Pilates- Made for Men and Women Alike

Contrary to popular belief, not only was Pilates created by a man but it was also first used by men! German-born Joseph Hubertus Pilates actually started Pilates as a form of rehabilitation for soldiers during WWI.  It was also used for dancers and had the ideal focus of balancing the mind, body, and spirit. Then in the 1920s, Joseph moved to NYC and opened his first Pilates studio.

Now Pilates continues to thrive as a popular exercise for both men and women alike to strengthen muscles, improve balance, relax, and more!

Here at Endurance, we offer classes and Privates Sessions not only to women but to men as well!

Some of our clients, like Tony, have been kind enough to share their experiences and the benefits they gained from taking private classes at our studio.

  1. Background -Why did you start Pilates, and how long ago?

“I’ve always been really active. I played sports my whole life, and I was a big runner until a knee injury sidelined that hobby. Since then, I’ve worked out with a personal trainer and have done a lot of weight-lifting.”

“I started practicing Pilates four years ago because I had done research and kept reading that it was incredibly effective as a complement to weight training. I am an avid golfer, and I wanted to increase my core strength to help improve my game. I had heard and read so much about it, I figured, Why not?”

  1. How has it helped you in your life/ workout life, etc?

“It’s been a total gamechanger. I can absolutely tell the difference not only at home but also in my workouts. I feel stronger than I ever did when I only lifted weights.”

  1. How has it changed your body – how you live your day to day life?

“My flexibility is infinitely better than it used to be. From the little things—I can touch my toes without bending my knees—to the bigger ones—the back pain I used to have is completely gone—it’s completely changed my day-to-day life.”

“I have improved flexibility and more control of my body. I feel like I’m the fittest I’ve been, even compared to my twenties and thirties, and I can confidently say this is the strongest I’ve ever felt, particularly in my abdominal muscles, my lower back, and my core.”

  1. Why did you choose Endurance?

“It’s really straightforward—Endurance is classical Pilates, and I didn’t want to waste my time practicing a bastardized form of it. It also has the best, toughest instructors who make me feel challenged every time I’m there.”

  1. Anything else you can tell us about your experience with  Pilates/Endurance/Teachers at Endurance?

“My wife and I love the studio. The entire experience really sets it apart. You won’t find a more dedicated, knowledgeable staff anywhere else. Everyone is so committed to helping you achieve your goals and improve—we wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

Tony is only one of the many men who come into our studio and benefit from the amazing things Pilates can do for your mind, body, and life in general. It’s never the wrong time to give Pilates a try!

Offers:

If you’re interested in trying out Pilates or want to sign up for Private Classes, check out the website: http://www.endurancepilatesandyoga.com/

To sign up for a Private Trial Session,  click the link: http://www.endurancepilatesandyoga.com/intro-pilates-private-trial.html

Why is Pilates Beneficial for Marathon Runners?

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All runners focus on strengthening their legs and their aerobic threshold but, too often, runners make the mistake of neglecting everything else. Running uses so much more than just your legs and your heart. Your core, which Pilates helps build in a uniform manner, is a huge part of running.

Your abdominal muscles include more than just the superficial “6 pack” muscles (rectus abdominis). As you can see from the diagram below, the abdominal muscles consists of the transverse abdominis, rectus abdomens and oblique (internal/external). This is distinctive from your core muscles. The core, on the other hand is your transverse abdominis, the pelvic floor, diaphragm and multifindi (diagram 2). All of these muscles work together when you think of “using your core.” In Pilates, we often refer to working and building the strength in our powerhouse, which is comprised of the “central” muscles – the abdomen and core muscles (described above), lower backs, hips and buttocks.

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Here are a few examples of how a strong core can help improve your running times and keep you injury free.

A strong core will help hold stabilize the pelvis. If your pelvis is out of alignment or unstable, you can become prone to injury. It can cause other imbalances further down the leg and may result in any leg issues (knee/hip) or low back pain. As you build your core, your abs will help you stabilize every time you make impact with the ground. This will reduce the need to overcompensate for imbalances and instability with other muscles.

Pilates will also help to increase flexibility, improve running posture and increase your power (as we focus on using the glutes and hamstrings in conjunction with the core).

While Pilates tones and strengthens, it simultaneously stretches. In every exercise you should feel a stretch and lengthening, which over time will help to increase flexibility in muscles. Pilates is well known for improving posture or helping to alleviate back pain. Every Pilates class or private helps to open up the front of the shoulders and to build the muscles towards the back of the body to hold the shoulders back. Lastly, we as mentioned above, the Pilates powerhouse incorporates the glutes and hamstrings. In every class, we work to build the strength in the glutes. Often students enter our studio not knowing how to “find their glutes.” We help students learn to activate them during Pilates classes, which translates to increased power outside the studio.

“I believe that a lack of core-strength and flexibility can create long term motor skills problems as the body continually adapts to find the path of least resistance and turns away from proper running mechanics.” -Terrence Mahon (Mammoth Lake Track Club)

Did we convince you? Take the guess work out of “am I doing it right?” and try incorporating one of our group Pilates mat class a week into your running routine. We offer a special “Pilates for Runners” class led by Christie, a marathoner and Pilates instructor at Endurance. This mat class focuses on building the core and is geared specifically for runners. Plus, it’s winter – the perfect time to gain strength for the next running season!

Prenatal and Postnatal Pilates Q&A with Instructor Danielle

Danielle Lamy, a Senior Pilates Instructor, is a mom, outdoor enthusiast and Pilates lover. She instantly fell in love with Pilates when she was looking to get in shape for a friend’s wedding. After 3 months of Pilates, her chronic knee pain subsided and was able to ski, hike and bike pain-free! Danielle continues to share her experiences as a mom and Pilates instructor with students at Endurance Pilates and Yoga.

In today’s blog post, Danielle shares her insight on Pilates for pregnant women and moms from her personal experience and experience as a Pilates Instructor.

Is it safe for mothers-to-be to do pilates? Are there common misconceptions around this?

Pilates is absolutely safe for a healthy mom carrying a healthy baby. I wouldn’t suggest a person to begin Pilates when they are pregnant but this can certainly be done carefully through private sessions. Many women believe that they can’t use their abs during pregnancy but in reality, if you have been doing Pilates all along, you should absolutely continue. Pilates helps to strengthen the inner most abdominals (transverse abdominals) which can be a preventative strategy for Rectus Diastisis, pelvic floor issues, back pain, hip pain, etc.

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During my pregnancy, despite being sick for 7 months, I continued my Pilates practice and had no pain of any kind and no pelvic floor issues. I carried high and had Rectus Diastisis (1 finger split) that my doctor said would have easily been a 3 finger wide split had I not continued with Pilates.

Another myth is that you cannot lie on your back. It’s all in how the mother feels. I lied on my back until the very end and had no issues. But, I’ve had other students who required modifications for lying reformer work or who needed to alternate more between sitting and lying exercises. Any well educated Pilates Instructor can modify for this type of work.

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If you are already a mom and are experiencing Rectus Diastasis, feel free to sign up for our “Strong Abs for Moms” workshop where master instructor Julie Erickson will give you at home tips from Pilates to help heal your abs and strengthen them post birth. Regardless of how long ago you’ve had your child, this workshop will be beneficial for you.

 

 

Are there any everyday ‘stressors’ that mothers experience that can be corrected through Pilates?

For me and many of my students our Pilates practice is our “me” time! Pilates requires so much concentration that you literally can’t think of anything else other than your practice or your instructor saying “abs in” and “squeeze your butt” over and over again.  It’s a one hour break from reality.  It also helps correct spinal misalignments that can occur form hunching over to feed, pick up, change, or walk with your little one. It’ll prevent the shoulders from rolling forwards. Pilates helped when I experienced hip flexor pain from sitting for 3 months because my little one was constantly breastfeeding which lead me to constantly be sitting.

What are some of your favorite moves to teach mothers to be?

My favorite exercises for mothers to be, who can lie down, is all of the footwork on the reformer.  The use of foot movements throughout the entire foot, the engagement of all of your muscles while your back is properly supported by Gratz reformers, and the length you can feel in your spine when done correctly are exactly what a pregnant mom needs. For those moms who cannot lie down, I love using the baby chair to work into the deep abdominals, lengthen the spine, and get the shoulders to live where they belong.

How does exercising differ while a woman is pregnant and after she delivers? 

Exercise differs only as much as you need it to. Your ability to exercise also depends on your doctor’s suggestion. I highly suggest that active moms find a doctor who understands how important exercise is to active mamas and who can be realistic with expectations and goals during and after pregnancy. My doctor understood this need for me and was shocked when I closed my diastisis within 2 weeks of beginning to exercise again through the use of Pilates principals. After pregnancy it all depends on what giving birth did to your body! Moms who have uncomplicated births can return to Pilates very quickly. Moms who have had C-Sections, pelvic floor issues, or other complications can greatly benefit from private sessions to directly rehab those areas.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our Prenatal or Postnatal services, please contact us at christie@endurancepilates.com! We offer a Baby & Caregiver Pilates Mat Class at 10:15 AM on Tuesday mornings and prenatal/postnatal focused private Pilates sessions by appointment.