Flow – a Key Principle of Pilates

Whether you are starting on a healing journey, or looking to maintain your current health, Pilates will help. Through its focus on 8 key principles, Pilates has helped thousands of Canberrans like yourself. One of these Key Pilates Principles is Flow.  

When you type ‘Flow’ into Google, you get 1.3 billion results. It seems that flow is trending… and no wonder! 24/7 living, multi-tasking and increasingly complex work gives little time for the sense of flow. Even if we don’t experience much daily flow, we understand the value of it.

Think of a bush creek rolling gently over a bed of pebbles. Imagine a pod of whales heading to breed in warmer, safe seas. Rain is welcomed after the hot, dry cloudless days of summer. Our delight in flow in nature is echoed in our bodies and minds. We enjoy moving from sitting to standing or being able to run from walking. Our minds also appreciate flow and not getting stuck in the past or difficult thoughts.

Pilates helps both recovering and well bodies experience flow. The most fundamental way is through the breath. Your Pilates Can instructor will guide you to direct your breath through the body to create softness and space to facilitate the best alignment of your skeleton. With the major bony joints at the hip and shoulder sitting well, movement flow can begin.

Finding the flow in your Pilates session, whether in the equipment studio or mat class, begins with layering movements. As you are guided through a sequence, your instructor will support you to find your capacity in the moment. As strength, stamina and confidence grow, you will flow into more challenge in your Pilates. The whole body and mind will be safely challenged. 

If injury or illness arise, your past experience of layered Pilates flow will support your confidence in your recovery. Your instructor will help you to safely modify movement, working with your health team as needed.

As part of the Pilates Can community, you share with your fellow clients and instructors the joy of body and mind flow. 

To find out more about how flow and the other key Pilates principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

The HIP-py Hippy Shake

Training with Carla Mullins from Body Organics

Last Sunday, Pilates Can played host again to the fabulous Carla Mullins from Body Organics.  This time, our focus was on the Psoas, Sacrum, Pelvis and Femur. What a day we had! By diving deep into the anatomy of our hips, your PilatesCan team have connected some dots and found new ways to help our clients with issues like SIJ pain, and preparing for and recovering from hip replacements.

We spent a good part of the day understanding the different muscles that have a pull on the pelvis and hips.  Then we applied that knowledge to considering how to help people at different stages of hip pain.

Carla has a wonderful way of teaching anatomy in a way that helps it come alive.  We were especially lucky to have three PilatesCan clients join us to help us put our theory into practice.  A massive thank you to Carol, Melissa and Denise for giving up part of your Sunday to help us become better teachers.  Being able to see, in real bodies, what Carla was teaching us was very helpful in cementing the concepts.

Carla challenged us to think about our role as Pilates teachers – we are here as movement specialists, to teach people how to move rather than just stabilise.  We considered the difference and appropriateness of the different stages of rehabilitation and how and when it is appropriate to move our clients from one stage to the next.

We spent time tweaking familiar Pilates’ repertoire in ways that facilitated better movement in our bodies.  Some of us felt a beautiful “unlocking” by moving in different ways.  We learnt how to sashay, how to use our femur (thigh bone) to get better movement through the pelvis and lumbar spine plus the relationship between the sternum and sacrum.  We considered the stages of gait (how we walk), and how to adjust exercises we already know to give them new meaning and purpose when applied to the gait cycle.

Keep an eye out in your sessions for small twists on familiar exercises, and be open to learning a new way of trying it.  Who knows, it might just be the change you’ve been looking for!

We would like to thank Carla for braving the Canberra winter to share her knowledge with us.  We are so grateful for your generosity, energy and the way you help us challenge ourselves as teachers.  We can’t wait until you come back next year!

Precision – a Key Principle of Pilates

Whether you are starting on a healing journey, or looking to maintain your current health, Pilates will help. Pilates focuses on 8 key principles, including precision. When combined with the other principles, precise Pilates practice can help address your specific needs and the mobility challenges you may experience in everyday life.

Precision is an important principle in Pilates, and one of the things that sets us apart from other types of exercise. In your Pilates sessions with us, your instructors will teach you the correct technique to perform each exercise. By carefully practicing and focusing on technique, precision forms the basis of our corrective approach to working with your body.

In your Pilates session, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. Precision is about executing each exercise with intent and focus. It is also about understanding why you are doing the exercise and how the exercise will benefit your body. The quality of your movement is more important than the number of repetitions. We will help you work on your placement, alignment of your body, and how your body should move in each exercise.

Remember, precision takes practice! The more you practice your Pilates exercises with awareness, concentration and control, the better the quality of your movement. As you and your instructor learn more about how your body moves, we will be able to help you release and strengthen the appropriate muscles to allow you to move with more precision and mobility. You’ll also get better at feeling how each exercise should be done and you will be able to transfer this knowledge into other aspects of your life.

Precision will help in your healing process, as it will allow your body to work in balance as you do your Pilates exercises, plus whilst you participate in your everyday activities.

To find out more about how precision and the other key Pilates principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

Alignment – a Key Principle of Pilates

Whether you are starting on a healing journey, or looking to maintain your current health, Pilates will help. Through its focus on 8 key principles, Pilates has helped thousands of Canberrans like yourself. One of these Key Pilates Principles is Alignment.

‘Your stars have aligned’ is an expression often used when things work out well for you. Good alignment works in life and in the body.  It allows you to move smoothly and efficiently; enabling you to enjoy your body both at rest and play.  Daily functional activities, such as walking and moving from sitting to standing, become easier for you. Plus the fun movements in your life such as dancing, sports and creative practices, become more enjoyable.

Alignment is how your head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles relate to each other. Pilates teaches you about your natural postural habits and how to balance your body’s bony structure to achieve the most efficient movements in your daily activities. Posture is dynamic and changes in response to external and internal factors such as temperature, fatigue, nutrition, load and mood. Efficient posture, for the task at hand, depends on your body alignment. Alignment reduces the wear and tear on your muscles and joints thus helping you to prevent injury.

How you naturally sit, lie and stand tells a story about your body. Perhaps you stand with the weight on one leg and the hips at an angle. Maybe a stressful personal situation is causing you to clench your jaw causing strain in your neck and shoulders which moves down your spine.

Over time, these patterns become habits that can cause physical fatigue, restriction and even injuries in your body.  Pilates can help you change these dysfunctional patterns into new and improved postural alignment.

Your journey towards efficient body alignment and posture begins with qualified instructors assisting you to understand your unique structure of bones, muscles and connective tissue. In each Pilates session, your instructor will assist you to make gradual adjustments to your posture to achieve the best alignment in your body. Working together, we support your journey towards better alignment, posture and joyful movement.

Your journey towards efficient body alignment and posture begins with qualified instructors assisting you to understand your unique structure of bones, muscles and connective tissue. In each Pilates session, your instructor will assist you to make gradual adjustments to your posture to achieve the best alignment in your body. Working together, we support your journey towards better alignment, posture and joyful movement.

To find out more about how alignment and the other key Pilates principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

What Pilates Instructors Do on Sundays

Training with Carla Mullins from Body Organics

If you’ve noticed your Pilates instructors looking a little more closely at your feet and knees this week, do not be alarmed!  We’ve just had the pleasure of doing some training with the wonderful Carla Mullins from Body Organics as part of the Anatomy Dimensions Lower Limbs Course.

Your dedicated instructors gave up their precious Sundays and their cold hard cash to spend the day taking an in-depth look at the anatomy of the feet and knees, common pathologies or injuries and how we can better help you to recover should you find yourself suffering.   It was worth every minute and cent!

Carla is a fabulous teacher.  She is so generous with her knowledge, and her enthusiasm for what she teaches is contagious.  She found a way to help us all understand the anatomy of how the feet and knees work in a way that made sense at 8am on a freezing Sunday morning.

Plantar fasciitis, flat feet, high arches, Posterior Tibialis Tendon Dysfunction, Tendon and/or ligament damage, knee replacements, fractured patella – we discussed it all.  There was lively debate and chatter about the different feet and knees we see, and how we can best help you to move more freely and efficiently. 

We explored how the whole body is connected and saw how making just a small shift in your feet has the potential to change how your thoracic spine moves.

We used the Makarlu (invented by the ingenious Carla herself) to help release different muscles in the feet and lower legs. Then we noticed how that changed the way people can do certain exercises. We even took one for the team – giving ourselves a foot massage.

A big takeaway for us was how much affect two particular bones have on our whole body – the talus (in your ankle) and the tibia (the bigger bone in your lower leg).

We are so grateful for Carla taking the time to come to Canberra to share with us and look forward to our next installment on the hips and pelvis this weekend. Thanks Carla, you are a star.

Integration – a Key Principle of Pilates

Pilates is a whole body movement system designed to give you an integrated mind-body workout. Through integration, the 8 Pilates principles come together to support you in safe, enjoyable movement which will in turn improve and maintain your wellbeing.

You will benefit in many ways from integrating the most fundamental principle – breath. Awareness and specific control of your breath will facilitate smooth and precise movements thus enabling you to increase your mobility, strength and endurance. Your body will embrace the healthy movement patterns.

During your Pilates session, your body will be aligned in flowing movement sequences. You will soon also connect your sessions to your everyday life so that you can do the things that you could not do previously. This increased awareness will help you improve routine movements and ease the injuries/conditions that possibly brought you to Pilates. As Joseph Pilates himself said:

"Change happens through movement and movement heals."
Joseph Pilates
integration4

It is natural to feel a little in awe at times as you learn new ways of working with your body. Sometimes it is challenging to put all the principles together and this is where your instructor will guide you. The instructor is an extremely valuable resource with regards to integrating all of the Pilates principles to optimise your movement potential.

As with any journey, a good guide makes the road easier, positive and fun. Pilates offers a layered sequence of movement guidelines that form an effective, integrated practice. Pilates instructors use these principles to work with your needs. We come from a variety of backgrounds and many of us have experienced injury and used Pilates to recover. Our internationally accredited instructor training focuses on how to effectively meet your needs and respond in a way that works best for you to help you achieve a healthy, active life.

To find out more about how integration and the other key Pilates principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

Control – a Key Principle of Pilates

Whether you are starting on a healing journey, or looking to maintain your current health, Pilates will help. Through its focus on 8 key principles, Pilates has helped thousands of Canberrans like yourself. One of these Key Pilates Principles is Control. 

Control is one of the most important principles of Pilates.  Did you know that Joseph Pilates originally called his work Contrology?  He said:

“Through contrology, you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.”
Joseph Pilates
(Return to Life Through Contrology, 1945)

Control is closely connected to the principles of centering and concentration.

When you first start your Pilates sessions with us, your instructors will take you through your exercises in a slow and controlled way.  We will help you learn to move with correct technique, moving efficiently and safely through your Pilates practice.

By developing strong connections between your mind and body, you are better able to execute movements with control. As you practice moving with control, it will become second nature to perform each exercise slowly and accurately.  You will also find your movements become more efficient and flow better. 

When you can control your movements and complete them with precision, you are on the way to healing and health maintenance by keeping your body safe in your Pilates sessions.   This is important because it allows you, over time, to achieve greater mobility, strength, flexibility and self-awareness. 

As Joseph Pilates said:

"A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."
Joseph Pilates

Practising the principles of control in Pilates, and learning how to move more efficiently, will help you perform everyday activities effectively and with less strain on your body.

To find out more about how control and the other key Pilates principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

The Healing and Health Maintenance Formula – Pilates Principles

samandclaire

Whether you are starting on a healing journey, or looking to maintain your current health, Pilates will help. Pilates has a long history with both healing and health maintenance. Through its focus on 8 key principles, Pilates has helped thousands of Canberrans like yourself.

Pilates developed its processes via a close association with exercise science and rehabilitation science. It has since grown into a reliable, safe gentle and precise form of injury rehabilitation for all bodies. Pilates now focuses on a unique combination and refined formula for delivering 8 key principles:

8 Principles of Pilates
The 8 Key Pilates Principles: Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breath, Flow, Alignment, and Integration

This unique combination of principles distinguishes Pilates from other forms of exercise. This formula allows Pilates instructors to provide you with close personal attention. This attention means an instructor can address your specific needs and the mobility challenges you experience in everyday life.

When combined correctly these key principles will also help your body to heal. This is because these principles are designed to work together. When you commence your Pilates journey you may not be able to focus on all of them, but over time you will find it easier to integrate them.

Re-building specific functional strength and flexibility results in overall balance throughout your body. This allows you to enjoy optimal movement and protects your body from further risk of injury. No longer inhibited by faulty movement patterns, your body’s natural healing processes will accelerate.

This is why so many allied health professionals recommend Pilates to their patients.

To find out more about how these principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

Pilates Equipment Instructor Course – Canberra

Pilates Equipment & Mat Instructor Courses in Canberra - Early 2020

Interested in an internship with Pilates Can? Provide your details and we will send you an application form.

Course starts soon, so be quick!

Congratulations to Jaki, Avalon and Kerrie who are in the photo above from the 2018 course and are now working as professional instructors within our studios.

We are currently hosting the 2019 course, and we will be hosting another Pilates Equipment Instructor Course as well as a Mat instructor course, right here in Canberra in early 2020!  

  • Where:  Pilates Can – Woden and Manuka Studios
  • Duration: 6 Months of Face-to-Face Course work & 12 – 18 months of in studio observation, self mastery, and apprentice teaching practice.   

Yes, we have a comprehensive, Government registered, internationally recognised, career starting, Pilates instructor courses, running here in Canberra in 2019 and more starting in early 2020. Get organised now to join one of these amazing courses.

Interested in an internship with us at Pilates Can?

Provide your details and we will send you an application form!

PilatesCan provide help with possible internships

You may qualify for an internship with Pilates Can. (Conditions apply)
Pilates Can host the instructor courses in their Canberra Pilates studios in Woden and Manuka. 

Pilates Can have also been providing Canberrans with a clinically focused whole body Pilates experience for over 14 years. Our instructors are all highly qualified and experienced and as a team, have conducted over 60,000 hours of  Professional Pilates instruction.

During this time Pilates Can have also hosted multiple Polestar Pilates instructor courses, providing possible internship opportunities for pre-selected prospective Polestar students. (Conditions apply)

Interested in an internship with Pilates Can? Provide your details and we will send you an application form.

Course starts soon, so be quick!

Become a Pilates Instructor

What does the Pilates Rehab / Studio Equipment Instructor course involve?

The Polestar Studio and Rehab series trains students to become teachers of the highest calibre; well versed in Pilates principles, program design, exercise sequencing techniques and practice, you will learn how to use all of the equipment developed from designs by Joesph Pilates; Reformer, Trapeze Table, Combo Chair and Ladder Barrel. You will be confident in verbal, tactile and combined cueing practices to facilitate motor learning, and be competent to work with both healthy and injured clients one-on-one and in small group.

The Polestar Pilates curriculum has the reputation of being the most scientifically based Pilates curriculum in the world, taking Pilates education to a new pinnacle. Course format includes lectures, reading assignments, research literature review, writing assignments and more.

Polestar are the Australian Government registered training provider for these courses throughout Australia.  The Polestar organisation provides similar courses in the Americas, Europe and Asia and are recognised internationally as one of the largest providers of Pilates instructor courses around the world.

 Polestar (Registered Training Organisation) Studio and Rehab – in Canberra

The 2020 dates are yet to be announced but will start early in 2020. Here are the dates for the current 2019 course:

15 – 16 June

20 – 21 July

24 – 25 August

28 – 29 September

2 – 3 November

7 – 8 December

Prerequisites for 2020 courses (By December 2019)

  • HSC or higher qualification
  • Good understanding of Pilates –recommended minimum of 25 hours of personal Pilates practice (either Matwork or studio)
  • Completion of Anatomy & Physiology Units through a recognised  education provider is required for entry into course or already have this qualification*.
  • Completion of Polestar Principals short online course (or live in Sydney – 2 days) Is included in the cost of the course but must be completed prior to first module in Canberra.

* You would already meet the Anatomy & Physiology pre-perquisites if you are already qualified in one of the following occupations : Physiotherapist, Osteopath, Exercise Physiologist, Nurse, Myotherapist, Remedial Massage Therapist, Cert IV Personal Trainer.

Hours for Studio/Rehab Equipment Course

  • Duration: 454 hours
  • Lectures and Homework: 112 hrs
  • Observation & Self Mastery: 170 hrs
  • Apprentice Teaching: 100 hrs
  • + Final Exam within 12 months: 3 hrs

Learning Outcomes

  • Pilates Teacher of the highest calibre; Equipment classes in a Pilates studio from beginners through to advanced repertoire
  • Well versed in Pilates principles, program design and exercise sequencing techniques for private and semi-private equipment sessions
  • A solid understanding of precautions and contraindications for Pilates exercises that can be incorporated into your programming
  • Proficient at identifying the principles of biomechanics, kinesiology, motor learning and neuromuscular facilitation that help in the process of critical reasoning.
  • Ability to design training and treatment programs that help you solve client problems and meet their training goals.
  • Proficient at verbal and tactile cueing combined with imagery to facilitate accurate execution of the movements.
  • Confident in the practical application of the repertoire through the use of case studies.
  • Communication skills for successful teaching
  • Modification of exercises for special populations
  • Progression of movement following an injury

I would like to talk to someone about this course.

Course starts soon, so be quick!

Educator, mentors and students from recent Pilates instructor course in Canberra.

Concentration – a Key Principle of Pilates

concentration-1-taller

Whether you are starting on a healing journey, or looking to maintain your current health, Pilates will help. Through its focus on 8 key principles, Pilates has helped thousands of Canberrans like yourself. One of these Key Pilates Principles is Concentration. When Concentration is combined with the other principles, Pilates is a reliable, safe, gentle and precise form of injury rehabilitation for all bodies.

In your Pilates sessions there is a strong focus on developing an awareness of how you move – a connection between the mind and body.  Concentration allows us to centre ourselves (another important principle in Pilates).  Developing awareness of your body through concentration enables your movements to become more precise, allowing your muscles to respond better to the effort required.

Developing your ability to concentrate and the connection between your mind and body may take some practice.  However, it is worth the effort.  As Joseph Pilates said:

“Concentrate on the correct movement each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all vital benefits.”
Joseph Pilates

Concentration assists you to stay safe during your Pilates sessions, by executing each exercise with better technique.

By concentrating in your Pilates sessions, you may be using your brain in a different way to normal, creating new neural pathways which allow you to access your body in different ways.  This has the added benefit of keeping your brain young and healthy! Practicing concentration is a wonderful benefit of a regular Pilates practice.  With a focussed mind, you can work more effectively and efficiently. 

One of the things we love most about Pilates is the mindfulness of this way of moving. The concentration required in your Pilates practice can also give you a mental break from the world outside the studio, helping you leave us feeling revitalised, refreshed and focused.

We may often find concentration difficult to find but Pilates helps focus the mind. Pilates achieves this through its focus on precise, accurate and efficient movement.

To find out more about how concentration and the other key Pilates principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

Centering – a Key Principle of Pilates

 
Whether you are starting on a healing journey, or looking to maintain your current health, Pilates will help. Pilates has a long history with both healing and health maintenance. Through its focus on 8 key principles, Pilates has helped thousands of Canberrans like yourself.
 
Centering is one of the fundamental principles of Pilates and refers to the connection between mind and body, as well as the centre, (also referred to as your core, or the “powerhouse”) of your body.

Originally called “Contrology”, Pilates is the practice of strengthening the mind and body connection. By being present in your body, you are able to more effectively control your movement and get the most out of your Pilates session.

How Pilates helps you find your Center

core
Chair-Claire-Trudi (6)
A strong, stable centre is integral to good Pilates practice, as this is where all movement emanates from. Often used synonymously the “core” or “powerhouse” is generally accepted to include your diaphragm, deep abdominals, pelvic floor and multifidus. These muscles, when strong and acting effectively together, play a vital role in supporting your torso and back plus provide you with a solid foundation for movement. By improving the strength of your centre, Pilates can help reduce your risk of injury.

Through your Pilates journey you will develop a stronger awareness of how you move and where that movement comes from. Your instructors will work to help you create that connection between the mind and body.

The techniques you learn in your sessions will soon feed into your everyday life, as you become more aware of your body and the way it moves.
 
To find out more about how centering and the other key Pilates principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

Breath – a Key Principle of Pilates

Whether you are starting on a healing journey, or looking to maintain your current health, Pilates will help. Through its focus on 8 key principles, Pilates has helped thousands of Canberrans like yourself. One of these Key Pilates Principles is Breath. 

Learning to control your breath is of vital importance. When you can breathe fully and easily, your body and mind can be relaxed and calm. Breathing also increases blood circulation, revitalising your body with fresh oxygen and energy.

Breathing the Pilates way

breathing

In your sessions at Pilates Can, your instructors will teach you lateral breathing.  This type of breathing facilitates the diaphragm to work efficiently in conjunction with our deep muscular stabilisers, whilst massaging your internal organs.  It allows the body to effectively use muscles like the transverse abdominis, multifidus and pelvic floor, to provide your body with the support it needs to move freely and easily.  This type of breathing is also a really nice way to get you centred in your body before your Pilates session.

Your instructors often will guide you through breathing during certain exercises, to help you get the most out of your body.  Once you “get” how to breathe this way, you will be amazed at what your body can do – you may feel stronger, lighter, and able to move your body more efficiently – all because of the focus on your breath. 

“Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it… Above all learn how to breathe correctly”
Joseph Pilates

With practice, breathing the Pilates way will become second nature.

To find out more about how breathing and the other key Pilates principles can assist you with your personal healing process, contact us on 0419 777 477 or use the form beside this text to provide your contact details so we can have a quick phone conversation to discover how we can best assist your personal situation.

Pilates Mat – How it Compares to “Small Group PT Strength” Sessions

Small Group PT Strength sessions are becoming increasingly popular, particularly ones focusing on circuit training. These sessions allow participants to focus on various different muscle groups using a variety of exercises. For people who are relatively uninjured they can be a useful addition to one’s strength program.

Here at PilatesCan we try to provide some variety with our Pilates Matwork sessions including offering a session on our Pilates Mat schedule, similar to a “Small Group PT Strength Circuit session”. Held on Wednesday mornings at 6am, our “Pilates Mat Strength” session is different to our normal mat class, as it follows a circuit training format with heavier more intense movements using extra resistance.

Our normal Mat Pilates sessions provide more precision, more instructor cueing and a larger focus on breathing patterns which assist with the exact movements and movement patterns of Pilates Mat.  Clients are usually informed about what they should or should not be feeling.  Cueing generally consists of three parts:

PilatesCan-185

Direct

What body part to move, when and how

Tactile

Hands on

Healthy body pilates pildates matwork

Visualisation

A story to activate the client’s imagination allowing them to get a good idea of the movement they are trying to produce

While experienced clients know what to do just from hearing the name of each exercise, instructors always tailors sessions to suit the individuals who are participating on the day, from beginner right through to experienced.

Movements are usually much slower to assist with achieving precision, compared to the more global goals of a Small Group PT Circuit session.  Slow movements help negate the use of momentum, which might cheat the participant out of valuable benefits.  All clients do the same movements at the same time, with some variations depending on individual skill level.  This ensures verbal cues given by instructors are relevant to all participants.  

Pilates Mat also has a social aspect which can enhance the results clients feel at the end of each session. This is why we like to keep our numbers small (max of 10). Both our Pilates Mat and Small Group PT Strength class benefit from this.

Healthy body

With around 10 highly qualified and experienced Pilates mat instructors teaching a dozen different Mat sessions, we ensure there is a session to suit all our clients. While our instructors all have different personalities and techniques they all aim to provide a total body workout with the overall goal of maximising their participants’ postural strength and mobility via safe, varied, interesting and effective repertoire.

We also offer Beginner Mat courses for clients who are new to Pilates. Consisting of 4 x 1 hr sessions over 4 consecutive weeks these courses provide new clients with the best intro to our continuing mat sessions and we are always adding new dates for these courses with early bird specials available for new clients who book in at least 2 weeks prior to the course start date.

Having said all that we know that many new prospective clients are very healthy, strong, body aware and capable.  So, if the dates available for the beginner courses are inconvenient, beginners may prefer to pick things up as they go along in our usual Level 2/3 sessions and above, without having to attend a beginner’s course first.  We have enough sessions on our schedule ensuring booking into any of the options to be easy, with only a couple of sessions totally booking out each week. So make sure to get in quick!

Let’s talk about the Pelvic Floor!

Emma (the article's author) on Spine Corrector

Recently, Pilates Can instructors Trudi, Emma, and Lynn attended an interesting workshop about the pelvic floor.  Presented by Marietta Mehanni, an award winning fitness instructor and ambassador for Pelvic Floor First.  The workshop was informative and engaging.

Did you know?

What is the pelvic floor and why is it important?

The Pelvic Floor muscles support the pelvic organs and sit like a hammock across the bottom of the pelvis.  The pelvic floor keeps our internal organs inside of our body, control bladder and bowel emptying and play and important part of sexual function and satisfaction.  The muscles of the pelvic floor also work with the abdominals and back muscles to stabilise and support your spine.

The pelvic floor muscles are about as thick as your cheek (if you were to pinch your cheek in between your finger and thumb). The tensile strength is like the webbing between your thumb and first finger.  There are two layers to the pelvic floor – an inner and outer layer. The pelvic floor has two types of muscle fibres:

  1. Slow twitch fibres (endurance muscles) which are responsible for maintaining tone and supporting the internal organs. These muscles provide “urge control”.
  2. Fast twitch fibres (fast acting muscles) that respond quickly to increase intraabdominal pressure and maintain sphincter closure. That’s just a fancy way of saying these muscles stop you wetting yourself when you cough, laugh or sneeze.

Emma (the article's author) on Trapeze tableWhat can make these muscles loose or weak?

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Straining on the toilet
  • Chronic coughing
  • Heavy lifting
  • High impact exercise
  • Age
  • Obesity

How do I know if I have a problem?

Common signs of pelvic floor weakness include:

  • Accidental leakage of urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
  • Needing to go to the toilet in a hurry or not making it there in time
  • The need to frequently go to the toilet
  • Finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
  • Accidental loss of faeces or wind
  • A prolapse
  • Pelvic pain
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Poor sensation or loss of bladder control during sexual intercourse.

Emma (the article's author) on ChairPelvic floor issues are on the increase

  • Urinary incontinence affects up to 13% of Australian men and up to 37% of Australian women (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, 2006).
  • 65% of women and 30% of men sitting in a GP waiting room report some type of urinary incontinence, yet only 31% of these people report having sought help from a health professional (Byles & Chiarelli, 2003: Help seeking for urinary incontinence: a survey of those attending GP waiting rooms, Australian and New Zealand Continence Journal).
  • 70% of people with urinary leakage do not seek advice and treatment for their problem (Millard, 1998: The prevalence of urinary incontinence in Australia, Australian and New Zealand Continence Journal).

Source: https://www.continence.org.au/pages/key-statistics.html

The good news

There is a lot you can do to help strengthen your pelvic floor.  At PilatesCan, we have a team of dedicated instructors who can help you learn the correct technique and exercises to develop your pelvic floor strength.  If you need a little extra help we can also refer you to appropriate professionals like physiotherapists who can work with us to help achieve gthe best possible results.

Give it a try!

Here’s a little exercise you can do at home to start working on your pelvic floor.

Sit on a chair, with your back a little bit away from the backrest.  Place your feet flat on the floor with knees slightly apart.  Imagine your pelvis is like a diamond shaped clock face.  The pubic bone at the front is at 12 o’clock, the coccyx (tailbone) is at 6 o’clock, and each sit bone is 3 and 9 o’clock.

  • Now close your eyes and draw the 12 and 6 towards each other. Curl the 12 and 6 in and lift them up inside you. Ensure you are breathing normally while you are doing the lift.  Your back, bottom, legs and shoulders should all remain relaxed.  Release and rest for a little while before repeating a few times.
  • Now try drawing the 3 and 9 in and up inside you. Make sure you are breathing and all the other muscles are relaxed. Release and rest.

Each pelvic floor contraction should be performed at maximum effort.  It is very important to release the pelvic floor contraction fully between each repetition.  Try and perform the lift slowly a few times.  Rest for a minute, and then try a few quick repetitions.

Repeat this exercise a couple of times a day, and you should feel results fairly quickly (within a couple of weeks)

What next?

If you are experiencing signs of pelvic floor weakness, please speak to one of our friendly team.  Don’t be embarrassed, we aren’t!  These are just like all the other muscles in the body.  We are here to help. We can design a program that is tailored specifically to your needs.

Want more information?

The following may be useful resources for you:

Maureen Bailey and Associates

Maureen and her team of physiotherapists offer excellent support in caring for and strengthening your Pelvic Floor.  Located in Griffith ACT, just a few minutes drive from our Manuka studios.

Pelvic Floor First

Pelvic Floor First has lots of useful information on the pelvic floor, where to get help, exercises to do and to avoid.  They also have a free app, available for Apple and Android devices.

National Continence Hotline

The hotline is open from 8am – 8pm, Monday to Friday, and is staffed by continence nurses.  They are a great source of information and can help refer you to the right kind of professional help.  The Helpline can be contacted on 1800 33 00 66 or helpline@continence.org.au

Continence Foundation Australia

Marietta Mehanni

Marietta’s YouTube channel with a playlist of Pelvic Floor safe exercises and tips.

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Can you really have a spring in your thorax?

You may have noticed our instructors talking a little differently lately… lots of talk about feathers, wetsuit zippers and warm breezes blowing through your ribs.  What on earth is going on?!?!

X-ray of rib cage with feathers

Recently, Claire, Kirrilly, Merina and Emma had the pleasure of attending a workshop in Sydney, called “Put a Spring in Your Thorax”.  The workshop was presented by Lisa Anthony, a physiotherapist, Polestar Pilates Educator, and all round fabulous person.

Lisa opened up a whole new way of thinking for us, presenting us with a new way of getting the most out of the body before us. This work is based on the research of Dr Linda-Joy Lee, a physiotherapist who has developed the “Thoracic Ring Approach” and “ConnectTherapy”.

What did we learn?

In a nutshell, we learnt that previous thinking about the thoracic spine being stiff and rigid is not quite right. In your thorax (the region of the body containing the thoracic spine, ribs and lots of important organs), there are over 130 movable joints.  And like any other joint in the body, we need to work to be able to stabilise the joints so we can achieve efficient movement (that is, movement that is biomechanically “correct” and pain free).

Why is this new information important?

Springs

Lisa and others have been using this new paradigm in Physiotherapy sessions with clients for the past few years, and are seeing astounding results. By teaching clients to correctly achieve stability in the thorax, a whole host of other issues in Lisa’s clients’ bodies have improved.  Things like shoulder and neck pain, lower back pain, pelvic floor issues, even issues in the feet like plantar fasciitis. Thankfully, Lisa has developed a way for Pilates teachers to incorporate these new techniques into our studios so we have the chance to achieve similar amazing results too.

What results have we seen at PilatesCan already?

In the first week since the workshop, Emma has extensively used this new information in her sessions with clients and has seen some amazing things happen.  One client who finds it difficult to walk following a series of traumatic events to the body has, in just two sessions, improved the way she walks.  She is much more stable and her legs feel lighter.

Another client who has Multiple Sclerosis was almost in tears as we were able to achieve full range knee flexion in her “bad leg” for the first time in many years.  Her gait (the way she walks) improved and she was blown away with how effective, simple and subtle this technique is and how she felt.

Over the weekend, PilatesCan ran a staff training and had fun exploring these techniques with each other.  Our instructors are keen to share this knowledge with you and integrate this new information into your sessions.  It might take a little while to “get” what we are trying to teach you (especially for those who are not particularly visual learners), however, stick with it, because this new way of working has the potential to bring a host of benefits into your life.  You will never feel the same again!

If you would like to take advantage of what our instructors have learnt then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Quadruped

Our next exercise after Prone Leg Lifts is Quadruped.

This is good for  

Quadruped is an excellent exercise for so many reasons.  There are a lot of benefits – abdominal activation and control, hip and shoulder disassociation, hip and shoulder stability and strength, axial elongation, and weight bearing through joints just name a few.  This exercise is great for almost everyone, however you should avoid this one if you have wrist problems (e.g. carpal tunnel) or SIJ issues.

How to do Quadruped

  • Start in quadruped position

  • Exhale to slide one arm our along floor and lift (if shoulders are stable). Inhale, return. Alternate arms.

  • Repeat with legs moving

  • For an extra challenge try opposite arm and leg!
  • Maintain stable position throughout – shoulders and pelvis stay still
  • Ensure ab connection throughout

Things to focus on  

The main thing to focus on for this one is maintaining a good quadruped position.  Ensure your set up is good – wrists under shoulders, knees under hips, abs engaged, spine long and head in line with the rest of the spine.  Maintain that position while you breathe.  Only progress to adding the arm/leg movements when you are confident you can do so without losing the alignment through the body.

Challenges 

  • Keeping the shoulders/hips square to the mat is very challenging in this exercise. Keep the range small at first, gradually increasing the range to add challenge.
  • Keeping the spine long is difficult here. You need to ensure the torso doesn’t sag at the abs or shoulders, so keep the abs lifting in and up and press the floor away through the heel of your hands.
  • So many times we see people drop their head towards the floor here. Make sure that you are keeping the back of your head up in line with the rest of your spine.  Your neck will thank you for it.

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Prone Single Leg Lift (Straight Leg)

The next exercise in our Pilates you can do at home series is Prone Single Leg Lifts with a straight leg.

This is good for

Prone single leg lifts are great for activating and strengthening the hamstrings and glutes.  This exercise prepares the body to perform “Swimming” and “Swan”.

How to do Prone Single Leg Lift (Straight Leg)

  • Lay face down, tailbone reaching long

  • Exhale to reach and lift one leg off floor
  • Inhale to lower the leg
  • Alternate legs
  • Keep pelvis still
  • You should feel the base of glutes and back of thighs working
  • Move from the thighbone

Things to focus on

  • Because we want to activate the hamstrings and glutes, focus on moving the leg from the thighbone, rather than the foot.
  • Keep the leg reaching long, rather than going for too much height – this will help you to keep your low back happy by helping your pelvis stay neutral.
  • Ensure that you are lifting the abdominals in and up as you reach the leg away from the floor.

Challenges

Because of the prone position (lying face down), it can be challenging at first to maintain the connection in your abdominals.  This is because the abs now have the added challenge of resisting gravity.  Stick with it, the better you get at it, the better your pelvic stability will become.

Even though this is a leg exercise, sometimes the shoulders want to “help”.  Don’t let them!  Try and keep the upper body totally relaxed.

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Femur Circles

Following on from Bent Knee Fallout we have Femur Circles.

This is good for 

Femur circles are great for releasing tight hips.  This exercise can also help reduce tension through the low back.

How to do Femur Circles

  • Float legs in the air one at a time

  • With hands on top of knees, circle thigh bones in the hip socket
  • Reverse the direction

You can also do this one leg at a time

Things to focus on/challenges 

While performing femur circles, maintain a good connection through your abdominals, and keep the spine long.  Your shoulders should stay relaxed on the mat, and your torso quiet throughout. The pelvis stays in neutral position with this exercise – avoid rocking side to side or tilting the pelvis anteriorly/posteriorly.

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

 

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Bent Knee Fallout

Carrying on from Bridging our next exercise is bent knee fallout.

This is good for  

Bent knee fallout is great for those new to Pilates working on developing pelvic stability.  It is also good for teaching the leg to move without the torso moving with it (disassociation of the hip).

How to do Bent Knee Fallout

  • Inhale to float one knee out to the side, keeping the pelvis still

  • Exhale to draw the leg back in
  • Keep bottom relaxed and pelvis stable throughout

Things to focus on, Challenges  

While performing bent knee fallout, ensure that your hips stay evenly weighted on the mat.  You might like to put your hands under the back of your pelvis, so you can feel if your pelvis shifts from left to right as you move your leg.  Keep the range of the leg opening small enough that the weight stays even.

Be careful to only move the working leg.  Sometimes the other leg moves to, trying to counterbalance (i.e. cheat!).

Try and keep your bottom relaxed as you perform this exercise, and your spine as long.

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Bridging (Pelvic Curl)

Our next exercise is Bridging, otherwise known as Pelvic Curl.

This is good for

Bridging is a fantastic exercise with many benefits including:

  • Improving spinal articulation,
  • Activating and strengthening the hamstrings and abs, and
  • Lengthening hip flexors.

Things to focus on  

The benefits of Bridging can be best felt when you focus on getting the spine to articulate correctly.  Think of the spine as a string of pearls, as you curl the spine up in the air; imagine lifting one pearl at a time away from the mat.

After you inhale at the top, begin laying the spine/string of pearls down one at a time.  Think of softening the chest away from you to start returning to the mat.

Throughout this exercise, try and draw your knees towards your feet to engage the hamstrings.  Just as importantly, try and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.

Challenges

Bridging can be challenging if you have tight spots in your back – it may feel as if you can articulate through some parts of the spine but other parts feel more like a plank of wood!  Keep at it, with practice and awareness you will begin to mobilise the tight parts of your spine and start to feel as if the back can move more freely.

How to do Bridging (Pelvic Curl)

  • Lie face up, knees bent, feet flat on floor, arms by sides
  • Exhale sink navel, pull pubic bone higher than navel

  • Peel spine off floor (curling one vertebrae at a time)

  • Inhale stay lifted
  • Exhale articulate spine back down to mat

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

 

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Book Openings

Next up in our exercise series we have Book Openings!

This is good for

Book openings are great for improving mobility through the spine, particularly through the thoracic region.  This is also a great one to help stretch the chest and provide shoulder mobility.

Things to focus on  

As you perform Book Openings, ensure you are moving the torso and not just your arm – initiate the move from the rib cage rather than just letting your arm pull you back.

Challenges

 If you are particularly tight through the back, it can be challenging to keep your hips stacked on top of each other as you roll the torso backwards.  Try gently pulling your top hip forwards as the torso rotates backwards.

How to do Book Openings

  • Lie on side with knees bent level with hips

  • Inhale float top arm up to ceiling

  • Exhale turn head and look behind, allowing body to follow head and arm backwards
  • Inhale hold
  • Exhale return to start position
  • Focus on rotating each vertebra one by one

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Criss Cross

Following on from Book Openings we have Criss Cross.

This is good for

Criss cross is a great exercise for our intermediate clients to challenge pelvic stability and to develop strength in the abs – particularly through the obliques.

Things to focus on/challenges  

Throughout Criss Cross, ensure you maintain a consistant height in your chest lift – it can be tempting as you get tired to lower the shoulders and head back towards the floor.  Each time you come back through the middle ensure you close the distance between your ribs and hips.

Ensure that you are rotating the upper body from the ribcage, not the shoulders or elbows.  Think of drawing a rainbow from the bottom of your ribs up and over the belly button to the opposite hip.

Finally, be careful to keep the weight even across the back of the pelvis.  There should be no rocking side to side in this exercise.  If you feel the weight shift through the hips, keep the legs still in a table top position and just focus on the upper body rotation (our Hula exercise).

How to do Criss Cross

  • Start with your legs in tabletop and chest lifted

  • Exhale to straighten right leg and rotate upper body towards left knee
  • Inhale return to start position
  • Exhale to repeat on other side
  • Think of drawing rib across to opposite hip each time you rotate
  • Move from the ribs, not the elbow or shoulder
  • Keep pelvis still throughout

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Hula

Next up in our series of Pilates exercises is the Hula!

Things to focus on  

Throughout the Hula, make sure you maintain a good connection through the abdominals.  While tempting to relax your head and shoulders back towards the mat each time you come back through the centre, your waistline will thank you if you are able to maintain your chest lift height throughout.

Another area of focus for the Hula is the work of the obliques in initiating and controlling the movement.  Think of the movement as being like a big X or a rainbow on the front of your torso. Imagine a diagonal line connecting the bottom of your rib cage on one side of the body to the hip bone on the opposite side.  The elbows and shoulders should stay well out of the way!

Challenges 

The Hula challenges your pelvic stability. If you feel your pelvis rocking from side to side as you rotate the upper body stop!   This is a sign you are trying to make the move too big!  Reset your abdominal connection and make sure you are initiating the movement from the ribs (not the elbow or shoulder).

This is good for 

This exercise is fabulous for further challenging your pelvic stability, as well as activating and strengthening your obliques. With the added element of rotation it is a great one to prepare us for activities in everyday life where we need to turn our upper body.  Great for the waistline and a great one for golfers in particular, who are looking to better their swing.

How to do the Hula

  • From your chest lift position, exhale to rotate one rib towards the opposite hip

  • Inhale to return to chest lift

  • Imagine drawing a rainbow with your ribs towards the hip bone over the top of your navel
  • Keep the pelvis stable, and the front of the hips heavy and soft throughout

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Elephant

Moving on from Hula we have Elephant, an exercise typically done on the reformer.

Things to focus on  

Maintain the pyramid shape through your body throughout.  The line from your head to tailbone doesn’t change as the legs move.  Before you start, make sure that your bottom is over your heels – this takes some pressure out of the wrists and shoulders, and allows a little extra stretch through the hamstrings.

Ensure you keep the weight of your legs through your heels.  This will help you activate the back of the legs as you push the carriage backwards.

Challenges 

Keep the range small.  This will allow you to maintain the pyramid shape through the body throughout.  Also, make sure you are using the abs to draw the carriage all the way back in to the stoppers, it can be tempting to cheat a little and not come all the way in!

This is good for  

Developing trunk stability (teaching the legs to move without the torso needing to help too), developing core strength, and to improve hamstring flexibility and activation.

How to do Elephant

  • Make sure your bottom is above heels to start

  • Inhale to press carriage away from stoppers, pressing through heels. Your pelvis/bottom should stay still as legs move.
  • Exhale to return to stoppers – use your abs to pull feet back under you
  • Maintain shoulder and pelvic stability throughout

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Diamond Press

The exercise we will be focusing on in this post is the Diamond Press. An exercise which is perfect for counteracting the bad posture habits we pick up in our busy technology driven lifestyles.

Things to focus on

Maintain good abdominal connection throughout – this supports the low back and prevents you from hinging off the lumbar spine. Keep your shoulder-blades drawn down and wide, and ensure your feet stay on the floor.

Challenges

This exercise is challenging for most people these days.  With our lifestyle of “forward” posture – working hunched over keyboards, phones and ipads, our back extensor muscles are becoming more weak and lazy.

This is good for

It is important for everyone (*unless contraindicated eg not suitable for people with certain spinal conditions) to include some sort of extension work in our workouts to maintain good posture and prevent back, neck and shoulder issues.

How to do a Diamond Press

  • Laying face down, make a diamond with your hands

  • Rest your nose in the diamond

  • Exhale to lift forehead, nose, chin then chest up away from mat
  • Inhale to return to start position.
  • Ensure low back stays relaxed throughout.

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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Single Leg Stretch

Next up we are focusing on the Single Leg Stretch.

Things to focus on 

Maintain feet at knee level throughout (as if sliding your feet out along a table).  The torso remains still – only the legs and hand position changes.

Challenges 

This is a great exercise for our clients who have been coming to Pilates for a while.  Adding the element of the legs moving while in a chest lift position increases the challenge to the abdominals.  You can get an extra dose of low abdominal work by creating additional resistance for yourself as you draw the bent knee back in to the start position – imagine your instructor is pulling your foot away from you and you have to actively resist them and work hard to pull your leg back in.

This is good for  

Strengthening the abdominal muscles.  Developing pelvic and lumbar stability.

How to do the Single Leg Stretch

  • Start supine with legs in tabletop position.
  • Exhale into chest lift, bring left hand to left ankle, right hand to left knee.
  • Inhale to prepare

  • Exhale press left leg into your hands as you stretch right leg away from you.
  • Inhale to swap legs and hands to other leg
  • Exhale as you reach right leg away
  • Keep pelvis stable throughout.

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

 

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Grasshopper

The next exercise in our series is the Grasshopper.

Things to focus on  

Ensure the abdominals are engaged/lifted throughout to provide support to the lower back.  Move the head up away from the floor first, working down the spine as you lift away from the mat.

Challenges

Ensuring the abs stay lifted to keep the back supported.  Getting the spine to move in sequence – lifting one vertebrae at a time.

This is good for 

Developing strength and mobility through the upper back and shoulders.   

How to do it

 

  • Exhale to reach elbows towards heels, reach scapulae down and draw abs in

  • Allow the sternum to lift and thoracic spine to move into extension
  • Inhale return to start position
  • Think of lengthening the spine as you move into extension
  • Maintain lifted abdominals throughout

 

 

If you would like some expert direction from highly experienced instructors then try our semi-private equipment sessions.  If you are attending our semi-private sessions then you can also access our STEPS sessions for as little as $20 per session at either of our two studio locations.

Our Manuka and Woden studios are within easy access of Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Griffith, Red Hill, Narrabundah, Garran, Hughes, Curtin, Phillip, Mawson, Farrer, Pearce, and Torrens.

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