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Keep Moving Everyday!

“Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~Edward Stanley

Pilates Reflection 2nd September 2014

Thanks to everyone for coming to the taster and drop-in classes last week. I hope everyone enjoyed the classes. We are looking forward to starting the new term next week. For any new clients just a reminder to bring some brain energy as the first few classes require an element of concentration. 

Hand/arm positioning in 4-point kneeling:

Some clients struggle with the hand positioning in Pilates for 4-point kneeling, where they experience pain or discomfort in their hand/wrist/arm. 4-point kneeling exercises include the cat stretch, the swimming exercises, the prep for the plank as well as the plank exercises and push ups too.

If you are suffering from pain when doing this exercise if you would like to discuss it with your instructor and they can examine your technique to ensure that everything is in optimal position and provide you with some tips or exercises to prevent this from happening.

So I have a few pointers to prevent strain in the wrists when doing these exercises or in their shoulders:

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Pilates Reflection 8th August 2014

Statement of the week:

“I find it difficult to remember which way to breathe!”

The breathing in Pilates accounts for 80% of any of the exercise as the rest of the exercise is just doing the movement part. The best way to remember the breathing is that for most of the exercises the inhale is on preparation for the exercise - so before the movement begins or the inhale is used to hold the position or the easy part of the exercise.

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Pilates Reflections 05/08/2014

Shoulder positioning

I have noticed that some clients in the class struggle to keep the shoulders relaxed when doing certain exercises. They may find that their shoulders tend to creep up towards the ears during exercises or they grip on with their shoulders when doing exercises to help improve stability. This can be due to a number of factors - stiffness in the middle back, weakness in the muscles that hold the shoulders away from the ears, tightness in the pectoral muscles (the muscles in the chest) or overactivity in the upper traps.

Shoulder positioning/stability and movements is one of the key principles in Pilates. In the warm up for Pilates the shoulder blades/scapula are moved in various positions in order to warm up the muscles around the shoulder girdle and improve blood flow.

These movements include the following:

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Pilates Reflections 22 July 2014

Hands behind Head - A good idea or bad?

Hands behind the head is a great way for clients with weakness in their deep neck flexors or with previous neck injuries to avoid any straining of the neck. It is used for any exercise which involves lifting the head off the floor. However I have noticed that the technique can be quite poor and cause unnecessary strain. If the technique is done correctly it is a very effective way for people to still work their abdominals without straining the neck.

A few points to remember about hands behind the head:

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Pilates Reflections 14 July 2014

Week 2 of our summer Pilates term is completed – the summer is flying by. 

Last week some of our members received neck exercises to practice in order to assist in performing movements like the 100’s and Ab Prep. The neck exercises are composed of a very gentle and simple head nod movement in order to recruit and build the strength of the deep neck flexors which are located at the front of the neck – longus colli and longus capitus.


Image: OpenStax College / Commons.wikimedia.org

These muscles are deep stabilising muscles and their job is to stabilise the head on the neck. Clinical Trials have proven that these simple but effective exercises can help to reduce neck pain and headaches. If these muscles are not strong enough, some clients may find that when doing some of the exercises which involve lifting the head up off the floor – they will feel the muscles in the back of the neck working as they are compensating for the weak muscles at the front of the neck. This highlights the importance of working on the deep neck flexor muscles.
Hopefully, by the end of the summer sessions of Pilates everyone will have stronger deep neck flexor muscles and less likely to experience any tension/pain in the neck during the Pilates class.

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Reflection On Pilates For The Week

Pilates for the summer has commenced! This week I met with all of the Pilates clients and for each of the classes we set goals to achieve by the end of the summer. Reflecting back on the week, I was really impressed with the standard from all the clients and especially the regular clients - Katie has done a great job and I aim to keep everyone in tip-top condition while achieving our goals for the summer.

According to Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates

"In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference and in 30 you will have a new body".

To a good summer Pilates term!


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New Pilates Courses Starting June 30th 2014

Our next Pilates course schedule starts on the 30th of June and 26 places from 36 have already been booked. As of today we have 6 places left on our Beginner classes and 4 places on our Improver-Advanced class.

To view our course schedule please visit our website here - http://mmphysiopilates.com/dublin/join-a-class.html

Summer Promotional Price

We are offering our 7 and 8 week courses at the 6 week price of €120.00
This is to accommodate some flexibility for holidays. If you are able to attend the full course that's great, the extra 1 or 2 classes are on us.

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Simple But Powerful Benefits Of Exercise

running-exercise-300If you have kept an eye on the general news in the past couple of years I am almost certain you would have come across more than one promotion for the benefits of exercise. When a worthy topic surfaces it usually spreads fast across our modern and diverse media channels. The benefits of exercise came into the limelight again in a strong way in response to rising awareness of a worrying obesity pandemic.

Related article: Why Exercise Is So Important For Your Health

Risks of not exercising

One of the key messages has been the risk of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles as a result of prolonged periods sitting at office desks or behind the wheel of our cars. Remaining in the sitting position for long periods of time has the more obvious and negative influence on body posture while the not so obvious risks are worsening blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even risk from some types of cancer.

Inactivity plays a role in almost every chronic disease there is.

… as quoted in a previous article.

Some of the benefits of exercise

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Important Tips For Stretching Properly

stretching after runningI often come across conflicting advice and opinion about the effectiveness and value of stretching our muscles in preparation for exercise. Last week Robin wrote about why runners could benefit from doing Pilates, a timely post because we have the Women’s Flora Mini-Marathon soon to take place here in Dublin on the 2nd June. I would think most, if not all, runners would be knowledgeable of the benefits and be experienced in stretching their muscles.

The Flora Marathon website even has their own article about the benefits of Pilates for runners which suggests that a 6 week core strength programme, such as Pilates, helps runners shave 1min off their 5km times.

As an important reminder, in this article I offer some useful tips for stretching properly.

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Why Runners Should Also Consider Doing Pilates

runner-tying-shoe-laceWhy do some people run and others do Pilates? Such choices are due to personal preferences of course but the fundamental motivation behind either choice is likely to be about improving and or maintaining one’s health and fitness.

So which choice, running or Pilates, is the best exercise for achieving improvements in health and fitness?

Approaching such a question from an equal standpoint - assuming a common level of current health and fitness exists, I would suggest that neither could claim to be the best exercise because each offer different degrees of fitness benefit. Also, neither offer the complete function for ‘ideal’ fitness. However if I had to choose between one or the other, all else being equal, I would choose Pilates as my single exercise routine.

How I get to this personal conclusion is partly supported by understanding a more complete definition of ‘fitness’. To be fit in the most optimal sense requires a suitable balance between cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility.

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PhysioPilates ~ healthy moving since 2011
Mount Merrion Physiotherapy
105 Trees Rd, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin. Tel. 01 283 4303