clinical 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 & 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 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.