I think we could all agree that not all workouts are for EVERY body. For example….running is not the best choice for EVERY body. If you are overweight or have knee or hip issues…running is not going to feel good on your body and its not necessarily good for it as it may exuberate pre-existing conditions. Another example…if you have low back problems, jumping into a fitness program that does a lot of burpees and planks may actually make your back pain worse if you are not using good form. Yet if you are an elite athlete, or fairly healthy with no pre-existing conditions this might be the perfect type of workout for you. I truly believe there is not one exercise program that is the perfect fit for EVERY body…although I do think there might just be a piece of equipment that effectively trains EVERY body- the Pilates Reformer. Let me explain.
The Universal Reformer, as inventor Joseph Pilates called it was truly designed to be adaptable to train EVERY body.
Here’s some examples:
For the overweight person who is just starting to exercise, the Reformer provides a supportive place to strengthen the entire body without strain.
For the overall healthy, fit person the Reformer works with the individual to challenge their strength, flexibility and balance in a very safe progressive manner giving them what I like to call the most bang for their buck. You know… a super effective all over body workout that doesn’t take 4 hours..
For the elite athlete looking to improve their performance:
Curious about what the Pilates reformer could do for you? Our Beginner Reformer 4 week series starts every 4-6 weeks. Let us know if you’re interested! We’d love to introduce you to this fabulous piece of equipment!!
Our focus this month has been on breath. This 15 minute Pilates Mat Workout focuses on using the full capacity of your breath, coordinating your breath with your movements and just plain breath awareness!
in Mini Workout
I had a client who was fairly new to Pilates ask me,” Is the Pilates Cadillac just a souped-up version of the Pilates Tower?” and I absolutely loved her description!!
The short answer to that question is yes!! The Pilates Cadillac is the souped-up version of the Tower! The Cadillac was Joseph Pilates’ original piece of equipment that was designed to stretch, strengthen, lengthen and give your body feedback in a variety ways. Just like the name implies…the Pilates Cadillac has a quite the “presence” in the studio.. But that presence also takes up a big footprint in the studio. As much as most studio owners would love to be able to have Cadillac class….it’s not really practical to have 4, 5 or more Cadillacs in one room. This is where the Tower systems that you see in many studios came about. The tower system is a version of the Cadillac that allows you to do approximately 75% of the traditional Cadillac exercises on a much smaller, space saving piece of equipment.
The main things missing from the Tower are the overhead bars that run parallel to the mat, the attached trapeze bar that attaches to those bars, and the hanging straps that attach to the bars. So what are you missing out on by using a Tower instead of the Cadillac? Most of the exercises are ones that involves variations of hanging from the bars, the attached trapeze bar/swing and the hanging straps. These variations are definitely great exercises that are worth exploring in your Pilates practice, but the versatility of the Tower system gives you plenty of exercises that can be used to accomplish the same movement goals as some of these Cadillac only exercises.
Curious about the Cadillac? Check out this video highlighting some exercises on the Cadillac! Want to play and try some of these exercises out? Schedule a private session and be sure to ask your teacher if you can play on the Cadillac!! Call 319-665-2499 and schedule a Cadillac session today!
Here’s a quick and effective Pilates Workout for you with a theraband!
in Mini Workout
Tell us about yourself / your family. I have been married for 17 years and have 4 kids (shockingly all teenagers)! Yes, you can sympathize with me now. 🙂
Describe yourself in 5 words. Prepare, practical, no nonsense (this counts as two words), Seeker
Tell us about your first Pilates experience. When/Why did you start practicing Pilates? 2 years ago at Rivercity. To increase the strength of my core and reduce my lower back pain.
Favorite food / or favorite restaurant – Bacon (EXTRA crispy), Bluebird gets it perfect (most of the time :-))
If money were no object, what would you do all day? Golf, hang out with my kids
Why did you become a Pilates teacher? I’m actually a Zumba teacher, but I love Pilates! It makes my body feel so good, I would get on the reformer everyday if I had one!
Describe why you love Pilates. I have old gymnastics injuries in my spine and Pilates gives me tools that empower me to take control of my body when I’m experiencing pain and get rid of the pain.
Would you rather hike or bike? Hike
If you could live anywhere in the world — where would you want to live? Switzerland
What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement into your life in addition to Pilates? Zumba and yoga
Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island? The hubs
If you won an amazing prize, and the choice was either take an incredible vacation or get the dollar value in cash — which would you pick? Vacation, hands down – MEMORIES!
Would you rather enjoy a houseboat or a speed boat? Houseboat
Do you have a guilty pleasure? Chips n salsa
If you could live in a book, TV Show or Movie – what would it be? The Great Gatsby
The number 1 most common question I get from people as they are considering becoming a Pilates teacher is: Am I physically ready to go through the program? This may be code for, “Do I need to lose weight to become a Pilates teacher?”
My answer to this question usually starts with some more questions for them. Do you enjoy doing Pilates? Are you willing to put the time in it takes to continue learning Pilates in your own body?
The beautiful thing about our teacher training program is that you are required to have a Pilates practice in your own body. You are required to log in hours of personal practice, private lessons with professional Pilates teachers, and group classes. It honestly doesn’t matter where you are starting in your own body and it doesn’t matter if you have some things going on in your body that affect your movements. If you commit to going through the program, by the time you are done you will have a consistent Pilates practice in your life and you will learn the knowledge and skills you need to help others create a practice in their own life.
So much more important than your starting place of your own Pilates practice, is your willingness to commit to getting all the program hours completed.
Are you thinking about becoming a Pilates teacher? Does the idea of creating a regular Pilates practice in your life excite you? Do you want to be able to help others create a Pilates practice in their life? We would love to talk to you in more detail about our upcoming Pilates Mat Training program starting this September!! Contact us today to set up a time to talk to Carey about the program details.
Register early for the program and take as many Pilates Mat classes as you like from now until the start of the program!! (up to $250 Value!!)
Dominque teaches hatha yoga at 8am on Saturdays!
Tell us about yourself / your family.
I am the oldest of three, the only girl. Grew up playing sports and going on lots of camping trips. I grew up in the Northwest, so I am used to the rain, pine trees, and people who commute to work by bicycle. I love the ocean, not the white sandy beaches most people imagine, but the rocky cliffs of the Oregon coast, full of tide pools, sea lion coves and often shadowed by overcast weather. I broke a lot of bones as a kid, some were the fault of my younger brother (I’m terribly competitive) and others were the fault of my own wildness. Dad taught me to be tough, I remember walking home from the park near my house after a spill, and then being in a foot cast the next day. My mother and I look the same, especially when I’m home for the holidays and raid her closet. I moved away from home rather young because of ballet, but we’ve always been a close family. We have a lot of matching pajama sets, its our traditional Christmas eve gift. Last years theme was polar bears, the year before that I think was red and green plaid- makes for a very organized Christmas morning family photo.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Confident. Self-critical. Passionate. Adventurous. Artistic.
When/Why did you start practicing Yoga?
I began my yoga journey my first year at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s professional training program, as we had yoga classes bi-weekly as cross training. My first year in the program I had issues with a reoccurring injury and self-confidence, but I was lucky enough to have a phenomenal yoga teacher who recognized my struggle and nurtured me. I began to take yoga daily and it provided the balance I needed in my life.
Barley & Rye, it’s a farm to table restaurant in the quad cities
If money were no object, what would you do all day?
Why did you become a Yoga teacher?
I wanted to share something that I know works with others
Describe why you love Yoga in three words.
It feels good.
Would you rather hike or bike?
If you could live anywhere in the world — where would you want to live?
What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement into your life in addition to Yoga?
Dancing! Also, anything outside, I often take my yoga mat to the park, I love biking, hiking, I recently went kayaking for the first time in the Adirondacks, that was pretty neat
Do you have a guilty pleasure? Something that is generally looked upon as wrong — but you keep doing it?
I eat peanut butter straight from the jar!
Has it been awhile since you’ve taken an exercise class or worked out? Would you consider yourself a “couch potato”? Does the thought of starting back to exercise scare you? Do you worry about making a fool of yourself in class or feeling out of place? One of the most common things we hear from new clients is,” I don’t know why I didn’t try this sooner!”. And so if you are one of those people who has been contemplating coming in, but just hasn’t made the leap…this blog is for you!!
We understand there are a lot of “roadblocks” that keep people from scheduling that first session or class and so we made up a quick list of our top 5 reasons why we would consider Rivercity Pilates Couch Potato friendly(ie debunking those excuses you are telling yourself about why you haven’t come in yet!) .
Ready to take the leap? We would love to help you schedule your first complimentary private session or class! Have a question before you come in? Simply email or call us and we would love to answer it!
Have you heard of Zumba? Zumba totes itself as “Pretty much the most awesome workout ever. Dance to great music, with great people, and burn a ton of calories without even realizing it”. It’s a total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility.
As a Pilates and Yoga studio we focus on being a place where our clients can come in and have a great movement experience that leaves them walking out of our doors feeling better in their bodies then when they came in. So when we were looking to grow our offerings and offer some cardio based classes in our studio… Zumba seemed like the perfect fit! Here’s our top 5 reasons why we love ZUMBA and are hoping you do too!!
Are you looking for some fun cardio to spice up your workout routine? Then Zumba is just for you!
Check out our Zumba class schedule and click here to sign up for a class today!
One of my newer private clients asked me the other day ago,” Why do you always have me do these exercises with my feet at the beginning of our session?” The exercises I was having her do can be seen in the video below and use a small ball to roll your feet out. She liked the exercises and was even doing them at home, and more than anything was curious about why I always had her do them.
My answer: Your feet, and the tissues and muscles in your feet have a direct effect on how the rest of your body moves! By starting with the feet we are giving the rest of your body the best possible prep to move it’s best and get the most out of your session. As an example I had her do the ball exercises on one foot first. Then she did a slow standing roll down to check in with how the backs of her legs felt. She was amazed at how just by rolling out her foot, her muscles in the back of her leg on that side felt looser and less stiff! If you haven’t tried this yet…go do it now!!
If you’ve never really thought about your feet in terms of how they impact how the rest of your body feels….it’s worth a little examination! Join me for my Healthy Feet Workshop On Saturday, August 26th at 10:30 a.m. and learn why you should pay attention to your feet and walk away with lots of simple exercises and movements you can use to keep your feet healthy and happy!!
If you have ever had foot pain you know how debilitating it can be and how it can affect your whole body. In this workshop we’ll talk about some basics of why the feet are so important in relationship to the rest of the body’s movements and in our daily life. You’ll walk away with some easy exercises that can be incorporated into your life to keep your feet healthy, flexible and strong.
You don’t need to have foot pain to benefit from this workshop but if you have dealt with or are dealing with Plantar Fasciitis, bunions, hammer toes, heel pain or any foot discomfort you will especially love this workshop!!
$20 Sign up using our online scheduling system to reserve your spot. Space is Limited!!
Check out our website for details or contact us to set up a time to come in and talk about program details with Carey!!
Life Inspired is a free monthly event that we host for us to connect, learn something new, and have fun! Join Amy for a free Zumba class and stay after for wine and chocolate!
I’ve been teaching Pilates for a long time and in that time I have gotten to observe a lot of different people and different bodies who come to Pilates and give it a try. On a daily basis I get to hear from clients about how their Pilates practice has changed their life,made them stronger, helped them get rid of pain and allows them to move better in their daily life so that they can live the life they dream of. Many talk about how Pilates makes them happier and keeps their body feeling happier. I also see lots of people who are super excited to try it, enjoy it and can really see how it could benefit their life and then give it up. So what’s the key to being a Pilates success? How can you get what those happy people have, those people are feeling amazing in their body? It might be simpler than you think. The secret is patience and persistence.
Joseph Pilates said,” Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”
I couldn’t agree more! So what does it mean to be patient and persistent when it comes to your Pilates practice? I really think it comes down to showing up and not giving up. We live in what I like to call a “quick fix” world. Society has convinced us that you can buy a solution to any problem you have. We’re spoiled by the convenience of being able to walk into a store or click a button online and have just about anything we want almost instantaneously. But so many things in life can’t be bought or obtained quickly…our health, our happiness, learning a new sport or discipline in your body, learning new eating habits, friendships and relationships. The key to success in any of these arenas is consistent positive action taken over time. And when I say time I don’t mean the “6 weeks to a skinny you program” kind of time…I mean years (yep…years).
Think of that friend or two in your life who you can’t imagine doing life without. Did your friendship with them just happen overnight? How long have you known them? How many life experiences have you shared with them and what do you do on a regular basis to connect with them? Are you or were you an athlete at some point in your life? How many practices did you attend? How many games did you win (and lose)? How long did you play that sport before you were feeling pretty accomplished in it? Do you have someone in your life who you admire because you feel like they are in great shape and they really take care of their body? My guess is if you ask them they have made a commitment in their life to make movement part of their life…they probably have a routine that they’ve been following…probably for years!
I can tell you first hand from my own life and from the clients I get to work with on a daily basis…the key to feeling good in your body, to getting results from your Pilates practice (or any movement practice) is consistency over time. Adding more movement into your life is not a hard thing to do, but as easy as it is to do….it’s just as easy not to do. Adding 5-10 minutes of Pilates based exercises to your day is pretty doable for everybody and I guarantee that if you did that for 3 months, 6 months, or a year…you would feel an amazing difference in your body and your life. Taking even just one Pilates class per week over a year would change how your body feels when you look back a year from now.
When I observe those clients who have really embraced movement as part of their life, the ones who feel and see results from their movement practice on a daily basis I see a lot of the same characteristics, traits and habits.
Here’s just a few:
At Rivercity Pilates we are passionate about movement and what an amazing health tool it can be in your life. Our staff is here because they love being “those supportive, like-minded people” in your life! Our staff is on the same life journey as you. We are on a daily journey to use movement in our life consistently so that we too can live our best life. Our daily interactions with our amazing clients inspire us in our own movement journey. The studio is our “happy place” and we really hope it will become yours too. If you are looking to add movement into your life we would love to meet you and introduce you to the studio, our staff and all of our fabulous inspiring clients! Click here to schedule a complimentary private session to get started today!!
What can Pilates do for me? Can it get rid of my stomach, tighten my butt, slim my thighs?
When you are in the movement/fitness/Pilates business these types of questions can always be expected. So expected that I, like many teachers have some standard responses where I tell potential new students, “of course it can”, followed by professional explanations of how the exercise method if done regularly can produce just the results they are looking for. But I have to tell you…the longer I teach the harder it is for me to stomach saying these lines. Not because they are wrong, but because I really don’t believe the value in learning a movement practice like Pilates is in the results they are asking about.
I’ve been where these women who are asking me these questions have been…looking for the next best thing to help them get into a smaller pair of jeans or look how you think society wants you to look. I quit obsessing about weight, worrying about what size I am or trying to fit into society’s ideals a long time ago. I do think my career as a movement instructor was instrumental in that process in my life and I’m forever grateful for that. I have an eight year old daughter and even though I try to be a great positive body image role model for her, I already am finding that I can’t shield her from thinking she needs to be “skinnier”, go on a diet, or even “lose her stomach” (yes she’s 8 and actually mentioned to me she just wanted to lose a little bit of her stomach???!) and it drives me crazy! What I really want more than anything is for her to appreciate the amazing body she has, stay active and healthy by moving in ways she loves and not fall into feeling like she is always trying to “fix herself” to meet other people’s standards.
So when someone asks me one of those questions about losing an inch from their waist….my heart kind of aches because I can tell that they are still in that place of “trying to fix themselves” or get their body to some “ideal place” that doesn’t exist. Here’s what I want to say when someone asks me about losing their stomach, tightening their butt, or slimming their thighs:
The answer of course is yes — any regular movement program combined with healthy eating can accomplish those things…but is that really what you want? You are beautiful and have a body that lets you live life. It might not be perfect or what you see as ideal, but the reality is it is amazing! If you make it a priority to take care of it by moving in ways you enjoy you will be happier, healthier, and you’ll learn to love yourself for the wonderful you that you are! You will feel better in your body and in the days end I think that’s what most people are really looking for. What if you looked at learning Pilates as a way to do something good for your body, a way to grow yourself as a person as you learn more about how your body moves, and a health tool that helps you feel better in your body and happier in your life?
My friend Len was visiting this April and I overheard a conversation he had with a client who was asking about how to breathe on a particular exercise as Len had taught the reverse of what this client was used to.(asking her to inhale when she normally exhaled). He took some time to explain why he was using that particular breath pattern and somewhere in the conversation he simply said, “Remember breath is a tool, not a rule.” I love that phrase!
Do you ever find yourself wondering if you are breathing correctly? Sometimes I find that clients are so worried about if they are inhaling and exhaling at the right moment that they totally miss all the wonderful other components of the exercise. One of the first things I teach new Pilates students is how to breathe to their fullest capacity as well as informing them of all the wonderful health benefits that come along with learning to breathe properly and how to coordinate breath with their movement. Then…immediately after that I tell them,”Try not to worry about or overthink the breath as you are first learning Pilates in your body….simply try to remember to breath and try not to hold your breath! Learning Pilates is a process and you are not expected to learn everything all at once! Using breath to help us move better is something that takes time and practice to do!”
There are so many components to learning a mind body practice like Pilates that it can be overwhelming if you are trying to do everything at once. For instance….learning the technique or choreographing of the exercises, keeping your newly found abdominal muscles engaged, keeping your awareness of your whole body, being precise and controlled with the movements, learning “new ways” to move in your body, coordinating your breath, etc….
If you are finding it hard to figure out the breathing, feeling a little overwhelmed by it, or maybe feeling like you just aren’t getting it yet, here’s a few tips to think about: