Thinking about starting Pilates?

No matter how uncoordinated you might think you are, or how insecure about your age and body…All of that is about to change with Pilates.

Doing Pilates properly is about awareness of the tempo and flow of the routine and how one movement blends into the next.

How badly do you want to do this?

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  • You’ll be developing and strengthening your “powerhouse” abdominal core to support everything you do.

  • You will be keenly aware of the parts of your body that are weak and need to become more flexible.

  • You will also notice a vast improvement in your overall sense of well-being.

  • You’ll feel rejuvenated after only your first workout.

The more you want to do Pilates, the greater and more satisfying your experience will be.

Let’s do it!

Drop-in Group Reformer Classes

Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays 6 & 7pm

Diamond Down

Pilates Exercise Tips for Strong and Healthy Shoulders

  • Have you ever injured your arms and shoulders?

  • Do carry stress and tension in your neck, upper back?

  • Do you ever notice your shoulders hiked up around your ears?


    It’s not surprising that so many people these days experience one, or all of these shoulder issues.  To maintain our erect human posture we have two options – good core support, or overuse of our arms and shoulders to try and hold us up!

Think of it this way…  You are either like a coat on a hook (shoulders up), or a circus tent with a tall pole up the center and the edges sloping down (core support & shoulders down).  Being like a coat on a hook means lots of neck and shoulder tension.  You might experience more headaches, or be prone to shoulder injuries and rotator cuff problems.  The good news, things can change quickly with the right body awareness, exercises, and improving your posture.

So the first important tip for strong healthy shoulders is to strengthen your core.

  •  The stronger your abs and back are to help keep you sitting and standing with tall posture (like a circus tent) the more your shoulders can relax.

  • But just relaxing your shoulders may not be enough.  Some active work to pull them down away from your ears may be necessary.  One of my favorite cues for strengthening the lower trapezius muscles (the muscles that help to pull the shoulders down) is “Diamond Down.”

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The Trapezius

muscle is a broad diamond shaped muscle that has fibers running in three different directions. The upper fibers elevate the shoulders. Middle fibers assist in pulling the shoulder blades together, and the lower fibers draw the shoulder blades down.

Generally speaking, the weakest and most important action for shoulder support and stability is the downward action of the Trapezius, thus my cue of “Diamond Down” when preparing to do any exercise that involves using the shoulders and arms.

Benefits of Strengthening the Lower Trapezius Muscle with “Diamond Down”

  • It places the shoulder joint in a more optimal place for movement of the shoulder and arm during exercise.  Better movement improves strength and flexibility and reduces risk of injury.

  • It provides the counter-leverage  necessary to lengthen and open joint space for the upper thoracic spine, neck and head, which means improved posture and upper spine mobility.

Tips for Practicing “Diamond Down”

  1. Start Standing with good posture and core support.  The upper spine should be slightly curved in its natural position so that the shoulder blades can lay flat on the back.  Just let the arms hang by your sides.

  2. Inhale breathing into the back to lift the ribcage and lengthen the spine, Exhale and from the bottom tips of the shoulder blades and draw the “Diamond Down” gently pulling the shoulder blades down towards the back of your waist.

  3. Repeat this three times,  lifting the spine higher, and deepening the “Diamond Down” contraction. Then release.  Repeat your “Diamond Down” exercise 3-5 times as a warm-up exercise before any other Pilates or gym exercises.  Or do it as a stand-alone exercise a couple of times throughout your day to remind you to keep your shoulders away from your ears!

What to Watch For

  • Be sure as the shoulder blades only pull down, that they don’t pinch together, but stay flat on the ribcage.

  • Watch your posture, allow the blades to move, and keep the rest of the body still.

  • Make sure the lower abdominals are lifting for core support and remain lifted while you draw your “Diamond” down.

Get More Core

Good Pilates exercise techniques makes a healthy body.  If you have a weak core, chances are your shoulders like to be hiked up around your ears.  With a strong center it’s much easier to improve shoulder mechanics, reduce joint pain, and maximize your Pilates workouts.  Doing the right exercises to strengthen your abdominals and back, along with practicing your “Diamond” down shoulder blade cue and you’ll be off to a great start for developing strong and healthy arms and shoulders with any and all of the exercises you do.

 

 © MMVIII-MMXIII, Aliesa George and Centerworks©. Used by Permission. Originally posted on Centerworks.com.

 

Source: http://www.centerworks.com/pilates-exercis...

Energy Healing Bodyworks

Treat your mind and body with the regenerative balancing powers of this energy healing therapeutic massage by our certified Massage Therapist,

Phillip Hwang

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Originally from Taiwan, Phillip grew up in a holistic environment that used natural healing as a means of staying healthy. His mother played a main part in keeping the family well though acupressure and traditional Chinese medicine.

As part of his discipline in the martial arts, the master he studied under taught his students the importance of healing oneself through meditation, self-care, and massage. His integration of both Eastern and Western modalities, along with a practiced knowledge of the human anatomy, allows Phillip to perform therapeutic massage for all aspects of healing and helps clients maximize their results and recovery time.

Practicing these holistic healing arts helped Phillip develop into the healer he is today.

Treat your mind and body today and book an appointment call Phillip at: (626) 705.4226

  • 60 minutes $100

  • 90 minutes $140

  • 120 minutes $180

Workout Motivation

Motivation Boosters can be difficult to tap into…

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Try these 5 green light tactics,

now; Whatever the reason, they can help you continue or even start exercising when it feels impossible.

  1. Invest money. Money has a way of changing your perspective because no one wants to waste it. Think of it as the best kind of investment—in your health. Start small and grow into group or duet classes that are cost savings.

  2. Schedule it. Setting and maintaining a consistent exercise schedule turns it into part of your day. In other words, prioritize working out as if it were a doctor’s appointment, no skipping allowed. Just remember that it’s important to make a schedule that’s realistic and can be maintained.

  3. Add Variety. If you dread your sweat sessions, get creative and try something new. It could be that you just haven’t found your workout motivation sweet spot yet. Love cardio? Look into spinning or boxing. Want to tone, strengthen and tighten? Try a Pilates class.

  4. Workout with a Partner. Working out with a friend creates accountability—it’s harder to bail when you know you’ll be letting someone else down by not showing up. Bonus: research has shown that exercising with a partner can push you to work harder during the sweat session, and it’s bound to be way more fun, too.

  5. Treat yourself (post-workout). Choose something to serve as a reward after working out (skip the ice cream). Think along the lines of a warm shower followed by a great face mask, or bigger treats for hitting specific goals.Think of something that really resonates with you, personally, that makes you proud of keeping your focus and working towards those bigger health and fitness goals.

Featured Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

Duet Sessions

Duets are more individualized attention than a class but the fun of having a buddy, duets are an economical way to get a lot of personal feedback on your Pilates practice.

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Having a partner is not only fun but also helps to keep your practice on track!

If you don't have a partner in mind, contact your instructor or our front desk for help in finding one. We always keep a list of clients looking for duet partners.

Real Pilates, Real People, Real Stories

Throughout the years we've heard people tell us how the benefits of Pilates have changed their lives - sometimes dramatically. We think you should hear them, too…

D. Parks: Pasadena, CA

I’ve seen a wonderful change in how my body moves since I started Pilates. Over the years my workouts consisted of walking and my yoga practice  but I have never been athletically inclined. But now I’ve seen a major increase in the coordination of my body – Pilates has improved my posture and basically changed my muscle structure.

When people ask me why I do Pilates I tell them that it’s a great way to build toned muscles with little to no impact on your body. You can even get some cardio exercise with no joint impact. In addition, I’ve never had a dull class. There are so many exercise and so much variations – its just always fun.  And, I love how I feel after a class! Thanks Maria!

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How has Pilates changed your life? Share your success story…We’d love to hear from you on our comment section or email us at info@pilatesofpasadena.com.

 


 

Workout Dedication

it’s not always easy to stay focused to your workout practice but here at P/oP we are dedicated to you and your practice.

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Our studio promotes physical and mental well-being through tailored exercises in both private and group classes. Call (626)765-6500 or email us to schedule an appointment with one of our wonderful instructors today!

P/oP has certified instructors who work with clients of all ages and abilities including handicapped, athletes, young adults and seniors.

Forget the Crunches & get Planking!

If you want rock solid abdominals then you should be all about the Plank.

As far as exercises go, you get the best bang for your ab-rocking buck with planks because it is considered an exercise that engages multiple muscles.

Photo Credit:  Ayo Ogunseinde  on  Unsplash

Photo Credit: Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

7 reasons to get excited about doing planks

  1. For being a basic isometric exercise, planks strengthen your entire body—they make your core pop, strengthen your lower back, and build your shoulders.

  2. The longer you can hold the plank, the more resilient your lower back will be to injury.

  3. Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture.

  4. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column.

  5. You’ll improve your overall balance.

  6. Planks require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

  7. Best perk of all...you don’t need any equipment.

Ask your P/oP instructor for their recommendations and tips for conquering the plank.

You’ll be better for it, guaranteed.

 

 

Spring Into Action

Tuesday Jump Class with Toni at noon

Get your heart rate going and get ready to move.

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Jump boards and trampolines attached to reformers transform your Pilates workout into a jumping cardio workout. Jumping horizontally against the springs, rather than fighting gravity, provides low impact to joints while using your core to stabilize the body.

This is a 40-minute class. $25.00

TO BOOK CLASS GO to:pilatesofpasadena.com/book-classes

THURSDAY MOVEMENT 360 CLASS

Thursdays at noon with Charletha

Charletha utilizes small props, (i.e., small balls and 18” dowel sticks) for closed chain movements. This class is a combination of Pilates mat work and stretching, as well as an emphasis on joint articulation, fascia release and standing balance.

The goal is to increase overall core strength, achieve better functional range of motion in joint structures, and maintain overall body movement and balance awareness.

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This is a great class

for anyone, especially older adults who wish to remain fit and maintain a full range of motion.


SIGN UP FOR CLASS AT: pilatesofpasadena.com/book-classes $25.00


“ I see so many of us lose our balance as we age, any way to continue to improve our balance will ultimately prevent injuries caused from falling “ — Maria

Wednesday Tips

For Side Kick Front/Back Series...Imagine, stacked coffee cups...

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Lie on your side with your elbow, shoulder, midback and buttocks aligned with the back edge of your mat.Think shoulder over shoulder, hip over hip.

Lift your top leg to hip height and turn it out ever so slightly from the hip. Inhale, pressing your navel deep into your spine.

Swing your leg to the front and pulse it twice (like two small kicks) as far forward as it will so without rocking forward in your hips or scrunching your waist.

To stabilize your shoulders, imagine balancing stacked coffee cups on your shoulder and do not rattle the cups as you go.

Exhale as you swing your leg back, reaching for the back corner of the room. Watch those cups.

Repeat 10 times

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Find diet-friendly munchies

While there are lots of good-for-you and your family foods out there, some key ingredients make it a lot easier to keep your weight or meet your weight-loss goals.

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Next grocery store run,

be sure to load these 3 diet-friendly items in your cart:

1 - balsamic vinegar (it adds a pop of low-cal flavor to veggies and salads)

2 - in-shell nuts (their protein and fiber keep you satiated)

3 - fat-free plain yogurt (a creamy, comforting source of protein)

Eat Berries for Breakfast

Berries are an incredible food, rich in nutrients for our brain, our digestion, and they’re disease-preventative.

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Photo by_ alex-block-597468-unsplash.jpg

They’re also a fresh source of produce and keep us fuller than processed cereals with dried fruits. Add 1/2 cup of your choice frozen or fresh berries to either a smoothie, oatmeal, or just have some with some unsweetened coconut yogurt and a little chia or flax seeds.

Berries are also a great source of vitamin C to kickstart your immune system.