Thursday, 15 June 2017

Peta's A-Z of Pilates: H is for ...

H is for ...


Holding a movement in space allows us to intensify the muscle action.

This should not be confused with holding your breath, which is not helpful because it restricts the amount of oxygen reaching the muscles. And we don't want you to pass out!

Holding a movement for a few counts concentrates the contraction or the lengthening of a muscle and is very beneficial. It works the muscles at a deeper level and stimulates them to fire-up and strengthen.

This also applies to stretching movements, if they are performed slowly and with care we can benefit from holding the end range movement for a few counts before returning to the starting position.

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

Peta's A-Z of Pilates: G is for ...

In Peta's A-Z of Pilates, G is for ...


Setting yourself achievable goals will help focus your mind on what you want to get from your Pilates. Make your goals "SMART": Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.

Specific: We all want to 'get fitter', but it's more useful to know what particular aspects of fitness you are you going to work on. This also helps to keep your goals measurable...

Measurable: Giving yourself a goal that can be quantified with time, reps, or distance is ideal. This could be as simple as being able to touch your toes in a forward bend! When you can measure your progress towards your goal, you will be motivated to keep working at it.

Achievable: Get help from your Pilates teacher to identify goals that are important for you, and how to reach them within your range of abilities and within your budget.

Realistic: If your goal is measurable and achievable it is also likely to be realistic - you need to be able to get there as the person you are today, not as an imaginary perfect version of yourself.

Timed: Without a deadline you are less likely to succeed. Thinking about when you want to achieve your goal will also help you plan how you will fit your Pilates practice into your life.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

7 Top Tips for Pilates Day

7 Top Tips for Pilates Day ...that you can do right now!

1. Stretch your spine out. Reach your arms above your head, and lift your ribs up away from your hips ... feels lovely. Try and do this every day.

2. Correct your posture. Stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall, just touching it but not leaning. Now gently press the back of your head towards the wall.

3. Squeeze your pelvic floor by rocking your hips forwards, backwards, and side to side.

4. Walk tall! Look straight ahead not at the ground.

5. Support your back by placing a rolled up towel or lumbar support behind your lower back.

6. Reduce joint stiffness by circling your ankles, wrists, and shoulders.

7. Ease stress by breathing deeply into your lungs. Place your hands on your rib-cage, and inhale so that your hands move away from one another as your ribs expand.

Have a happy and relaxing Pilates Day!

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Peta's A-Z of Pilates: F is for ...

In Peta's A-Z of Pilates, F is for ...


Flowing moves are achieved when the body is balanced. With practice extraneous movements can be eliminated from our movement patterns, which in turn allows for a more smooth and graceful movement to develop.

We should strive to perform exercises with precision and care and let our movements flow naturally from one exercise to the next.

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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Peta's A-Z of Pilates: E is for ...

The energy we expend when exercising should be just the right amount, so in Peta's A-Z of Pilates, E is for ...


The energy we expend when exercising should be just the right amount not too much and not too little. This may seem like an obvious thing to say but if when you perform a particular exercise and you use too much energy, other parts of the body will be engaging unnecessarily and using up precious energy.

When performing an exercise we need to use the least amount of energy we possibly can. When the body is in total balance our energy consummation is at is optimum, you will be using just the right amount to complete the movement. Extraneous movements should be eliminated to conserve energy for when we need it.

When your posture is in perfect balance and alignment, you will not feel any group of muscles working harder than another. They are all working equally to minimise the energy consumption.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Peta's A-Z of Pilates: D is for ...

Pilates rewards regular practice, so in Peta's A-Z of Pilates D is for ...

Learning to do Pilates takes discipline.

If you want to reap the benefits of improved posture, strong core muscles and joint mobility you will need to practise regularly.

These things will happen gradually over time and cannot be achieved in one or two classes. If you really want to see a change in your body you need to commit to a series of classes at least one a week to see results.

These results will come. You will begin to notice small changes in the way you move, how it is easier to bend down or reach up or turn your body from side to side.

This is the wonderful effect of Pilates practice, the gradual easing of aches and pains, improved mobility and strength.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Peta's A-Z of Pilates: C is for ...

Pilates focuses on the deep lying muscles in the torso, so in Peta's A-Z of Pilates C is for ...

When Pilates instructors talk about the 'core', they are referring to the muscles found in the torso, near the spine. When these muscles are weak, they often contribute to low back pain.

Pilates exercises are perfect for firing-up these deep lying muscles and strengthening the back and stomach muscles.

One of techniques that Pilates uses to engage these deep muscles is to perform the exercises with care and control, trying not to rush through the movements.

When we learn how to switch on these muscles effectively, non-specific low back pain can disappear, and posture improves.