Pilates

Extending Your Way to Better Posture

Modern technologies like cell phones and computers have certainly made our lives easier, but they’ve also wreaked havoc on our postures! Sharing that selfie on Instagram may keep you connected with your friends, but did you know that hunching over a phone brings the head into a forward flexion, and adds up to 50 pounds of extra strain on the neck? It also puts stress on the internal organs, and can reduce vital lung capacity by 30%.

Of course, no one is suggesting you give up your technology! Extension exercises, like those in our Pumped Up Pilates Mat classes, are a great way to counteract the negative effects of too much forward flexion. Pilates exercises such as Swan, Swimming, Hanging Back, and Breaststroke focus on strengthening the spinal extensors and maintaining muscle balance to keep the spine in its ideal position.

As with any exercise program, care needs to be taken when doing these extension exercises, to avoid lower back injury. Pulling the lower abdominals upward helps to stabilize the lower back and keeps the focus on strengthening the upper back muscles, both of which help to prevent or correct the slouched posture that can come from spending long hours hunched over computers and phones.  

Sign up for a Pumped Up Pilates Mat class or a private session to begin strengthening your posture for your health!

How to Work Smarter with Pilates

It's not just about sharing juice recipes and stretching in patterned spandex, although we all wish that was the case! Pilates is about a lot more. The benefits of Pilates and yoga go way beyond the studio, popping up to guide you through that 8am meeting right up until that 3pm deadline. Pilates and yoga teach you the following benefits to improve your work life: 

1. How to focus: Just 10 weeks of Pilates practice has been linked to improved brain function, can improve your focus and help you process information faster. Posture practices are effective for concentrating and drowning out other distractions. 

2. How to sit smarter: Text neck is a real thing! Pilates improves your posture and the strength of your core and back, which makes sitting more comfortable. Solid posture is also linked with more efficient breathing, fewer headaches, and less stress, which - in my opinion - is one of the best benefits of Pilates and yoga there is. You can strengthen your lower back at home through superman holds, use dolphin planks to build up your core and get a really good back and shoulder stretch with upward facing dog. 

3. How to chill out: As far as stress boosters go, yoga and Pilates have proven to be the brain's natural anti-anxiety drug of choice. Yoga has been linked to a boost in mood and reduced anxiety, thanks in part to an increase in Gaba receptors (neurotransmitters linked to stress relief) in the brain. Meanwhile research shows the mindfulness techniques used in Pilates have been linked to lower stress and improve sleeping habits. 

4. How to breathe through a situation: Breathing is, thankfully, one of those automatic functions done without thinking. But there are times when focusing on your breath (and not holding it) can serve you well. In both Pilates and yoga, both breath awareness and intentional practices (like a long exhale) make practicing controlled breathing in real life a no brainer.

5. How to focus in the moment and forget about your day: When I focus in the moment during my class, my to-do list melts away. Students are in that room - both physically and mentally and when the workout is over, students are refreshed, relaxed, reinvigorated and most of all DE-STRESSED! 

Start living the benefits of Pilates and yoga today! Become a Founding Member, only $199/month.

 

Real Men Do Pilates

LADIES, stop what you're doing, grab your man and start reading! 

To my loving husband who refuses to go to my pilates classes with me,

There's a reason why your wife can't get enough of her pilates classes. Whether you're a power lifter, a golfer, a swimmer or even a marathon wannabe, a pilates class can help fine-tune your performance, even in the bedroom! ;)

Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates, a MAN. Pilates was a boxer and gymnast who trained military personnel. Pilates was first created as a workout to help wounded soldiers with limited mobility rehab from their hospital beds. Today, Pilates is for a number of male professional athletes, including LeBron James. Pilates will leave you feeling challenged, refreshed, leaner and longer, without feeling the draining side effects weight training and other "manly" exercises have on your body the next day. 

1. Pilates helps you develop new muscles. Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others. Pilates focuses on your neglected muscles - muscles that don't get a lot of attention.

2. Pilates helps improve your flexibility. Fact, the more muscle mass you have the less flexible you are. Stretching helps prevent injuries, negates muscle strain and increases your range of motion. 

3. Pilates helps build core strength. Every Pilates exercise utilizes your core to power movement to your limbs, specifically your transverse abdominals (that base ab muscle under your six pack). 

4. Pilates improves your golf swing. Sometimes the key to a better swing isn't on the green, but on the reformer. Pilates has been proven to help golfers hit the ball in a straighter direction, hit the ball more accurately and even further distances.

5. Pilates improves your sex life. As mentioned above, Pilates helps strengthen your core but also helps strengthen your pubococcygeus (PC muscle). In other words, you'll have greater control over your pelvic region - need I say more?!

So there ya have it. Pilates can get you better sex, a better golf swing, builds out your core, improves your flexibility and helps develop new muscles. Real men do Pilates. I encourage you to try a reformer class on us to discover what real strength feels like. 

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