Pilates Mat Class

Are you looking for a great Pilates mat class but hate the gym? We may be just the right match for you! We have created a monthly mat class with a maximum of 8 people. This class is intended for the injury free clientele who are looking for a small size mat class and access to a video of the exercises so they can continue to do the work at home. If this sounds like you take a look at the details below.

The video of the exercises will provide the cues needed to continue to keep up with the great form you learn in the class!

Core Builder copy

Advertisements

Pilates Exercises for the Airplane!

Here are some great exercises you can do while sitting on the plane.

It’s the sitting that really gets to our bodies, let’s keep ourselves moving a little bit to help prevent the aches, stiffness and pain that can come with traveling.

Breathing– finding your core. belly button pulling to the back of spine, bearing down into pelvic floor, connecting the diaphragm

Neck Rolls– full neck rolls in both directions, stopping & stretching where it feels tight, try to keep your body still just move neck

Shoulder Circles-full shoulder circles in both directions trying to keep your body still and just move the shoulders

Ankle Circles– full ankle circles in both directions

Roll Downs-moving thru & warming up the spine. use your Pilates breath to engage core

Cat/Cow-flexion & extension of spine. make sure to bear down into pelvic floor during extension to protect lower back

Roll Downs– second set, spine more mobile, deeper core work

Knee Stirs-core work, stabilization of the pelvis. bring knee in towards chest & stir in socket. both directions. uses your Pilates breath to engage core. only your knee & hands should be moving. pelvis stays still

Knee Folds-core work, stabilization. bring one knee into chest. hold for 5 counts. bring back down. switch sides. use Pilates breath to engage core. only leg should be moving. pelvis stable.

Priformis Stretch-cross one ankle over the opposite knee. lean forward.

Side Bending-gentle lean over to one side. stretching the sides of your back. breathe into the stretch. do both sides

Rotation-rotating the spine gently. breathe into the stretch. both sides

Standing Hamstrings-stand with feet hip width apart. bending over. keeping legs straight.

Remember: switch sitting positions frequently, every 1/2 hour would be optimal and move about the cabin whenever possible!

Have a safe flight!!

 For  more information contact The Body Gallery
415-776-6641
pilates@thebodygallery.com

Pilates for Hip Pain

Currently I am seeing a couple of clients who were referred to me because they were experiencing chronic outer hip pain.
After doing a static postural assessment and glute/psoas muscle function test, I saw the same results with each client. A hip hike and loss of function in both the psoas and glute maximus. This gave me valuable information to work with, I knew at this point we needed to get the psoas and glutes functioning in order to help relieve the hip pain.
The question now is why are the glutes and psoas dysfunctional? Looking at the muscle function pattern in each test gives me an idea of what muscles are hypertonic and possibly inhibiting the glutes and psoas from functioning. This is my starting point in planning out a curriculum for my client.
Each exercise I choose has a purpose and objective focused on getting the glutes and psoas to function again.
Once the glutes and psoas are functioning again we can start to focus on strengthening them.
I give them practical homework to do in between session to support the work we’re doing in the studio. If a client is disciplined and does the homework they will feel results more quickly. Change comes and pain starts leaving. It’s a work in progress to change the muscular imbalances but I’m happy to say my clients are in less pain and getting progressively better.

If you have any questions, I’m happy to chat.

The Body Gallery: The Art of Personalized Pilates                                                                                             http://www.thebodygallery.com                                                                                                                                           415-776-6641                                                                                                                                                                     pilates@thebodygallery.com

How Pilates Can Help Improve Your Posture

At The Body Gallery one of our focuses is improving our clients posture.

When we have a client come in with postural issues we begin our first session with a full static postural assessment. We look at our clients’ posture from head to toe using the postural assessment based on the findings of Dr. Janda.

What we are looking for are any obvious signs of over/under worked muscles which can cause muscle imbalance or dysfunction. We take a look at the pelvis to see if there are any deviations such as an anterior/posterior/lateral pelvic tilt, a lateral shift or rotation. From there we take a look at the glutes,  hamstrings, adductors, calves and spinal extensors. We also take a look at the scapular region, abdominals and the front of the thighs. Lastly we look at the arm position, head alignment and chin/neck angle head position.

Once we have gathered all of this information we check certain muscle function patterns depending on the findings we have seen in the assessment.

Finally we discuss a specific goal we will focus on during our sessions.

This method has given our clients great results, helping them to improve their posture and alleviate chronic pain.

For more information contact Cassidy at The Body Gallery

pilates@thebodygallery.com

Which one of these posture images looks like you?

Unknown-3

Getting to the heart of the QL

Case study:

I recently had a client coming to see me once a month for the past 6 weeks with a problem in her low back and hips. I could see clearly that her QL (quadratis lumborum), erector spinae were completely burnt out from being in a constant state of contraction and in addition, her glute med’s weren’t working at all. I knew I could help with the first phase of healing by releasing and relaxing the Ql’s, erector spinae and corresponding trigger points in the piriformis and psoas.

I also knew that unless she either changes what she does everyday (which happened to be sitting at a desk all day long) or she learned exercises that would re-train her muscles out of their habit, meaning learning to consciously relax muscles that are in constant contraction while learning to fire muscles that no longer know how to fire, she would never get lasting results from my work.

As suspected, each time she came in, she felt better for a week or so after, but we always went back to square one. After 2 times of this, I started recommending that she see Cassidy at The Body Gallery. Cassidy retrains your body from the inside out how to get back in balance and the results are lasting! I can speed up the process by encouraging and reminding your muscles that they should be relaxed and also encourage nerve passageways to fire again through trigger point therapy. This is how Cassidy and I work so effectively together.  She has seen Cassidy just two times now and is already noticing changes in her body and the reduced pain is lasting longer.  

I know it’s much more exciting to think that laying on a massage table with an amazing bodyworker can correct  all the crazy things we expect from our body on daily basis rather than having to do some work from the inside out for lasting effects, but it’s simply dillusional….sorry!

Educational moment: One of the most common rebutles when I tell a client a certain muscle is weak and proceed to find that the same muscle is incredibly tight, is “How can it be so tight if it’s weak and I’m not using it?” This article is a great explanation of how a muscle like the QL can actually be weak and tight at the same time. It’s also a great explanation as to the work that Cassidy and I do are so complementary to each other and essential to the whole healing process.

Quadratis Lumborum:

 

Image

“The quadratus lumborum, or QL, is a common source of lower back pain. Because the QL connects the pelvis to the spine and is therefore capable of extending the lower back when contracting bilaterally, the two QLs pick up the slack, as it were, when the lower fibers of the erector spinae are weak or inhibited (as they often are in the case of habitual seated computer use and/or the use of a lower back support in a chair). Given their comparable mechanical disadvantage, constant contraction while seated can overuse the QLs, resulting in muscle fatigue. A constantly contracted QL, like any other muscle, will experience decreased blood flow, and, in time, adhesions in the muscle and fascia may develop, the end point of which is muscle spasm.

The experience of “productive pain” or pleasure by a patient upon palpation of the QL is indicative of such a condition.

Hip abduction is performed primarily by the hip abductors (glut medius and minimus). When the glut med/min are weak or inhibited, the TFL or QL will compensate by becoming the prime mover. The most impaired movement pattern of hip abduction is when the QL initiates the movement, which results in hip hiking during swing phase of gait. Hip hiking places excessive side-bending compressive stresses on the lumbar segments. Thus, a tight QL may be another hidden cause of low back pain (Janda 1987).

When the hip adductors are tight or hypertonic, their antagonist (gluteus medius) may experience reciprocal inhibition. The gluteus medius will become weak and inhibited. This in turn may cause hypertonicity of ipsilateral QL. Chronic hypertonicity of QL tends to cause low back pain due to its ability to create compressive stress on lumbar segment.

Current studies show that application of heat or ice, massage, and estim will not leave long-term benefits. Careful assessment of muscular imbalances and movement impairments by a therapist is recommended in order to address the underlying issues mentioned (you need Cassidy for this).

While stretching and strengthening the QL are indicated for unilateral lower back pain, heat or ice applications as well as massage should be considered as part of any comprehensive rehabilitation regimen”  (You need Jennifer for this).

 

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadratus_lumborum_muscle

 

Photo Credit:

http://www.visiblebody.com/index.html

 

How Pilates Can Help With Pre and Post Natal

How Pilates Can Help With Pre and Post Natal

Pilates training is one of the most safe and effective fitness workouts for pregnant women to do before and after childbirth. We encourage all pregnant women to continue with exercise but it is important to maintain a safe workout routine while the body continues to change month to month. All pregnant/postpartum women should get the ok from their doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

Our prenatal/postpartum Pilates workouts are designed specifically for the changing pregnant body and the recovery from childbirth. We focus on the most important muscles to prepare for birth and recover from it. Every woman has a different experience, every routine we design is geared towards the needs of each individual. There is no one magical workout that works for every pregnant/postpartum woman. We believe an individualized program is the safest way to prevent injury during and after pregnancy. We focus on the core/pelvic floor, pelvis and arms because pregnant women need strength in their trunk and pelvis to support the growing baby without much pain or discomfort and, of course, for labor and delivery. After the baby is born, women need arm strength as well to hold their beautiful/handsome newborn.

What are the most important muscles to focus on during and after pregnancy?

  • Pelvic Floor Muscles: This muscle group helps with the birth and prevent incontinence.
  • Transverse Abdominals: The deepest abdominal muscle in the body and stabilizer of the pelvis and back.
  • Multifidus: The deep stabilizing muscle of the lower back.
  • Psoas: This is the deepest and largest hip flexor muscle. It tends to get over active and tight, causing lower back pain.
  • Glutes: The glute max is the largest bum muscle and hip extensor. It’s important to keep strong for your daily activities such as walking, going up the stairs, sitting and squatting.
  • Mid and Lower Traps: When the mid and lower traps are strong, the upper traps get to relax a bit and this help release tension in the neck and shoulders.
  • Arms: Keeping up with arm strength is crucial for all the heavy lifting.
  • Deep Neck Flexors: Keeping these strong helps with head posture and releasing the back neck muscles, shoulders and upper back.

 

If you have any questions please email pilates@thebodygallery.com  We’re happy to help!

 

The BodyGallery:The Art of Personalized Pilates
47 Kearny Suite 601
415.776.6641

 

What is Pilates Fitness Training? And why It’s Important to Strengthen Our Core/Pelvic Floor!

 

What is Pilates fitness training?

Pilates is a comprehensive workout, developed by Joseph Pilates, focused on core strength, pelvis and spine stability, whole body mobility and balanced muscle development. It’s a challenging program that requires you to work deeply and methodically, helping you to connect your mind and body and develop deep body awareness skills. The mind body connection is about body awareness. It’s being able to connect and feel in our body what it is we are doing. It’s about bringing our focus into our body and paying attention to how it functions through our everyday challenges.

Why It’s Important To Strengthen Our Core!

Our cores are the center of gravity and balance, it’s where our movement comes from. It’s important for people of all ages and activity levels to maintain a strong core. Our core is where all movement, stability and balance comes from. Whether it’s during our daily activities such as sitting up straight, standing up straight and climbing stairs or our active lifestyle such as sports and aerobics, we need our cores to be strong! Weak core muscles leave us susceptible to poor posture, injury and chronic pain. Our core muscles support and stabilize our bodies. It allows us to move our spine in different directions without damaging our ligaments, joints and discs of our spine. If our core muscles are weak our bodies will compensate to take up the slack and over time cause injury or chronic pains. We will loose our sense of posture, balance and stability if we do not continue to work on our core strength. When our core muscles are strong and functioning correctly we gain pelvis stability, reducing our pain and discomfort. Better yet! Preventing pain and discomfort before it begins!

What Muscles Make Up “The Core”?

The Pilates core is much more than just doing abdominal exercises. The core represents the muscles included to stabilize the spine and pelvis. So when The Body Gallery says we will work on your core we mean the following:

  • inner thighs
  • pelvic floor
  • psoas
  • glutes
  • transverse abdominals
  • multifidus
  • internal and external obliques
  • diaphragm
  • rectus abdominals

Why It’s Important To Strengthen Our Pelvic Floor Muscles!

Our pelvic floor muscles have 3 jobs to do! Hold our organs in, prevent incontinence and last but not least it’s our orgasm muscles! Both men and women have pelvic floor muscles, it’s not just the women’s curse. Our pelvic floor muscles, like all other muscles will loose strength over time and must be strengthened. It’s true that pregnancy and childbirth are the most obvious causes of weakness to the pelvic floor muscles but being overweight, having chronic constipation, persistent heavy lifting, changes in hormone levels and aging are all contributing factors for both men and women. To prevent incontinence, and prolapse (lack of organ support) and maintain our dynamic orgasms we must keep our pelvic floor muscles capable and strong!

 Quadruped
For more information contact Cassidy at The Body Gallery
415-776-6641

Dr. Janda’s Three Muscular Imbalance Patterns

Pilates is a great modality to regain muscular balance in the body. Muscular balance is crucial for injury recovery, prevention and optimal performance of the body.

At the Body Gallery all new clients receive a full postural assessment. This provides the client and trainer with highly useful information that will help us find a focus point and goal for our program design. Our trainers use Dr. Janda’s approach to muscle imbalance patterns when assessing our clients.

There are three patterns we look for.

1. Upper Crossed Syndrome: Symptoms seen are a forward head position, increased cervical lordosis, rounded shoulders and increased thoracic kyphosis (as seen in the picture below). This muscular imbalance can lead to weak cervical flexors, rhomboids and lower traps while causing the upper traps, levator scapula and suboccipitals to become hyperactive and tight.

upper crossed syndrome

2. Lower Crossed Syndrome Type A & B: Symptoms seen for Type A  are an anterior pelvic tilt, increased lumbar lordosis and knee flexion. Symptoms seen for Type B are minimal lumbar lordosis, kyphosis, head protraction and hyperextension in the knees. In both types muscular imbalance is seen as weak abs and glutes with hyperactive and tight hip flexors and thoracumbular extensors.

Type A

lower cross syndrome type A

Type B

lower cross syndrome type B

3. Layer Syndrome: This imbalance is more complicated to see visually but is apparent as the body moves and we see how the muscles are functioning. Generally we will see weak mid/lower traps, deltoids, infraspinatus, teres major/minor and lats. In response the cervical erector spinae, upper traps, levator scapula, thoracumbular erector spinae and hamstrings are hyper active and tight.

layer syndrome