This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country's service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to "Veterans Day" in order to account for all veterans in all wars.
Join us in saluting our veterans.
Follow us on Instagram@PilatesofPasadena
for more information: firstname.lastname@example.orgRead more
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.”
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”
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.
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.
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.
Motivation Boosters can be difficult to tap into…
Try these 5 green light tactics,
now; Whatever the reason, they can help you continue or even start exercising when it feels impossible.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
For dry skin, incorporate more avocados into your diet. They're rich in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, both of which promote healthy skin.
Try them on salads and sandwiches, and even in smoothies.
Tell is your favorite way to eat avocados in our comment section!
Photo Credit: abigail-lynn-517258-unsplash.jpg
Try P/oP’s intimate “Nooner Classes” during your lunch hour
or take an afternoon
Spring Happy Hour class
P/oP Wunda Chair Benefits
One may assume that the Wunda chair got its name because it works wonders.
At P/oP we believe that it does!
The Wunda chair is often used for simple strength and balance exercises or for a medium to advanced range workout.
** Enjoy these benefits from a Wunda Chair routine:
Stretching on the Wunda chair helps increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and decrease tension in your whole body.
Wunda chair exercises using the feet help strengthen the legs and ankles while also working your core.
The Wunda chair can help you build strength in your arms and chest.
Specific moves on the Wunda chair offer an intense, challenging workout for your core abdominal area.
A Wunda chair class is a great addition to your exercise routine.
**check with your pilates instructor about adding the chair to your routine
Tuesday Jump Class with Toni at noon
Get your heart rate going and get ready to move.
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
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.
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
For Side Kick Front/Back Series...Imagine, stacked coffee cups...
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
Photo by: nathan-dumlao-432134-unsplash.jpg
Berries are an incredible food, rich in nutrients for our brain, our digestion, and they’re disease-preventative.
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.
A revolutionary device, the OOV is ergonomically designed to complement the 3 curves of the spine and mimic natural movement. Developed by Australian Osteopath and Neuroscientist Daniel Vladeta who saw a need for a self-correcting device that would embed motor learning. The OOV is an unstable, proprioceptive, bio-feedback tool, that re-patterns and enhances efficient movement. The OOV Courses explore how using a device like the OOV can facilitate Functional Movement and create stability through improving mobility, focusing on exercises and training methods that continue to evolve with the latest research and our understanding of the body. Incorporating traditional Pilates exercises applied to the OOV and Balance Training, the course teaches you to Assess Correctly, identify where Instability and Restriction exist in the Body, and how to develop Strategies to Promote Improved Motor Control, Strength, Endurance, Proper Alignment and Increase Dynamic Stability through the 3D Activation of Myofascial Slings. The OOV is an experience and will change your daily practice and view of Functional Alignment.Read more
"In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 you'll see the difference, and in 30 you'll have a new body"
~ Joseph Pilates
3 private, 55-minute introductory sessions: $180
The studio is open 7 days a week from 6am to 9pm.
** Intro Offer: This set of 3 classes is an introduction to the art of Pilates and is open to first-time clients. Build core strength and learn the beginning moves you'll need to master this timeless exercise. Inquire on instructor availability.
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."
Fitness experts now believe that if there is one form of exercise that men of all ages should be doing, it’s this one!
Pilates was created by a man -- for men. Creator, Joseph Pilates, had a list of occupations -- diver, wrestler, body builder, self-defense teacher and professional boxer -- that's pretty much the stereotypical definition of manliness. The truth is, Pilates offers a great workout, regardless of your gender.
With its benefits of increased core strength, improved posture and better balance and flexibility, it should come as no surprise to learn that the number of male participants in Pilates classes is rising.
Pilates includes balance and standing work, it is a total body workout. Let’s face it, there’s not much point in having great abs if they only work when you’re lying down!
Your core isn’t just your abs — it’s your entire body from your diaphragm all the way to your pelvic floor. Although the focus of a Pilates class is primarily on your core, your inner unit, the class will also work your back, chest, arms, legs, neck, feet… the works! Other benefits are flexibility and coordination will improve with practice.
That’s not to say that Pilates ever gets easy. Pilates is multi-layered, which is what keeps it interesting for people, even after years of practice.
At P/op you’ll learn the basics of each movement first, breaking them down as much as needed, then adding things in to deepen the experience or simply add more challenge.
Book a session with a P/op instructor today, you’ll be glad you did!
When you're heading off to pilates, yoga, or any other exercise class, it's always important to hydrate so you can stay energized and have your best workout.
Electrolyte-loaded athletic drinks can be a source of unnecessary calories, so drinking water is usually best until you're exercising for more than one hour.
At that point, feel free to go for regular Gatorade-type drinks which can give you a beneficial replenishment boost.
Do you have a favorite athletic drink..share with us in our comment section below.
Eat Better, Sleep Better
In your daily workout practice, you may be doing everything to encourage a good night’s rest. But none of that matters if your diet sabotages your sleep patterns from the inside out.
Many people are missing out on essential vitamins and minerals which could cause less restorative sleep and disturbance.
Set yourself up for restful nights by padding your diet with vitamins, minerals and amino acids that support serotonin, a brain chemical that contributes to relaxation and sleep, as well as foods that contain natural melatonin.
Try our suggestions:
Magnesium: Almonds, cashews, dark chocolate (my favorite), pumpkin seeds, yogurt, salmon
Melatonin: Bananas, cherries, flaxseeds, raspberries
Serotonin: Bananas, Kiwis, pecans, tomatoes, walnuts
Omega-3s: Eggs, flaxseeds, salmon, trout, yogurt
Potassium: Acorn squash, avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, salmon
Tryptophan: Cheese, eggs, spinach, turkey
Vitamin B6: Avocados, bananas, bulgur, pistachios, salmon, sesame seeds
Vitamin D: Eggs, mushrooms, salmon, sardines, yogurt
What are your tips for a good nights rest? Tell us yours in our comment section below.
Follow us on Instagram@PilatesofPasadena
for more information: email@example.comRead more