Personalizing Pilates' Q&A Blog – by Sherry

July 10, 2012

 Personalizing Pilates BBB Accredited!

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Personalizing Pilates is now Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited!   That means that you can purchase and download my Pilates MP3 workouts without any worries or hassles!    I have always promised great workouts and great service and now you have the BBB’s guarantee as well.    You can preview and purchase workouts at www.personalizingpilates.com or simply click on the gravatar on the right hand side of this page.

All the best,

Sherry

November 18, 2011

Lower Back Strengthener

Hi everyone,

As a Pilates teacher, I see many people who have lower back pain and problems.   I would estimate that 90% of these problems come from poor posture and from sitting way too much.    Our bodies are not designed for sitting but too many of us sit for hours and hours each day.   I dare you to calculate how many hours a day you sit – from eating breakfast, commuting, working at your desk, eating dinner and watching television.   It’s not uncommon to hear that people are sitting for 8 – 12 hours a day!  No wonder their backs hurt.

Here’s an easy exercise that you can do just about anywhere and anytime.  It’s not a classical Pilates exercise although you could say that it’s a version of Joseph’s swimming or flight exercise.   It’s known as a McKenzie exercise, named after Robin McKenzie who is one of the world’s leading authorities on lower back pain.

To do the exercise, follow these cues:

  1. Stand with your feet a bit wider apart than your hips
  2. Keep your knees straight
  3. Place your hands in the small of your lower back, fingers turned inward
  4. Imagine doing a back dive over your hands, lifting your heart out of your chest
  5. Hold for a couple of breaths
  6. Repeat three times

Try to do this exercise every hour or so when you need to sit.   If you’re at the office, you can do it in the washroom where it is private.   It will help to strengthen your lower back safely.

Questions?  Don’t hesitate to email me.   I’m here to help.

And please check out the downloadable MP3 workouts on my website.   They’re easy to follow and very effective.   Plus, if you input promo code 4001 when you place your order, you’ll get 10% off your entire order!

Sherry

October 22, 2011

Hip Flexor Stretch

Good Morning Everyone!

The Toronto Marathon was completed this past weekend and  I have several clients and acquaintances who ran the full or the half marathon.   I want to share a stretch with you that I teach my runners.   It’s also a great stretch to do after you have been sitting for a long period of time.

The hip flexors are a group of muscles that fold the hip.   They pull the leg forward and they all attach at the pelvis or in the case of the psoas muscle, to the vertebrae of the lower back.   When the hip flexors are tight, they can cause lower back discomfort.

I would recommend doing this stretch every day, whether you have gone out for a run or not.

  • Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet wide apart (wider than your hips).
  • Reach your arms to the sides
  • Look at the ceiling.
  • Sway both knees to the right (as shown in the photo)
  • Reach your left (top) knee away from you so that the front of your left hip lengthens.  Your left hip will lift up off the mat a bit.
  • Hold for 3 breaths and switch.  Repeat 3 times on each side.

wide knee sway hip stretch

It’s common that one hip is tighter than the other so I recommend holding the stretch longer on that side.

I have a great Pilates for Runners workout available.   It’s a downloadable MP3 iPod workout that comes with photos.   Kathrine Switzer, the first woman who ever ran the Boston Marathon, does the workout and she says its “tremendous”.    Please check it out!

Let me know if you have questions!

Sherry

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