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Too much forward tilt can cause a cranky low-back

75% of my clients experience occasional low-back tension

General low-back tension is quite common in our chair-loving culture.

What’s the connection between low-back tension and sitting in a chair? View full article »

2-way-reach-makes-all-the-differenceOnline registration opens March 1st — it’s time to get your schedule together for Spring Term 2017!

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Ohhhh, you’re so going to love this pre-Pilates Fascia Stretch routine. My friend Frank Zito posted it and I immediately knew all of my clients would love it. Rather than have me re-video it, take a look at Frank performing it here. Thanks, Frank, it’s yummy!

fascia-stretch

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Homework: Mermaid Spiral

This one is for my clients who are on holiday hiatus!  If Mermaid on the reformer is one of your favorite Pilates stretches, you’re going to love Mermaid Spiral on the mat. View full article »

Oh, Squishy Ball, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways….  The Squishy Ball exercises we do at Effortless Movement are based on Joe’s arc barrel and spine corrector exercises. They are awesome for working your entire abdominal wall, lengthening the legs, and getting control over your ribcage. (I just taught a private session the other day where we addressed the relationship between your ribcage and the rest of your posture — it’s all connected, folks!)

squishy-ball-homework

This series is for my ongoing Group Equipment class peeps — homework for Thanksgiving week!  Feel free to ask me for pointers in class, as this post isn’t meant to be a complete online tutorial.

THE LIST:

  • Frog – remember to create the “power leg” sensation from class.
  • Circles – small range of motion on this one!
  • Double Leg Lift – 6-12″ range of motion is plenty.
  • Bridge – bonus points: do all 3 foot/leg positions: neutral, turn out, and turn in
  • Kick your Big Brother – for single leg movements you can likely aim lower…
  • Helicopter – lol – your brain is getting bigger!
  • Bicycle – try to touch your mat with your foot
  • Super Psoas – add in the magic booster that I taught you in class.

SUCCESS TIPS:

  • Golden Rule: If your legs are moving, your torso stays still. No rocking from side to side!
  • Use your corset muscles to lock that back ribcage down. If it’s moving, you’re aiming your leg(s) too low or your range of motion is too large.
  • Yes, your low-back will be off the mat when your hips are on the ball. Your “anchor point” is your back ribcage. (yep, I talk a lot about Anchor Points in my best selling book, Ageless Pilates)

REALITY CHECK

Of course I think my squishy ball is the best, but really, use what you have!  Got another brand of 9″ squsihy ball? Use it! No ball available? Roll up a large towel to create a 9″ lift for your hips — or just grab a thick pillow off your couch. I would avoid using anything too hard though, so please no hard rollers, basketballs, weighted gym balls.

This one is for my Pilates Power Classes. Please do these 7 moves everyday — they should take you 7 minutes in total.

pilates-power-homework-1-1

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