The regular host was away at a funeral and Jennifer the weather gal was kind enough to step in and do Pilates while wearing a pencil skirt. Thank-you, Jennifer for being such a good sport! It was really fun!!
Posts Tagged ‘core muscles’
Your arms have been hiding under long sleeves and sweaters for too many months. Dare to be bare and shape up the shoulders, biceps and triceps. And because it’s Pilates? You’ll be working your abs at the same time. Enjoy!
You’ve been sitting too long and your back is aching. Go for a walk later but for now, with deadlines pending, take a few minutes (5 to be exact) and give your spine some TLC. And a happy spine is also a strong spine, so in case you need to get into something strapless soon it’s good to start with Healthy Your Way to Sexy!
Core strength has been a buzzword in the fitness world for quite a while but now we
are hearing that same buzz from the medical field. Clients are being referred to a Pilates program by their medical doctors who know that increased core strength can only mean decreased physical pain. So how do you know if core strengthening is for you?
Will Core Strengthening Help YOU?
- Have you experienced muscle spasms?
- Have you suffered an injury that has affected your ability to do everyday activities?
- Do you find it difficult to maintain excellent posture?
- Is it difficult to sit for long periods of time or does doing the same prolonged activity exacerbate your symptoms?
These are just some questions that are strong indicators that core strengthening could help you. Here’s why:
- Muscle spasms happen in the large muscles, turning the small, core muscles off.
- Injuries tend to make us rely on our largest muscles because they are the strongest, again, turning the small core muscles off.
- If you can maintain excellent posture throughout the day then your core strength is intact. Excellent posture uses your core muscles all day, every day.
- If sitting still hurts, that pain indicates that your spine is collapsing while you sit; pushing bony structure onto nerves or other bony structures instead of being lifted and supported. Pain while pursuing activities indicates that you lack core endurance.
Core strengthening, while beneficial to all, is especially beneficial to anyone who has every suffered an injury. As an interesting side note, core strength is not just about the spine and the stomach muscles. Every joint has core muscles; all the smallest muscles in charge of the balance and control of the joint are the core muscles. So any injury throughout the body benefits from core strength. Cool, huh?
At Pilates Teck we are able to accept your health insurance through our partnership with Santa Clarita Valley Therapy Services, a physical therapy clinic that offers the most up-to-date and thorough care in traditional therapy as well as occupational and aquatic therapy. Need to know more? Please call us! 661.260.1609.
According to the British Medical Journal (July 2010), calcium supplements may increase bone density but they do not reduce fracture risk. The supplements have also been found to increase your heart attack risk by 31%. So, I’d say it’s time to start looking at other options for obtaining your calcium and for reducing your fracture risk.
To reduce your fracture risk, I recommend this exercise: Weighted Spine Extension. The link below goes to a previous blog that describes a single exercise that can reduce your fracture risk 300%. That is not a typo. 300%! That’s huge. (Mayo Clinic 2002). See the exercise here: I want to reduce my fracture risk!
Now for the recipes. Many people taking calcium supplements are doing so because they get
bloated or gassy or just experience pain from eating dairy products. You don’t have to eat dairy to get loads of calcium. And the really good news is that the dairy alternatives generally carry all kinds of amazing anti-oxidants that are going to do a lot more for you than just keep your bones safe, but more on anti-oxidants in a future post.
Kale and Plum Vinegar and Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce are the treats awaiting you. Both kale and rhubarb are high in calcium.
Kale and Plum Vinegar
2 bunches of Kale cut into one inch widths
1 t minced garlic
1 onion; halved and sliced into crescents
2 T of plum vinegar
Boil the kale for about 3-7 minutes until tender. While that is boiling, steam-fry your onion and garlic. When the kale is tender, drain it and add it to your onion and garlic. Add the plum vinegar and stir fry for about 2 minutes. I like to put the kale in a circle around the dinner plate with brown rice and beans and fresh tomatoes in the center. Enjoy!
Strawberry, Rhubarb, Rose Water Syrup
2 cups sliced rhubarb
2 T fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup turbinado
1/2 cup water
1 T corn starch, dissolved in 2 T water
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 tsp rosewater
Toss the rhubarb with the orange juice and turbinado. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is cooked through. Let cool at room temperature. In a saucepan, combine the water, 2 T turbinado and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and cook for 2-3 minutes until the liquid becomes clear. Stir in the strawberries and the rhubarb and the rosewater. Refrigerate 2 hours or until well chilled.
Recipes: These recipes are from The Artful Vegan. The Artful Vegan is a cookbook created by The Millenium Restaurant in San Francisco. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. Take your non-vegan friends and you’ll have some converts for sure. Here’s the link to Amazon if you’d like to check the book out: The Artful Vegan.
It’s exciting to look back at 2009 and know that we made it through. We kicked and screamed through the economics of it all and celebrated and rejoiced in remembering what is really important. I think that the most popular posts of 2009 reflect what 2009 taught us. Health and great friends are way more important than world craziness…. Here are your top choices for 2009:
When you do sit-ups incorrectly you may find yourself buying the next size up.
A Mayo Clinic study shows that you do not have to increase your bone density to reduce your fracture risk up to 300%
Linda Smith, a cancer patient and Pilates friend, fought back during chemo. Did you ever dream of doing a glamorous photo shoot when you are undergoing cancer treatment?
Sit-ups are great but this exercise is even more effective than sit-ups for activating those core muscles.
In the first part, we very simply reduced the viscosity in the spine. Something that is very easy to do and prepares the spine for moving by allowing the spine to move more freely.
Next we wake up the core muscles of the spine.
This exercise works the core muscles of the spine in the front, side and back of the spine. The core muscles of the spine are the tiny muscles that connect one vertebra to the next. These are not the large muscles that you can feel when you touch your back. They are small muscles that are responsible for the proprioception or correct positioning and awareness of positioning throughout the body. These muscles get knocked out of commission either through age, injury or lack of use. If these muscles are never challenged then naturally they never work. I have worked with some very strong amateur athletes that push themselves really hard in their individual sport but are unable to easily perform this exercise.
Give it a try! And let me know how it goes.