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Power Reels - Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

What are Power Reels?

The latest innovative fitness product to grace our shores has arrived. Introducing the Power Reel, and we couldn’t be more excited about this dumbbell shaped weight that can be used in almost any type of training. Pilates & Co Dave Norman explains why he loves them.

I was lucky enough to experience Power Reels first hand in a boxing class and it was a massive ‘aha’ moment for me as I saw its endless possibilities and applications flash before my eyes. Don’t get me wrong this is not the golden ticket or magic bullet for a fitness product because nothing is but is incredibility unique and truly one of a kind. I saw applications for Power Reels in nearly every exercise class from Pilates to cycling and for rehab to home use. 

 

HOW DO POWER REELS WORK?

Whilst shaped like a dumbbell it uniquely has two sets of ‘cords’ attaching at the top and bottom of the hand grips as per the picture below.

 

These cords expand extend and then recoil with even tension throughout any distance that the handles are separated, limited only by one’s wingspan. This constant load tension comes in 3 sizes or weights being 3lb (1.36kg), 5lb (2.27kg) and 8lb (3.63kg) and whilst these don’t sound overly heavy it’s the constant load that places challenge on both opposing hands but ultimately where that line of force is flexed, extended, pulled or pushed or swung. 

 

THE VERSATILITY OF POWER REELS

If you are anything like me and like variety in your workouts then this cool tool brings it in bucket loads and there is nothing else like it. I can do movements under load that I can’t do with any other pieces of equipment so that makes it fun and novel for my body. 

I’ve been trialing the Power Reels, which are available for Fitbod Online, and have created a few instructional videos on Instagram showing different ways they can be used:

 

A post shared by Roz & David Norman, Pilates&Co (@thenormanlife) on

 

Today, in the fitness industry we are learning that we have more brain-body connections than we ever thought. Because of this, it is vital we challenge ourselves and our fitness in diverse ways for our body to make adaptations both externally and internally. We are learning about fascia connecting our body – the connective tissue which works in many ways to attach, protect, stabilise and separate muscles and organs. So what does this have to do with Power Reels? The fluid motions and compound free flowing movements Power Reels allow us to move in (whilst also allowing traditionally isolated contractions) enhance this co-ordination of our connective tissues. Ultimately, this gives you a better and more powerful workout.

So basically I’m saying give Power Reels a try and add it to your training. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Stay tuned for more video workouts and tips and get exploring what you can do with Power Reels.

 

David’s background is a sports science degree and has owned fitness equipment businesses, award-winning fitness studios and co-founded Pilates & Co. You can follow him, with wife Roz, on Instagram at The Norman Life.

Fitbod is your online resource store for all things innovative to improve your fitness, mobility, relaxation, Pilates, Crossfit, yoga, general fitness, conditioning and overall health. Personal or commercial solutions for everyone.

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Bad habits fitness Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Say Bye to Bad Habits

Hello New Year! As many of you might be making resolutions, we thought it was a great time to talk about changing bad habits into good ones. Healthy habits really aren’t that hard to form, and if you tackle one at a time, you’ll be feeling stronger, healthier and more motivated in no time at all.

Research varies, but experts believe it takes between 21 days to 2 months to break and/or form habits. You’ve already started getting into the habit of regular Pilates practice or joining in our other fitness classes on offer (if not, check out our free orientation to get you started)! So, here are a few more habits to work on ditching. We’ve already covered a few on our blog, but a friendly reminder is always handy!

 

Breaking Bad: 7 Unhealthy Habits to Lose

Habit #1: Skipping meals

Missing meals, especially breakfast, makes your body look for its fuel from other places – like bone and muscle. Not eating at all doesn’t help your overall calorie intake but in fact, plays nasty games with your metabolism.

 

Habit #2: Sugar

Studies show that as a society we all eat more sugar than we should, so cutting back on sugar is always helpful. Sugar can act as an artificial pick-me-up and energy booster but it doesn’t last long and instead, you need to reach for low-GI foods that will give you slow-release energy. Cut sugar by staying away from sugary drinks and adding spoonfuls to tea or coffee. Read food labels, or make it a general practice to stay away from any processed foods to avoid all those hidden sugars. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and proteins are always the best choice.

 

Habit #3: Not drinking water

Our bodies are 50-65% water and we need to replenish it constantly to function properly. It’s a lot easier to remember to drink water on a hot day and when you’re working out, but it’s just as important in the middle of winter. Set a reminder on your phone and always have a bottle with you to refill.

So how much water should you be drinking? A general rule to work out your daily intake is 30ml for every kg of body weight (e.g 70kg x 30ml = 2,100ml or 2.1L a day). Read more about keeping hydrated.

Habit #4: Ditching your stretch after a workout

Stretching to warm up before a workout helps prevent injury and gets your body ready to exercise properly. It’s also important to stretch straight after a workout while your muscles are still warm. Stretching helps fatigued muscles, will aid them in recovering faster, limit strains and injury. Plus, sore, tired and painful muscles will just give you an excuse to miss your next workout and that spirals.

Pilates & Co does specialised stretch classes within its timetable each week. You can also do stretching at home, and we recommend using SMR technique to help muscles (the regular practice of SMR is better than a weekly massage)! What is SMR? Find out here.

Habit #5: Taking your phone to bed

A 2014 US survey found that 63% of people aged between 18 and 29 take their smartphone with them to bed at night. And while it might be tempting to play a little game or scroll your Instagram feed before going to sleep, recent studies have shown sleep deprivation to be linked to our constant use of devices. We’re not suggesting you live without your phone, but it’s worth banishing it from your bedroom to help switch off at night – even more so if it’s a phone you use for work calls and emails.

 

Habit #6: Exercising alone

Okay, so it’s not really a bad habit and it’s not always easy to rope in someone to workout with you, but there’s a reason people always get better results while working with a trainer or training buddy. It motivates you, makes you accountable and most of all it’s more fun. Pilates & Co reformer classes are only 10-person classes so they are a great way to feel like you’re exercising in a group but not feeling lost in a BIG fitness class. We also offer small group classes with specialised trainers or one-on-ones. Want to really up the ante? Join our group 6-week Transformation Challenge.

 

Habit #7: Saying sorry

This one is more about mental health and your outlook on life. We’re not saying you should forget the manners your parents taught, but with busy lives and schedules, we all too often jump to apologising for everything when it’s far more helpful and healthy to replace that apology with gratitude. Our founder Roz wrote an article about this earlier in the year and it resonated with a lot of members, so we thought it was important to add to the list,

Breaking a habit isn’t easy, but when you do you will feel on top of the world. Try replacing them with good habits instead and you’ll find it easier to move on. Let us know how you go!

 

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.

Gratitude and Thank you - Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

The Two Words That Are Better Than Sorry

Pilates & Co. owner, fitness trainer and mum Roz Norman explains why she’s stopped apologising and is replacing ‘I’m sorry’ with gratitude instead.

I just read the most amazing article that put a smile on my face from ear to ear. I needed to read this article! Funny how these things come along when most needed.

I had a stressful morning and had taken my frustration and stress out on the one that is closest to me – my husband. We are all guilty of this. I’m not sure of the solution on this one, but anyway read on and hear my thoughts.

I have always preached to new employees and teammates to ‘not sweat the small stuff’. Take it on the chin and solve the problem and to not show your stress. It will do you and the situation no good. Yet, sometimes I find myself sweating the small stuff and getting worked up. Perhaps an overload of multiple businesses, husband’s stressful job, three kids, giving my all to my clients and running a busy household might have something to do with it. It can be just a small thing that can tip you over the edge, and that’s what it was for me.

The article that I read today talks about swapping ‘sorry’ for ‘thank you’. Instead of saying ‘sorry I am late’, swap it for ‘thank you for waiting for me’. This Aussie fitness GURU had many great contacts along the way while living and working his way up in the London Fitness Industry and many gifts from people in the right places and all because he showed gratitude in all his years in the business. He never let his ego go to his head and always remembered to say ‘thank you’.

Reading this has made me question myself. Am I saying ‘thank you’ enough? I feel like I have let myself down with my thank yous. I have just got too busy, too much on my plate! Is this a terrible excuse? Well, it is one that makes me want to lessen my load so that I can just acknowledge and show gratitude for the small things and the big things in my life.

So, today I am drawing a line in the sand to lessen the load, focus on the important things, to not sweat the small stuff, to practice more pilates and movement and to say ‘THANK YOU’. I will also be telling my husband ‘thank you’ for standing by me and supporting me when I most need it!

As James Duigan said: ‘Gratitude is a wonderful gift, and it doesn’t cost anything to say thank you. It has the power to change someone’s day! …It can also change your life. It can shift your mindset and the way you feel about yourself. Best of all it will improve your relationships with others that get to experience your positivity and not your negative energy.’

(You can find James’ original article here.)

— 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)

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
Pilates & Co Pilates Reformer Studio Gold Coast Osteoporosis

Can Pilates help with Osteoporosis?

When there is not enough Calcium in the blood for muscle contraction, our bones release Calcium for this very important function. Everything we do relies on muscle contraction from blinking, breathing to the beating of our heart, therefore muscle contraction trumps bone health in the organisation in our bodies function. Osteoporosis occurs when bone mineral density declines. Not only is there a loss of bone mass but the quality of bone is poorer.

osteoporosis-bone

Osteo = bone
Porosis = cavity formation

Osteoporosis Symptoms

There are no symptoms for osteoporosis, the two ways it is diagnosed is either through bone mineral density scan or through fracture. An individual over 60 years old that has a femoral fracture, has a 1 year mortality rate of 20%! This statistic is very concerning and is due to a spiral effect from hospitalisation, becoming sedentary, possible infections or other complications, moods impacted negatively etc.

With regards to dealing with osteoporosis, we not only want to build up the bones but it is critical to decrease risk of fracture. The best way to decrease the risk of fracture is through exercise and reformer Pilates is an ideal way to build this strength! Reformer Pilates incorporates building strength, balance and stability, all of which are important to avoid falls and in turn a possible fracture. There are no contraindications with regards to physical exercise and osteoporosis. Being as active as possible, including jogging or other ‘jumping’ sports are important for good bone health also.

 

Pilates and Osteoporosis

To keep osteoporosis at bay – exercises that load bones and high impact exercise help to increase bone density along with a healthy diet. Lifting heavy weights, high impact sports and exercises like Reformer HIIT, Met.Con and Intermediate Reformers sessions are all very beneficial for good bone health. Make it your mission to keep your bones as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthful, nutritious and alkaline diet along with high impact and weight training exercises 3 times per week.

 

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

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.

Pilates & Co Pilates Reformer Fitness Studio Gold Coast

Pilates and Posture 101

Pilates is great for posture, but it’s goo to know your postural type in order to benefit your practice.

Do You Know Your Postural Type?

 

The spine…it’s a beautiful structure, designed to support our bodies throughout life is segmented into 3 sections –

  1. Cervical with 7 smaller, finer vertebra with a slight concave shape
  2. Thoracic with 12 vertebrae with a slight convex shape
  3. Lumbar with 5 larger, more robust vertebra with a slight concave shape

spine-4-views

Attached to the lumbar spine is the pelvic girdle, consisting of the sacrum, coccyx (tailbone) and the pelvic bones. Your posture type is based on a group of muscle imbalances which change the shape of the spine and pelvis.

A normal or ‘ideal’ posture is desirable however our curves are all a little different based on our movement patterns, lifestyle, hereditary factors, stress levels and personality. Pilates is amazing at addressing postural imbalance in the body which in turn can release pain and improve quality of life. Knowing what postural type you are can help you to work more effectively in your Pilates sessions to help improve your posture.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-11-56-17-am

SWAYBACK POSTURE

Sway Backs generally need to strengthen

  • lower external obliques
  • hip flexors
  • mid and low trapezius

Sway Backs generally need to lengthen

  • pectorals (especially pec minor)
  • glutes
  • upper abdominals
  • hamstrings
  • SCM (sternocleidomastoid)

Pilates exercises perfect for you are – 

Roll Over, Breast Stroke Prep, Swan dive, salute, open elbows, toe taps, front splits

 

FLAT BACK POSTURE

Flat Backs generally need to strengthen

  • upper abdominals
  • hip flexors
  • lower back extensors

Flat Backs generally need to lengthen

  • lower abdominals
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • upper back

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

front splits, ab prep, short spine, cat stretch, supine psoas pull

 

MILITARY POSTURE

Militaries generally need to strengthen

  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • upper and lower abs

Militaries generally need to lengthen

  • upper back
  • lower back
  • hip flexors

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

front splits, side leg work, supine psoas pull, ab prep

 

KYPHOSIS LORDOSIS POSTURE

K/L’s generally need to strengthen

  • lower abs
  • upper back
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • mid and low trapezius

K/L’s generally need to lengthen

  • lower back
  • upper back
  • hip flexors

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

side leg work, toe taps, back rowing, front splits

It can be tricky to assess yourself! If you’d like to get a little more in-depth on your posture type and how to improve it, book a one on one appointment for an individual assessment.

 

Sources:
Bender, R. (2013) Breathe Pilates Mat and Reformer Applications Vol 1 & 2. Melbourne, VIC.
Kendall, H. (2005) Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain. Philadelphia, PA.

 

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

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Are you ready to Find Your Flow?

We are so excited to share with you our brand new challenge! Kick Spring off to an awesome start getting stronger, leaner and more flexible on our Find Your Flow Membership. Sign up for 30 days and you’ll receive 4 sessions every week. This challenge costs $60 per weeks (4 weekly payments on direct debit). You can attend any Pilates Reformer or Met.Con session at any time on this Membership

You are also invited to attend our Find Your Flow Workshop on Saturday September 3rd at 11am where Pilates & Co team members will share some of their awesome knowledge about health and nutrition. We will also get the challenge started early with a full circuit challenge utilising the cadillac, chair, barrel and reformers!

The best part about this challenge is that it doesn’t end after 3o days, you have the opportunity to keep feeling and looking amazing with the Find Your Flow Membership, these memberships are strictly limited.

Contact us to sign up or for more information.