Let’s talk feet! What are your feet looking like?Next time you put your feet on the foot bar, lift your head up and check them out! Where are your ankles? Are they rolling to the outside (towards the toe that went wee, wee, wee, all the way home)? Or to the inside (towards the big toe that went to the market)? We are striving for a position that aligns the ankle to be directly over the ball of the foot, with the weight of your body evenly pressing into the middle of the ball of your foot in a neutral position, without supinating or pronating. Now what the heck does this mean? And what does a neutral ankle position mean? Check out the picture below of what a neutral ankle position looks like so that you have a point of reference.Note how the ankle is over the ball of the foot and the client here is neither pressing into the inside or outside of of foot. This alignment is important because we are developing strength and stability in the supporting muscles of the foot, ankle, and calf to support the ankle in a healthy position.Pronation refers to the inward rolling of your ankle (towards the big toe and instep). This is very common if you have a flat arch. In the picture below, the client’s feet are in an excessive amount of pronation. If you pronate, you will feel a lot of pressure into the big toe and the first and second metatarsals when pressing into the foot bar.
Think of it this way: Your Frontal Ribs and Abdominals are good friends. Your abdominal cavity attaches onto the the ribs.
Kris, Pilates of Charleston client demonstrates incorrect and correct versions of rib cage connection to abdominals. Notice how the top picture illustrates “popped” ribs.
Fact! If you can breathe using your Ribs and Lungs to breathe while you perform your Pilates exercises at Pilates of Charleston, your abdominals will be more fully engaged and your body will be able to sustain the Pilates exercise for a much longer period of time.
But! It is important to know that finding your rib cage and abdominal connection is just as beneficial not only when you’re lying on your back, but when you are in plank, sitting, standing, weight lifting, stretching or just living your daily life!
Kris, a really wonderful client of Pilates of Charleston shows us another common Pilates exercise to show you how fundamental it is for you to understand and educate yourself in finding your neutral rib cage position.
Shoulder Bridge: Notice how Kris is emphasizing the lower back curve in the bottom picture, in comparison to her finding her rib cage and abdominal connection in the top image which is the correct version of this Pilates exercise.
Make sure you sign up for class below so that your Pilates and Fitness Instructors at Pilates of Charleston can keep you and your body checking in on those small details that could change the way you workout anywhere!
Technique Tip Tuesday is here again!
This week is all about the Lunge. At Pilates of Charleston, we as your Pilates and Fitness Instructors are on a continuing mission to keep you and your basics in perfect form! The Lunge forms part of the basic fundamental movements in fitness.
So. Why do we Lunge? – Simple answer: It trains the biggest part of your leg, The Quadriceps and Hamstrings. It trains your stabilizers. Stabilizers = Balance. Balance is necessary for everyday walking. Period. Its as simple as that.
There are many different kinds of lunges. Forward Lunges; backward lunges; and sideward lunges. For the most part Forward and Backward Lunges have the same form and technique tips apart from the obvious that either you are stepping forward or backwards in space. Side Lunges has a slightly different approach – but more on the side lunge at a later date.
Lets take a look at Lunge form in the photo below.
One of our Favorite Private clients’ Lyn, was kind enough to allow us, at Pilates of Charleston to use her magnificent body to demonstrate the correct and incorrect form for a Lunge. (Lyn is standing on a Pilates reformer at Pilates of Charleston. Please note: standing on the reformer to demonstrate the Lunge is for the sole purpose of this image only.)
REMEMBER! Your body weight should be equally distributed through both legs in a forward or backward Lunge.
If you are still feeling slightly insecure about your lunge, or any other fundamental fitness exercise, feel free to catch any one of our Pilates and Fitness instructors at the studio before or after class to ask your questions at no charge at all! We want you to feel confident when you work out.
Alright, folks. The dreaded Plank! Pilates of Charleston Instructors will tell you this over and over again: Plank is the way forward! So, Lets do this! And if you don’t want to do this…get a grip and get used to doing the Plank, because it is the ultimate body firming and conditioning exercise not only in Pilates but in any fitness related class.
The Plank will tone your entire body. If you do it correctly. At Pilates of Charleston, we as your Pilates and fitness Instructors are and always will be addicted to getting you and your body into the correct plank position to accommodate all your issues, whether it be wrist or knee issues; lower back or neck problems.
Now lets take a look at Elizel, one of our Lead Pilates and Fitness Instructors at Pilates of Charleston. In the photo below she demonstrates what the plank should and should not look like:
Elizel, Pilates Instructor at Pilates of Charleston
Get your bodies to Pilates of Charleston, now! Remember to like and follow us on social media to keep getting our Technique Tip Tuesday blogs!
How to : Squat
Not only is it one of the most basic functional movements in any fitness regiment, but its probably the most fundamental exercise you should learn to master whether your an active fitness enthusiast or just a part time “worker-outer”. As Pilates Instructors at Pilates of Charleston, we are well experienced and well educated to inform you, that the Art of the Squat is seriously healthy for not only your muscles but for your joints as well.
Katie (Owner and Lead Pilates and Fitness Instructor at Pilates of Charleston) shows us the incorrect and correct version of what a squat should look like:
Using the above illustration of Katie, we can see very clear and distinct differences in form and technique.
- Body weight on toes
- Knees forward over toes
- Pelvis is in a severe anterior tilt
- Spine / upper torso leaning forward
- Eyes are down
- Body weight on heels
- Knees are aligned with instep arches
- Pelvis is in a slight anterior tilt to accommodate the body weight on the heels.
- Spine/ upper torso is held up
- Eyes are lifted. (with a smile)
The biggest Mistake of a Squat: Allowing your torso to pitch forward, instead of putting in the work to BEND your knees. Your knees are designed to Bend. Period. Bend them to Squat.
But lets be honest: Not everyone will be able to get their “ass to the grass”. There are multiple reasons behind this, ranging from age, injuries, flexibility, postural differences and lack of knowledge. These factors should be taken into account. However, does this stop us from exercising our right to a achieve Squat greatness? No! Practice makes perfect, folks. Every repetition you execute, is another opportunity to get better at your workout technique. It is not so much a physical practice as it is a mental discipline. Whether you are able to get your butt down or not, you should never allow your form to disintegrate. Over time, you will notice pain disappearing; flexibility increasing; and technique strengthening.
Want more help with your squat?