Pilates

Pelvic Floor Muscles

Love Your Pelvic Floor

For some of us, we have not heard of our pelvic floor until we have walked into a Pilates studio or until we are having our first child. Once you start in a studio or health club you will start to hear “draw your belly button towards your lower spine”, “zip up your lower abs”, “engage your pelvic floor” and “draw your hip bones towards your belly button”.

These are just a few of some of the cues that we use in Pilates all around the world. As teachers, we see blank faces across the room – some grimacing, some tensing and some smiling or giggling! So, why is focusing on the pelvic floor so important?

 

A weak pelvic floor: easy ‘peezing’

Up to a third of all women experience a problem with their pelvic floor at some time during their life. The most common problems are leaking due to activity, coughing and sneezing (also known as “peezing”) and pelvic organ prolapse (a feeling like something is coming down the vagina). All the bladder, bowel and sexual functions need good pelvic floor muscles. Effective pelvic floor muscles in pregnancy will reduce the risk of post-natal stress urinary incontinence.

 

Why should I love my pelvic floor?

  • Good pelvic floor muscles can help with sex by improving the vaginal sensation and your ability to grip.
  • Your pelvic floor muscles are important in posture and with your abdominal muscles and how they support your spine.
  • Pelvic floor muscles should be strong and active just like any other muscles in the body.

 

Why do problems occur with the pelvic floor muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles lie across the base of your pelvis to help keep the pelvic organs in the right position. The muscles are held in place by ligaments that support the organs, especially when there is an increase in pressure from lifting, carrying, or straining.

The pelvic floor muscles can be weak, overstretched, slow to work, too tight or torn like other muscles in the body. Some of the reasons they can get this way are:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Chronic constipation
  • Heavy and repeated lifting
  • High impact exercise
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Menopause

 

How do I improve my pelvic floor?

There are a few ways you can improve those pelvic floors. Pilates, especially reformer, is our favourite (of course), but here are the most popular:

  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises (also known as Kegels) should include long-held squeezes as well as short quick squeezes. You should work the muscles until they tire. These exercises can be done at home on the bus/train or even at your desk. No one will know.
  • Mat work pilates classes.
  • Yoga classes.
  • Reformer sessions.

My recommendation for women who are pregnant is to research a Physio who can undertake a pelvic floor assessment – this is a must as they will be able to make recommendations early on as to what exercises you need to do and this will help during and post-pregnancy.

Join Roz for our ‘Love Your Pelvic Floor’ Workshop in May

Roz Norman is the owner of Pilates & Co. and regularly teaches Pilates reformer, met.con and more at the studio. She’s also a mum of three and married to Dave. You can follow Roz and Dave on Instagram (@thenormanlife)

Want to kick-start your fitness goals too? Come and see us at Pilates & Co. We offer a number of membership and class payment options, and if you’re new to our studio you can take advantage of our free orientation class and our 4 for $80 Introduction offer. You could get really serious and join our 6-week Transformation Challenge.

Not a Gold Coast resident but planning a trip to the Burleigh Heads or nearby? Purchase our 4 for $80 class visitor pass (valid for two weeks)Contact us if you need to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adore Your Pelvic Floor Workshop (May 2018)

In 2018, Pilates & Co will be bringing you a series of health, fitness and nutrition workshops with guest speakers and helpful information to get you feeling your best. Our fourth of the year is our Adore Your Pelvic Floor Workshop with Roz with Pilates & Co’s Rozlyn Norman.

Adore Your Pelvic Floor with Roz

Date: Saturday, 19th May 2018

Time: 11.00am – 12.30pm

Cost: Free for all Pilates & Co members

Guest Speaker: Rozlyn Norman from Pilates & Co.

Bookings: at Eventbrite

What Will You Learn

  • Where is my pelvic floor?
  • How do I successfully engage and strengthen my pelvic floor?
  • How can a strong and healthy pelvic floor improve my sex life?

FOR THE GIRLS:

  • How to rebuild after childbirth
  • How to relieve sore backs, tight hips, pain during sex and general health and weight management

FOR THE BOYS:

  • How to keep a healthy pelvic floor

About our guest speakers: Roz Norman

Studio founder Roz Norman has been a passionate advocate for healthy living since starting her career as a group fitness instructor at the tender age of 16. Roz’s fitness journey progressed personally and professionally locally and abroad, before moving into management roles for Goodlife and Snap fitness leaving a trail of motivation and success behind her. She is a sought-after industry consultant and owns other fitness businesses giving her a diverse business experience.

Roz discovered that Pilates was so very effective in regaining strength, flexibility and alignment after each of her three beautiful babies. Once she caught the Pilates addiction, the desire to open a studio that she believed combined the perfect mix model became a reality in May 2015 when Roz and David Norman opened Pilates & Co. Roz is qualified in functional fitness classes and Pilates.

Pilates & Co Pilates Reformer Fitness & PIlates Studio Gold Coast

Pilates Reformer vs Pilates Mat

Pilates is pretty popular right now, most big box gyms offer Pilates mat classes and some have reformers too. There are also more boutique style studios popping up all over because we just cannot get enough of this wonderful form of movement!

 

Where did all the fuss begin?

Joseph Pilates was a small and sickly child and as he grew, he taught himself how to get stronger physically and was able to overcome asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, which he was afflicted with in his youth. He was influenced by gymnastics which he practised (his father was a prize-winning gymnast!) along with boxing, skiing, diving, yoga, martial arts and bodybuilding. These days, you’ll find a lot of traditional Pilates movements changed either a lot or a little either due to instructor creativity, modifications given to individual bodies or contemporary Pilates styles. Pilates is designed to help correct muscle imbalances, build strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, breathing capacity and organ functions. Joe continued to develop his method and create new gadgets and inventions until he passed away in 1967.

 

Matwork Pilates vs Reformer Pilates

So what is the difference between Matwork Pilates and Reformer Pilates? Traditionally, mat classes are a dynamic and challenging routine of set exercises created by Joe. Mat classes are performed on the floor and sometimes combine small props as an aid or to intensify the work.

Depending on where and who you are practising with, a mat class can have a slow, controlled class with more focus on stretching or it could be more aerobic with high repetitions. Mat classes are designed to build strength using your own body weight and require a lot of body awareness to perform movements accurately.

Reformer Pilates classes can also include props but are usually in a smaller group setting. In a clinical setting, one on one or small group sessions usually combine the use of reformer, mat and other Pilates apparatus to suit the individual. There is also the growing popularity of a larger group.

 

What is Pilates Reformer?

Pilates which is more fitness based. This style is so popular because, let’s face it, practising on the reformer is pretty damn fun! There’s something about the sliding carriage and springs that delivers a lovely gliding movement that feels amazing; can be incredibly challenging sometimes and very therapeutic at other times. Reformer apparatus styles all vary slightly however they all have:

  1. springs
  2. pulleys, ropes and straps
  3. moving carriage
  4. footbar

Movements created on the mat can also be performed on the reformer however, the feeling can be very different in the body as spring tension and a sliding carriage can challenge stability substantially, placing a different spin on the movement. Personally, I found that once I developed a good practice on the reformer, I felt more confident on the mat and enjoyed the repertoire there much more than I did initially, I’m going to be honest – matwork done correctly can be so hard!

I’ve found that sentiment repeated through my clients’ reactions to their first experience on the reformer. Every week, I hear how surprised they are at how enjoyable the reformer is to use. We have many clients who DO NOT love exercise, but they do love practising Pilates on the reformer.

That says a lot to me – if you enjoy the movement, no matter what it is, you will do it consistently and that is what is important. So the moral of the story is if you love matwork and/or reformer Pilates – do more of it! They were both created by the same cool guy who was passionate about living life to the full and improving body and mind to be all you can be.

 

Want to learn more about the classical style? Come along to our workshop on April 21st 2018 – Deconstructing the Movements with Rafael and me! Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

For a more in-depth look at the beginnings of Pilates check out this post by Jillian Hessel

 

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation.

Pilates: Deconstructing the Movements Workshop (April 2018)

In 2018, Pilates & Co will be bringing you a series of health, fitness and nutrition workshops with guest speakers and helpful information to get you feeling your best. Our third for the year is our Pilates: Deconstructing the Movements with Pilates & Co’s Rafa and Belinda.

Pilates: Deconstructing the Movements with Rafa & Belinda

Date: Saturday, 21st April 2018

Time: 11.00am – 1:00pm

Cost: $35 (special $25 for Pilates & Co members, enter the code pandcmember in checkout)

Guest Speaker: Rafa and Belinda from Pilates & Co.

Bookings: at Eventbrite

In this 2-hour practical workshop, Rafa and Bel will break down some of the classical Pilates movements into easy to digest pieces and unravel the parts giving you a greater understanding of Mr Pilates original work and clarity as to how to perform the movements.

This workshop is for all levels and some Pilates experience is beneficial but not essential. Mats provided at the studio. Come along in clothing ready for Pilates.

What Will You Learn

  • How to break down the parts of traditional movements and practice them individually
  • Why the movements are taught the way they are
  • How to build up your practice to be able to execute intermediate and advanced movements

 

Check out more about Rafa and Belinda at their teacher profiles.

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer Studio

Take Two Membership Sale

Made a New Year’s resolution to get fit? Just because you haven’t kicked into gear yet, doesn’t mean you still can’t. We’ve got a special membership offer just for the month of February. Don’t ditch your New Year’s resolutions. ‘Take two’ on the new year and get your membership in order, and we’ll give you two (2 weeks that is) free!

 

MEMBERSHIP OFFER

Sign up to any of our memberships (see below and on our pricing page) in February, and you will get:

  • 2 weeks free (the first and last week)

  • a Pilates and Co. tank (for the first 25 sign-ups)

 

ABOUT OUR CLASSES

Pilates & Co. is a boutique Pilates reformer studio, with ten reformer machines so when you do our standard group classes you get quality training and attention from our instructors. Our timetable has over 40 classes a week which are a mix of Pilates reformer at all levels (beginner and intermediate), MetCon, our own brand of Reformer HIIT and our Mums and Bubs classes.  We also have Small Group classes, as well as 0ne-on-one bookings available with Pilates instructors and an exercise physiologist.

 

HOW PILATES & CO. MEMBERSHIPS WORK

Memberships are the most cost-effective way to regularly attend our sessions. They can be tailored to suit how often you want to attend (from 1 to 4 sessions per week). Commit to a set amount of sessions per week – you choose how many. You can attend any group class on the timetable with these memberships.

Memberships can be set up online or over the phone using either your bank account details or credit card. Available membership packages are:

 

1 SESSION p.w. – $22.50 p.w. (3-month contract)

2 SESSIONS p.w. – $45.00 p.w. (3-month contract)

3 SESSIONS p.w. – $60.00 p.w. (3-month contract)

4 SESSIONS p.w. – $60.00 p.w. (6-month contract)

 

Things you need to know about memberships:

  • Memberships are taken as a weekly direct debit and are a 12-week commitment or 6-month commitment for the 4 session option.
  • Memberships can be placed on hold once per 3-month membership and twice per 6-month membership period for 2-4 weeks.
  • This hold period will extend the length of your membership.
  • Sessions do not roll over to the following week.

 

CLAIM THE OFFER

To claim this offer simply click through to one of the options above and sign up through our online system or via the Pilates & Co. app. You can also contact the studio by phone or email to set up your membership, or if you have any questions.

 

If you haven’t visited our studio before, contact us about our free orientation class to check us out.

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

8 Benefits of Pilates

Pilates can be summed up in three words – Stretch, Strength and Control – and the incredible benefits of Pilates are plenty. Pilates & Co. instructor Rafael shares his top eight…

I truly believe that movement is magical and can transform our lives. As long-time student and instructor of the practice or Pilates, I want everyone to know and understand the benefits.

“Good Posture can be successfully acquired only when the entire mechanism of the body is under perfect control” – Joseph Pilates, The Master

As Joe so often said to his students: “Pilates is not only about strength and flexibility, Pilates is about control”. I believe we must first understand our movements, joints, muscles from inside-out, so we can move them gracefully to perform controlled and completed movements.

“You can say what Pilates is in three words – Stretch with Strength and Control. And the control part is the most important because that makes you use your mind.” – Romana Kryzanowska, Joe’s student.

Pilates is a mind-body method, which challenges not only your body but also your mind and that’s where the magic lies.

It takes every part of your mind to be aware of where your body is in space. At the end of your Pilates session, you say hello to a calm and mindful you.

Sometimes in my classes, I like to ask my students to close their eyes and visualize their body, connections, opposition movements and powerhouse to get the better engagement of their whole body and also improve awareness of body, which in my opinion one of the most important fundamentals of Pilates and the key to progress.

Not convinced of Pilates’ magic yet? Here are my top eight reasons it is the best exercise to practice…

 

Benefits of Pilates

#1 Pilates is whole-body workout

You are only one, not divided into parts, so why not activate your whole-body to do one single movement? That’s what Pilates does.

#2 Pilates suits everyone

You could be 7 years old or you could be 90 years old.

#3 Pilates improves strength

Long, lean muscles are created to move through life.

#4 It builds core strength (or the powerhouse)

The powerhouse, or core, can be described as the area from the bottom of the rib cage to a line across the hip joints in the front and to the base of the buttocks in the back. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported.

#5 Pilates promotes flexibility safely

In the practice of Pilates, flexibility is safely increased in lengthening and stretching the muscles and through a range of motion within the joints, using opposite movement to get better length.

#6 Pilates improves posture

Using the deep core muscles of the powerhouse – the abdominals, back, and pelvic floor – to support our posture allows the shoulders to relax, the neck and head to move freely, and relieves stress on the hips, legs, and feet.

#7 Pilates increases energy

Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with the good feelings one gets from exercising the whole body.

#8 Pilates increases your awareness of body

The Pilates principles – centring, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow – are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.

Did you know? Pilates method was originally called Contrology, “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.”

 

More reasons to do Pilates

They were eight great reasons, but here are a few more just to seal the deal. Pilates can be a wonderful way to help you change poor habits. Everything that you learn about your body with the Pilates Method can be applied to both your everyday life and other fitness activities. Pilates is a fabulous complement to any sport or method of movement because it balances the body and strengthens stabilising muscles.

As an experienced Pilates Instructor I can say that Pilates Method is fluid, so take your time. It is not a competition. It is a gradual way to progress and challenge your body. Everyone has their own challenge and pace to control the movements. So always trust on your Powerhouse and you will be more confident in your life and everyday activities. I would love to see you in one of my classes to experience the magic that classic Pilates is all about!

 

Rafael is a classical Pilates instructor, teaching nearly a decade and most of his professional background was developed in Brazil, his home country. He experienced the introduction of Pilates in Brazil and helped to spread the word of its benefits and success. His passion for Pilates grew so much as he accompanied the development of his students as they improved their movements with grace and control.

Catch Rafael teaching the classical Pilates method on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Bursitis - Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

What is Bursitis Pain?

Feeling dull aching pain in one of your joints and is it stopping your normal flow of movement? It could be the result of a common condition called Bursitis. Pilates & Co’s instructor and qualified physiotherapist Jasmine explains.

WHAT IS BURSITIS?

Bursitis is an irritation and inflammation of the bursae (plural of bursa). A bursa is a fluid-filled sac, situated between bone and muscle or tendon to reduce friction and provide cushioning around joints.

Bursitis can either be acute (rapid onset) or chronic (slow gradual onset) in nature. Acute inflammation of the bursa generally occurs as a result of direct trauma, infection or inflammatory conditions such as gout or arthritis. Chronic bursitis can be caused by repetitive use or movement over time, or from abnormal movement patterns.

BURSITIS CAUSES

Common causes of bursitis:

  • Trauma – falls, direct contact (hit)
  • Infection
  • Various types of arthritis – rheumatoid, psoriatic
  • Strain or overuse – repetitive movements (often work related)
  • Prolonged pressure – kneeling, sitting on a particular joint
  • Joint stress – compensation for altered movement patterns such as abnormal walking due to leg length difference

BURSITIS SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of bursitis generally involve a dull aching sensation around the site of inflammation and restricted range of movement. This movement restriction is often caused by stretching of muscle and tendon over the affected bursa which causes a compressive force, and further irritation.

The diagnosis of bursitis is often made through a physical examination, review of symptoms and sometimes scans or blood tests. Often your doctor will recommend imaging such as an ultrasound or MRI if necessary to rule out further pathology such as muscle tear or tendinitis.

BURSITIS TREATMENT

The treatment of bursitis primarily focuses on relieving pain and inflammation, treating an infection (if present) and correcting biomechanical factors to prevent future reoccurrence. In the short term, your doctor may discuss your suitability for anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen, Voltaren or Advil to help relieve pain and inflammation. To the same effect, ice can often be relieving for more superficial bursitis such as in the elbow, knee or heel.

Protecting the affected area is important to allow adequate time for healing. However, unlike a sprained ankle that is visibly painful and swollen, making you avoid certain movements – you can’t see bursitis, and this in itself makes it difficult to understand which movements and activities may aggravate your condition. In many cases, people seek help from health professionals like physiotherapists to learn the do’s and don’ts while recovering from bursitis. To prevent the reoccurrence of bursitis, physiotherapists can help with exercise rehabilitation which is very dependent on the type and severity of bursitis but may include stretching, strengthening (such as Pilates) and working on improving range of movement.

Jasmine is a trained physiotherapist, exercise physiologist and Pilates instructor. She takes classes at Pilates & Co on Friday mornings 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30am.

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Using SMR for tight muscles

Feeling tightness in your muscles? SMR (or Self Myofascial Release) could be the answer to relieving those tensions after a workout.

WHAT IS SMR?

SMR stands for Self Myofascial Release and is a form of self-massage that uses equipment like foam rollers and massage balls to target muscles that need some TLC.

Our muscles get tight for many reasons, from overuse, inactivity or injury and this, in turn, creates a muscle imbalance and limited range in the joints associated with them.

PRE- & POST-WORKOUT BENEFITS

Performing SMR pre-workout will release tension in muscles so that you have a full range of motion, getting the very best from your workout. It’s also an amazing tool post workout, combined with an appropriate stretch.

Current research shows that consistency is key when it comes to stretching. As little as 90 seconds of SMR and stretching on each muscle group is all that’s needed to make a change! This is pretty encouraging news if you experience short and tight muscles. The great thing about SMR is that it not only targets your muscles but your fascia (connective tissue), tendons and helps to increase blood flow.

SMR RESULTS

You may experience some muscle soreness the day after SMR, don’t let this discourage you, keep at it! SMR is hands down the simplest and most effective way to get your body mobile and feeling more aligned. Get out that ball and get rolling today or book into one of our Roll & Release classes during our seasonal challenges.

DID YOU KNOW…

  • All it takes is 2 minutes every day to create more flexibility and better mobility.
  • SMR is great pre- and post-workout.
  • If it feels sore, you’re probably in the right spot. Ease the ball or roller around the area until the intensity decreases.
  • Stretching right after SMR allows the muscle to stay lengthened for longer – like a clear coat of lacquer. This is only for post-workout.
  • Consistent SMR and stretching daily is more effective than getting a weekly massage.
  • Allow your muscle to relax while you release and to get deeper by applying more pressure if needed.
  • If you have a tennis ball lying around, it’s a great tool to get you started. Invest in a good lacrosse ball for longevity and density.

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation for new members.

Pilates & Co Pilates Reformer Fitness Studio Gold Coast

Fitness: How to Mix it Up Your Workout

Fitness isn’t hard, but it can easily get uninspiring when workouts are the same day-in-day-out. To keep things fresh, mixing it up a little – in life and in fitness – is the key!

Sure, we all have our favourite exercise habits but after a while, the same exercise can be repetitive on the mind and body to a point where the body does not get the desired results. This type of exercise becomes more of a maintenance program. Don’t get me wrong MOVEMENT is the key but MIXING IT UP with your movement can be even better!

In my many years in the fitness business, I see and speak to clients and members who are not getting results. They fall into the trap of doing the same thing when they come into the studio or club. This may feel safe for them as they are not getting out of their comfort zone or it may fit into the allotted time they come to exercise. I understand that CHANGE can be hard but hey sometimes we gotta make the change.

 

Fitness – How do I mix it up?

Here is my easy “How To” when it comes to making some overdue changes to your fitness routine:

1. See a personal trainer every so often

If you are a member of a gym then many health clubs offer small group training or personal training. These are particularly good if you have an injury or timeline to hit your goals as the PT will monitor you individually and give you new routines, exercises and thoughts.

 

2. Take your fitness workout outdoors

Add an outdoor run or walk to your weekly sessions or start training for an event, fun run or even a half marathon. You might even want to take it up a notch and make it a hike in the hinterland with a group of friends! Mt Warning is a ripper! Choose social but active fitness events.

 

3. Add Yoga or Pilates to your regimen

These both tick the box for adding a bit YIN to your life. If you are fast paced like me and need to stop and practice a little deep breathing then add this to the repertoire! Increasing your recovery will increase your results!

 

4. Go to a group fitness class in your gym or studio

Groups are great! Especially ones that you normally would not attend like Zumba, Met con or Reformer HIIT. This helps you experience a new training format and gives you greater appreciation to other training modalities. Plus training in a group is highly motivating.

 

My list could go on but my challenge to you is to just make one achievable change and make it a high priority. Try a few different things until one resonates with you but it has to put you out of your comfort zone just a bit!

 

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Back Pain: Are your discs affecting your Pilates practice?

Back pain is something that 70-90% of the Australians will likely experience, and herniated discs can be a common reason for this. Pilates is a great core strength builder and can often be recommended by health professionals to those that are at risk of back problems. But discs can also affect the way you move in Pilates.

Back Pain and Herniated Discs

As if having a herniated disc isn’t bad enough, current studies show that at least half of herniated discs spontaneously de-herniate! In fact 66% of people in this study experienced disc reabsorption without surgery. This is a huge number and shows that in general, we get a little precious about our spinal discs. As a Pilates instructor, I meet people who have back pain and mores specifically some sort of disc injury (past or present) nearly every day.

Our intervertebral discs are our spines shock absorbing system, cushioning between vertibra. The outer layer of the disc is annulus fibrosis which is a firm but flexible coating over the nucleus pulposis which is a softer jelly like substance. When the disc is herniated, the nucleus pulposis pushes through the annulus fibrosis causing irritation to nerves and potentially pain.

Herniated Discs affecting your Pilates

In my experience, most clients who have experienced disc injury tend to overprotect their spines, causing rigidity and tight muscles. Working with clients to move well, safely is so achievable! Pilates is a wonderful method of movement to create balance, strength and flexibility throughout the body as a whole, setting good postural habits for life. If you are experiencing any discomfort due to disc injury, contact a qualified clinical Pilates instructor near you or contact us for a clinical Pilates appointment – info@pilatesandco.com.au.

 

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation for new members.

source: https://www.painscience.com/biblio/at-least-half-of-herniated-discs-spontaneously-de-herniate.html