Strong Sides, Strong Cores.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been shifting the focus in my classes. We’ve focused more on the sides of the body, thinking about these being “long and strong”, about them being “heavy and holding you down on the mat” and about “lifting from the sides of the body”.

It’s been an interesting experiment and has led to some great feedback of people feeling they have worked harder or reporting their obliques have been aching a couple of days after class.

Sometimes we can over-focus on the core muscles and forget about the rest of the body. Bringing that body awareness to the obliques just makes the exercises slightly different and can make you more effective.

So if you want to try a slightly different emphasis give it a go…. even in your day to day activities focus on keeping the sides of the body and the waist muscles lengthened, tall and strong. Think about not “squidging” in the sides but standing tall. Draw in the core muscles as well and see how you feel.

Muscles of the Trunk

Mobility changes in just 3 weeks!

Yesterday was the 3rd week of my Thursday classes and it’s lovely to see people becoming more and more used to Pilates.

I have 2 ladies coming who have both had double hip replacements. Their aims include building strength, mobility and flexibility. Usually 1 of these ladies is unable to roll down through her spine, bend her knees and come down to the mat. Instead she uses the windowsill to lever herself down. So it was exciting to see her manage to come down to the mat for the first time! I’m looking forward to seeing some significant improvements in these 2 ladies.

I saw similar progress in the afternoon class with a lady who had been unable to get up from the mat from a kneeling position, now able to do so. This particular lady was also looking stronger in her core and less wobbly.

Other feedback I have had from these classes is how relaxed Pilates makes people feel, that they are becoming a bit more body aware and how it is making them think about their posture at other points of the week. All this in just 3 weeks! I can’t wait to see what 3 months does 🙂