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

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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

Wrist Pain – Is It Your Desk Job?

A Desk Jockey’s Guide to Wrist Pain

Posted by jax June 9, 2012

by Kathryn, DC

Wrist pain can put a real cramp in your style when using a computer is part of earning your living. Wrist pain makes work feel miserable, and it interferes with your play time, the kind of exercises you can do, and all your day to day tasks. It gets worse if you don’t do anything about it, to the point where simple things like lifting a glass of water can hurt.

The desk jockey lifestyle can easily lead to wrist pain—typing, mousing, and repetitive work all contribute. But don’t despair. There are things you can do to prevent and reverse the conditions that lead to wrist pain. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or mess with your current routine. As always, check with your doctor to make sure the advice in this article is relevant and safe for you.

You might be surprised to learn that the problem often starts with your posture and the position of your desk, monitor, and keyboard. If these things aren’t set up correctly, then the rest of your efforts to help your wrists might be a waste of time.

Posture From the bottom up:

Your feet should sit flat on the floor, with the bend of your knee at or slightly greater than 90 degrees.

Your torso should sit tall in your chair, with your shoulders back and head over your butt rather than sliding forward so it’s over your lap.

Your elbows should rest close to your sides, bent at or slightly greater than 90 degrees.

Your hands should rest comfortably on your keyboard, similar to the angle they’d be in if you were resting them on your legs.

Wrists are held neutral or bent back 15-20 degrees.

The same advice holds true when using your mouse. I cringe when I see someone reaching far in front or off to the side for a mouse, because it puts so much needless stress on the shoulder and neck.

The top of your computer monitor should be relatively level with your eyebrows, and it should sit directly in front of you. · Your chair should be set at a height that allows all of the above to happen.

Once you’ve got your posture working with you instead of against you, there are other things to consider.

Ice

If you’re having problems with your wrists, ice them for 10-15 minutes. Put something between you and the icepack so you don’t get frostbite, and wait at least an hour between applications. If you experience discomfort with repetitive work, you’re probably creating inflammation. Icing is a simple and easy way to decrease that inflammation. Which brings me to the next point…

Braces

If you wear a wrist brace on your doctor’s recommendation and you’re using it when he or she instructed you to do so, then ignore this paragraph. The rest of you, listen closely. Almost all wrist braces are made to be worn at night while you sleep, and only then. They’re rigid to prevent you from curling your hand under as you sleep, which could irritate your wrist.

Those other soft braces are typically designed for people with arthritis, who might benefit from increased heat. Any other use of a wrist brace may even cause increased inflammation from the brace itself and from your muscles fighting to move your wrist against that brace. Getting to the root cause

Most of the time, wrist pain is the result of faulty posture, shoulder issues, or neck issues.