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Pause for pilates: Leg lifts & hip circles

A great exercise combination to mobilise and strengthen the hip joints, challenge core stability and work the glutes and inner thigh muscles.

Top tips include : Ensure correct alignment by using neutral pelvis and spine, do not feel hurried in your movements, no hyper extension of the knee joints and aim for full range of movement without compromising the position of the pelvis or spine.

Pause for Pilates: Dart

An excellent spinal extension exercise to really mobilise and strengthen the cervical and thoracic spine whilst working the the hips, glutes and inner thighs.

An essential plain of movement to work with for all clients, modern life means we all spend alot of time in forward flexion, bending to lift our children, poor office posture, household
chores requiring the leant forward position amongst many more!

This means to balance and strengthen the spine we need to work the spine in the opposite plain of movement – extension – so the dart is the perfect remedy.

Remembering to keep a sense of length through the entire spine to avoid compression of the lumbar spine and keeping control of the powerhouse whilst laying prone are top tips.

Pause for Pilates: Cobra

A wonderful exercise to mobilise the spine and lengthen the abdominal muscles.

It is a helpful introduction to many clients to their tricep arm muscles before deeper work such as Pilates press ups are introduced.

Top tips include: gentle grounding of the pubic bone to the floor, constant and appropriate connection with the deep abdominals and pelvic floor through out, relaxed shoulders – being mindful of not hunching the shoulders towards the ears – thinking about the tips of the shoulder blades connecting to the lumbar spine, spinal articulation, length and energy through the legs whilst avoiding hyper extending those knees, remembering to roll that imaginary marble each and every new Cobra repetition.

Pause for Pilates: Three Phase Spine Curl

Spine curls are a wonderful exercise for clients of all abilities.

Mobilising the spine and hips joints, achieving spinal articulation and developing and remembering awareness and importance of the inner thigh connection.

Feeling the glutes naturally activate and the how quickly the spine can become more flexible with regular practice.

The 3 phase spine curl is particularly relaxing and a deep release in the spine can be felt by working the spine in 3 sections.

We imprint to a baby spine curl, really feeling the pubic bone tipping towards the head before releasing to neutral.

The second phase we repeat phase one and then articulate the spine to the mid back / bra line area after which we return slowly to neutral and phase three is the well known and traditional full spine curl into the shoulders; avoiding hyper extension into the neck.

Pause for Pilates: Over Ball Balance Sequence

The Pilates over ball balance sequence provides a very effective way to help improve balance and the stability of the balance achieved.

The ball should be almost fully inflated ensuring the plug is fully inserted into the over ball.

By aiming to keep the spine tall and stable, the collar bones wide and the shoulders relaxed we are reinforcing our basic Pilates principles.

The various arm positions seen in the video clip take the body through various balancing challenges and we aim to increase the challenge by closing our eyes and holding the positions for an increased length of time.

The perfect way to improve our balance and have a little fun at the same time!