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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 September 16th 2014

It was great to meet all the new clients this week and welcome back to all of the existing clients. We’ll aim to achieve all of our goals this term!

The Pilates Warm-Up:

The warm-up in Pilates aims to improve blood flow to the different muscles in the body, loosen up the joints and to waken up the core muscles before moving on to the more strenuous or difficult exercises. The warm-up exercises also illustrate some of the basic principles of Pilates such as breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, shoulder blade movement and stability as well as head and neck placement. Some of these principles have been outlined in previous blog posts.

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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 25th August 2014

Well done to everyone who completed the summer course of classes - great improvements by all. This week we are running the taster classes and drop-in classes, so I am looking forward to anyone will be attending this week.

Neck Pain:

Last week, I was asked by two clients what to do if they have pain in their neck when doing exercises. The main exercise I find that people experience difficulty is the one where they lift the head and shoulders up off the floor, for example the ab prep exercise. Other exercises which involve moving the head/neck can also be troublesome for other clients such as the spine rotation or cat stretch.

Here are some tips that you can do/use in class:

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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 29/07/14

Neutral Spine & Imprint - what is the difference?

In Pilates there are two different spinal positions used for different exercises - neutral and imprint. Neutral lumbar or lower back spine is where the spine follows the natural curvature, so the pelvis is in a neutral or natural position and so is the lower back. There is a little gap under the lower back and the pelvis is level - neither tilting forwards or backwards. This is the ideal position for the back and pelvis as in neutral position the muscles are placed under least tension and at their optimal length.

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