Why I Hate Pilates…..

Well, I don’t actually hate Pilates…

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Let me rephrase that–
I remember my first ‘proper’ Pilates class. I recognised some of the exercises rom dance class years before. Others were similar to the body conditioning I was teaching at the time – goodness my core and my abs were sore.

So I now have a love/hate relationship with it.

Which is why I’ve shared this story from Sylvia from Barbados to share with you the importance of a strong core using Pilates.

You see, Sylvia is an expert in Pilates and she filled me on the program that I once thought was only for dancers and older women.

Take it away, Sylvia …

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#1 Tip For Lookin Sexy with Pilates

by Sylvia Favela

After having my son the thought of feeling sexy was a far-fetched fantasy.

My body changed in ways I never thought were possible.

My insides felt like mush and didn’t feel sexy with how I looked. Even before having my son I hated how my body looked.

I did the same old thing everybody did.

I walked myself into those big gyms and went as hard as I could.

Well, after a few months I was looking better but my body felt and looked like a square box.

Sure my clothes started to fit better and I was finally able to look at myself in the mirror without being disgusted.

But there was still something missing, I wasn’t feeling sexy about how I looked and felt. I knew something had to give, sure I’m a mom but I wanted a sexy slim physique and there was no way my body should stay like this.

I secretly envied the sexy looking bodies I’d see on TV and I wanted to feel and look sexy in and out of clothes.

I jumped in and tried Pilates; I thought what the heck why not.

I can’t explain what an amazing feeling it was after one workout.

I felt muscles I never knew I had and my entire body felt tighter and firmer.

As I continued my Pilates workout my body changed drastically.

The full body workouts and deep core exercises transformed my square sloppy frame into a slim toned physique.

My stomach is flat and tight, my waistline smaller (something I never thought possible after having a baby) I developed lean, tone, muscle definition in my legs and arms.

In Pilates I had finally found the missing link to looking and feeling Sexier and Younger.

I now walk taller, leaner and with confidence.

And people are shocked when they find out I have a 11-year-old son!

And guess what?

Pilates is one of those things that sort of grows on you over time.

But, what I can tell you is developing core strengthen is crucial to maintaining a strong, fit, balanced body to help reduce the risk of long-term injuries.

And Pilates has certainly done that for me.

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Thanks, Sylvia! Great story.

Pilates has rightly earned the reputation of helping you develop deep core strength, flexibility and regain your youthful body again.

Seriously though … I don’t really hate Pilates.
But I do hate how it’s ALWAYS challenging, demanding and engaging
But LOVE LOVE LOVE how it changes bodies for the better.

Join one of my classes free to try for yourself!

Go to
http://www.jaxallenfitness/weekly for my current class schedule

Enjoy

This email was sent to jaxallen13@aol.com

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Mission Visible Abs – At Any Age #2

Ab-Defining Strategies Are Extremely Difficult To Find

It’s not your fault that you don’t know how to get ripped abs quickly. Let’s get that clear before we go any further.

I know clients that have wasted hours and hours researching on the web finding contradicting information! No one really has the time to sort through thousands of web pages?

Now, while abdominal workouts are easy to find, so much of the abdominal strategies are the same re-hashed rubbish from back in the 80’s or promote exercise that work your hip flexors instead of your abs. In fact, you can do 500 situps and not really target your abs the way you want to.

Are your hip flexors taking over you ab exercises? It’s very possible….

Also, I’m guessing you haven’t spent over a decade studying physics, biomechanics, anatomy and exercise physiology like I have. Very few trainers know about this, because most of them get their info from simplistic training certifications or uninformed “gurus” who simply copy the next “guru”! It’s the blind following the blind and a big mistake.

Unless you fix this problem, you’ll be able to crank out 500 situps a day without a single one of them truly targeting your abs – which means you’ll have a sore lower back, poor posture and “ab development”.

WARNING: “Hip Flexor Dominant” Workouts Will RUIN Your Abs

Can you say for certain if your ab routine is focused on building your abs or your hip-flexors?

If you’re scratching your head wondering why your abs aren’t more developed or show more than it’s because the so-called ab exercises you’re following do not really work the abs at all. You’re following “conventional” ab exercises that are not primary abdominal exercises but instead work the iliopsoas muscles – the hip flexors. And remember, just because you feel a “burning” in your abs does NOT mean you’re working them, in most cases they are just acting as stabilizers!

Choosing exercises that make your abdominals act as a stabilizer instead of the prime mover results in bad lifting habits and as you know, bad habits die hard. The longer you do hip-flexor dominant exercises the harder it will be to target your abs precisely, which will prevent you from ever bringing out the full shape and separation of the abdominals.

In my Pilates sessions we complete series of exercises that target all core stabilisers and with a 3D approach use more muscles than most sessions.
Try out June challenge. – see how you get on!

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Time to Try Pilates – FREE

This week and Next week you can try any class with me in my Studio at Hayden Hill or Fitness 4 Less

Pilates offers a perfect way to balance your training – as much I want everyone to train hard, really hard – in short variable burst ( more on Smart Blast training soon!) you MUST lengthen muscles, mobilise joints, improve your tissue quality and support your recovery if you want to avoid injuries and plateau.

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Fitness 4 Less sessions – Wednesdays 12:30 with 2 hours free parking at Beechwood Arcade, just a short walk from the gym.
Following your trial fees are 5 classes for £5; your next 5 sessions cost £10; further 5 packs £15.

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Hayden Hill Studio – Fitness Pilates Mondays 18:00
– Integrated Pilates Mondays 19:45 & Thursdays 18:00
– Restore & Rebalance Tuesdays 18:30
– Fit Backs & Bumps Thursdays 19:30

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We look forward to seeing you…
for more information or advice email me Jaxallenfitness@gmail.com
To book or a quick question text me anytime 07831 680086

I hope I’ve persuaded you try Pilates, with me or another teacher near you, there are lots of styles available now – don’t give up on your first try.
You need to balance your Yin & Yang. All hard training will wear you out – you need to stretch, release and re mobilise to find a healthy balance.

9 Pilates Myths

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When I tell people that I’m a Pilates teacher, I get a lot of interesting reactions. People who practice and love Pilates are quick to ask their burning questions or express their envy at my “dream” job. But many people who are less familiar with this form of exercise ask a lot of questions—and make a lot of assumptions. They say things like, “Oh, I could never do Pilates,” (and then allude to an injury, health issue, or the fact that they don’t think it’d be challenging enough. Some show confusion, thinking Pilates is the same as yoga. And still others mention having tried Pilates once or twice, but never really “getting” it.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about this form of exercise. If you could relate to the examples above—or you’re just interested in learning more about what Pilates can do for you, read on as we crack the top nine myths about Pilates—together.

1. Pilates is just for women.
Pilates was originally designed by a man (Joseph Pilates) and for men. Pilates himself was a boxer and circus performer, and he trained both Scotland Yard and the Hamburg Military Police in self-defense and physical training before coming to New York. His studio was near the New York City Ballet so many dancers went to him for both physical rehabilitation and injury prevention. These days, more women participate in Pilates programs than men, but many male sports teams are incorporating Pilates exercises into their cross training programs.

2. Pilates is like yoga.
While the goal of uniting body, mind and spirit may be the same in both techniques, getting there is quite a different path depending on which mat-based routine you practice. Yoga and Pilates approach movement differently; have different breathing styles; and utilize very different exercises—although there are some overlaps in these movements. In contrast to yoga, Pilates offers more than just mat-based exercise and easily includes work with both large and small pieces of equipment.

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3. Pilates is too easy.
Pilates is only easy if you aren’t doing the exercises properly. If you are going through the motions without applying the principles of control, centering, concentration and precision, it may feel easy—but you are not really doing Pilates. Properly performed, the exercises should be challenging and rejuvenating for all fitness levels. Because the exercises engage the deepest core muscles, you need to understand how to get the most benefit. That’s why it’s best to take a class with a qualified and experienced instructor who can watch and correct your form as needed.

4. Pilates is too hard.
Pilates can be very humbling, even for people who are in good shape. Many other forms of exercise do not engage the deep core muscles in the same way that Pilates does. A good Pilates class will include instruction for every level of fitness and a breakdown of how to properly perform the movements for your body.

5. You need equipment to do Pilates.
Joseph Pilates invented several pieces of exercise equipment to enhance the mat-based program, but you don’t need any equipment to do Pilates. Mat Pilates classes are available at most exercise facilities and are a great way to get a Pilates workout for your whole body.

6. Pilates only works your core.
While Pilates does build core strength, Mr. Pilates always emphasized that his exercises were for the whole body. He believed the more muscles you use to perform a movement, the more efficient the movement would be. This creates a system of functional strength that applies to all movements. The Pilates system teaches a balance of strength and flexibility, or, “the uniform development of our bodies as a whole,” Pilates often said.

7. Pilates is only for flexible people.
Flexibility is an inherent part of Pilates training, so you will gain flexibility by doing Pilates regularly. The exercises are geared to improving mobility for a more limber body with greater ranges of motion. For those people who are hyper mobile, the core focus creates torso stability so the goal is a balance of strength and flexibility. All exercises can be modified or adapted to suit each individual’s ability level. You don’t have to be bendy to benefit from Pilates.

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8. Pilates is too expensive.
The area you live in will make a difference on the price of Pilates classes, but you can find affordable Pilates classes almost anywhere these days. Mat Classes can cost as little as £5 and private training from £20. These fees are comparable with most individual exercise classes, whether you take yoga, Jazzercise, Zumba or some other fitness class. But Pilates instructors and believers will often say that the investment is more than worth it, as Pilates almost acts as “daily rehab” in the prevention of mobility issues and injury.
After just a few classes my clients often report being able to sleep through the night without their usual pain!

9. Pilates is only for young, fit people.
There are many approaches to Pilates and the method can have a wide range of applications. Many instructors choose specific populations to target children athletes, seniors, or mums to be. There are also classes and private sessions for the rehabilitation of knee injuries, back problems, hip replacements and more, often taught by physical therapists. Pilates programs support sports programs for equestrians, runners and golfers.
I teach a chair Pilates based class for a Multiple Sclerosis group in Gloucester which is very popular. Simply put, there is a style or modification available for all levels, almost all injuries and most health issues. Pilates can truly be enjoyed by just about everyone.

To try a session in Cheltenham contact me for your FREE Trial session.

You’ll find my current class schedule page in the menu options above.

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Thanks Jax

Why I Teach Pilates!

I have been teaching Pilates since 2000, it’s been around for more than 50 years, I love teaching it – it’s the best cross training format for athletes, sportsmen and gym bunnies.

It’s not too shabby for the rest of us mortals either great for building strong, mobile and balanced bodies.

It can help your rehab program, support good posture and keep you pain free.

Watch this little video – it was made by some media students from the local college about a weekly class I teach at Fitness4Less.

You should all try a class…..

If you’re local – my weekly schedule is –

18:00 Monday, Tuesday & Thursday Hayden Hill Studio
And….
18:00 Wednesday Fitness 4 Less Cheltenham
1945 Monday & Thursday
And…
14:00 Friday for Multiple Sclerosis. Elmscroft Community Centre

Jax xx

#3 REASON TO STOP DOING CRUNCHES

#3 STOP DOING CRUNCHES
Rock Hard Abs- at any age? Yes it is possible….
But probably not with the training you’re doing now

REASON #3: They Cause Wear & Tear on Your Spine and Neck

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Crunches repeatedly flex and extend the spine, which is comprised of a series of interconnected small joints. Much like any piece of complicated machinery, the spinal discs are subject to wear and tear—in other words, they are only able to support a certain number of bending motions over the course of a lifetime.

Subjecting your discs to the excessive wear and tear of crunches can reduce their ‘shelf life’ and result in nerve damage, a disc bulge or herniation, all of which are difficult to treat.

The other problem with crunches is they encourage a breathe pattern that is unnatural and almost trains your body to relax your abs when you inhale? Not so good when you need to support your spine movements at ALL times no matter what your breath is doing.

If you have ever tried Pilates you’ll know how your abs feel after class and sometimes for days after – contracted. The other important thing in a Pilates or any other ab session is the shape of your spine…. I used to ask clients to keep ‘neutral spine’ but I prefer ‘normal’ spine now when training abs. That’s because when your spine is in it’s normal shape it’s safe because your back and abdominal muscle will work together.

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Once in this ideal position, moving arms and legs will trigger deep muscles to fire just to keep your ‘normal’ spine. You can get a strong torso without straining your neck too. If you have a rounded upper back or difficulties with your neck or shoulders you can train abs with your head on the floor or supported with pillows.

So, there you have it – 3 very good reasons NEVER to do crunches ever again!

Like my blog? Please follow, thanks Jax.

Make Time to Stay Active

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Although I can’t guarantee you’ll be pain free, move better, sleep well and look great if you practice Pilates – my clients believe it!

Find a class, try it out, ad if you don’t like it find another one to join…

Pilates training is like Yoga these days, there are many teachers and the good ones have the experience to make it their own. They will adapt exercises to suit you. Spending time on your performance and technique. Explaining why and how to complete each move.

Some teachers focus on exact technique, others on fluid movement. Some work slowly others use music and change the speed you complete sequences.

Find a Pilates style that you enjoy, attend regularly and you WILL feel the benefits.

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