mind that our abnormalities or affectations are not so big that it’s the first thing noticed.  Don’t try to make yourself (or your friends, for that matter), “fit” into one of the scenarios that we’ve included here.  We’ve mainly included them because it’s oftentimes much easier to understand something when you think of it in terms of extremes, and that’s what these cases are.  For example, Kimberly and I both have scoliosis (but our spines curve in opposite directions…), but it’s not so severe that it’s ever kept us from doing anything.  It merely explains why Katherine tends to roll to the right while doing Rolling Like a Ball, while Kimberly rolls to the left!

You, too can do a quick postural assessment that will help with your Pilates prowess.  In our search for pictures of different postural abnormalities/affectations, we came across a site that gave a how-to for postural assessments, and it’s quite thorough!  As we are not big fans of re-inventing the wheel, we just thought that we’d link to it!  Here is the link for “How do to a Standing Postural Assessment”: http://mindbodyfitness.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_do_a_standing_static_postural_assessment.

In a final note, learning Posture Analysis gives people watching a whole new meaning!!  Try sitting at a Starbucks and doing a quick posture analysis on by passersby, or even a postural analysis on the person standing in front of you at the bank or at the supermarket……  Happy watching!

January 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Pilates on Fifth Postings, Pilates Posts, The Pilates Center of New York Postings, UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com 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: 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.

Golfers find better posture through Pilates, part 1

golf-pilates-pictures-posture-1We’re back for a week of golf-related Pilates articles with our resident golf expert, PGA member and certified Pilates teacher Rick Nielsen.

Pilates offers many benefits to the golfer looking for effective cross-training by focusing on alignment, proper biomechanics and symmetry of movement.  Good posture is key to achieving a good set-up position for the golf swing, so this week, we’ll focus on proper posture in the set-up along with some common errors.  We’ll also recommend some exercises for building body awareness and strengthening appropriate muscle groups.

First, the feet should be approximately shoulder distance apart and the weight evenly distributed between the right and left feet.  Next, the knees should be slightly bent with the body angled forward (approximately 25 degrees) from the hips to hold the club.  The shoulder of the dominant hand should be slightly lower, as it is the hand holding lower on the club.  As you can see from the side view, the shoulders, knee caps and balls of the feet should be in one line.  From the front, the joints of the body should be stacked on top of each other:  knees over ankles, hips over knees and shoulders over hips.

“Sound posture produces good balance by establishing a solid foundation,” says Rick Nielsen of Power Golf Pilates.  “Pilates facilitates good posture because it not only strengthens the deep muscles of the abdomen and spine which help maintain the body’s proper posture but also it enhances body awareness.  Most golfers aren’t aware of their own faulty posture habits, and Pilates builds the body awareness necessary to recognize one’s own posture.”

As a training tactic, Rick often has his students stand on two air pads or balance discs in their set-up stance both to challenge the musculature that supports good posture AND shine a light on some bad habits!  By doing this, you’ll see where you tend to carry your weight (because you’ll start to fall that way…) and you can correct accordingly!

Check back tomorrow for more tips!  Can’t wait to get started with exercises?  Try the Spine Twist, Spine Stretch Forward and the Saw!  If you wake up with low back tightness, try the Morning Low Back Care Workout on UltimatePilatesWorkouts.com.

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