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Category Archives: bodyweight workout

Cut Your 5K Time With Pilates

Rick found this article in July’s edition of Men’s Health magazine that may be helpful for runners and tri-athletes. Actually, the benefits of Pilates are great for everyone, athlete or not.

We use Pilates in our athlete’s training programs and always notice HUGE benefits in their overall performance. From high school to the pros, everyone always comments about how they feel after their Pilates sessions. There’s truly no better workout to incorporate into your weekly program if you are looking to improve your core strength, flexibility, endurance, body awareness, breath control, and posture.

Ready to try some Mat Pilates at home or on the road?? Check out BEYONDMOTION.TV for some great Pilates workouts for all levels. Have questions? Email us at info@go2beyondmotion.com or comment below.

Suspension Training with Bodhi

The Bodhi Suspension System: A Brief Review

Watch out TRX, there’s a new suspension system out on the fitness scene. The Bodhi suspension system is suspension training with a Pilates twist. Suspension training is a form of resistance training which uses a series of ropes along with your body weight. The ropes are attached to what is referred to as the anchor- a pipe, beam, or ring, either mounted to the wall or suspended from the ceiling. By using handles and/or straps attached to the ropes, you can perform an array of different dynamic movements. You’re basically working against gravity with the goal of developing strength, balance, flexibility, and joint mobility. Bodhi provides two anchor points and four possible points of suspension, whereas the TRX system has only a single anchor and two points of suspension. The additional points of suspension make more variations available and can provide a deeper movement experience.

In this humble Pilates teacher’s opinion; double the suspension, double the fun! 

The creator of the system is a woman named Khita Whyatt. When a car accident left her with significant paralysis to her left side, Khita took control and began conceptualizing her return to health. The shearing injury, which had damaged the connections between the two hemispheres of her brain, impeded communication between the right and left side and made it feel as though her brain could not find the left side and get it to function voluntarily. Along with the disconnect from her left side, she also could no longer contract her deeper muscles, including the transverse abdominals. Because of her strong understanding of the body (Khita was a Rolfer and longtime Pilates practitioner), she knew she would have to develop a system that would re-engage the non-responsive deep and mid layer muscles without being able to consciously feel or contract them. The way, she discovered, was through an anchor and a couple of ropes. Enter Bodhi.

Bodhi means “awaken” in Sanskrit. It was an aptly named system. When your body moves in and out of alignment with gravity, it stimulates a reaction in the deepest muscles; that of “hugging into the bone”. The body has something called the righting reflex, also known as the Labyrinthine righting reflex, for all you nerds out there. It refers to your body’s reflex to correct its orientation when taken out of the upright position. So when you lean into the ropes, it is your body’s reflexive reaction to contract even some of the deepest muscles which also provides support for your joints. You can also modify the intensity of the movement by adjusting your center of gravity, or by deepening the lean. The deeper the lean, the more the stabilizing muscles of the body, including the deep core, spinal erectors, and shoulder girdle have to work. Through her training on the Bodhi, Khita was able to re-educate her neuromuscular system to fire in a coordinated fashion and re-stimulate her sense of stability, mobility, and proper alignment. She has experienced a full recovery and I have been told if you met her, you’d never be able to tell she was partially paralyzed.

The fact that the Bodhi is suspended from two anchor points means you have a more anatomically correct set up which is more kinesthetically pleasing and allows for a greater variety of movement patterns. The Bodhi’s two suspension points also allow for a lot of creativity. When I participated in a Bodhi teacher training, I was amazed at the scope and diversity of the exercises that can be performed on this most simple of designs. Exercises can be done standing, lying face down and on your back (supine and prone, respectively, if you want to get technical) and even lying on your side.  Different points of suspension can be added to each exercise. For example, a row (an exercise where, leaning away from your anchor, you pull your arms toward you body retracting your shoulders together) with both feet planted of the floor feels very different from a row with one leg suspended by a strap. So, regardless of your fitness level, the Bodhi can accommodate your individual needs. An exercise can be of a beginner to an intermediate level or can be more advanced and athletic. As with any session you’ll experience at Beyond Motion, the difficulty level will be adjusted to be appropriate for you.

The Bodhi is a very intuitive system and provides a unique movement experience. We have had a lot of success implementing it into Pilates sessions with all of our clients. It’s a very cool experience that we recommend to anyone looking for a fun, innovative workout that challenges your body in an entirely new way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information and to book a session call 239-254-9300 or email us at: info@go2beyondmotion.com

Jamie

Beyond Motion Staff Personal Jamie

What you may, or may not know about Pilates.

WHAT YOU MAY, OR MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT PILATES

Pilates. You’ve heard it’s hard, it’s just for women, it’s the same thing as yoga, it’s too expensive, it’s not really a workout, it’s for the flexible dancer types……  Well, let’s set a few things straight.

IT’S HARD… OR… IT’S NOT A “REAL” WORKOUT… 

Well, of course, it’s hard, and anyone that says it’s not really a workout has probably not tried it yet. How often do you practice table top position on your back with your head and chest curled up while pumping your arms by your sides as you inhale 5 times, then exhale 5 times, repeating 10 times with no break in between? Be prepared to use muscles you didn’t know existed. And, trying to get your mind to connect with what your body is doing, well, some of us have that problem with simple everyday tasks. Now add instructors watching and correcting your every move to make sure each movement is perfectly executed. Oh, and did we mention eyes up, head up, chin up, and don’t forget to breathe!

The plus side is that when you stick with it, you will see and feel a difference. You will notice your posture improve, increased flexibility, and your mind and body will start to work together creating more efficient movement in your daily life. You will increase core and back strength, and improve balance, all which help to prevent injuries.

 

IT’S JUST FOR WOMEN AND FLEXIBLE DANCER TYPES…

Don’t tell that to all the athletes that use Pilates as part of their cross-training. Pilates is known for targeting specific muscle groups that get neglected with regular weight training, therefore creating total body strength and functionality. Everyone, men and women, need increased core strength and flexibility.

And did we mention, Pilates was created by a man? Joseph Pilates was a gymnast, bodybuilder, professional boxer, and a self-defence trainer for police officers in places like Scotland Yard.  

 

WHAT KIND OF MEN DO PILATES???

https://www.buzzfeed.com

golfers
baseball coaches
soccer players

           

IT’S THE SAME AS YOGA, RIGHT???

While Pilates and yoga both utilize a mat, Pilates can also be done on specific equipment that adds extra resistance. Yoga is considered spiritual, Pilates is more of a mind and body connection. Both help with flexibility, but Pilates helps increase core strength, therefore, improving overall body movement efficiency.  To truly understand the differences between Pilates and yoga, try them both. You cannot compare one to the other if you have only tried one.

 

PILATES IS EXPENSIVE…. 

The initial costs of Pilates can be a deterrent. But if you are serious about your health and fitness it is an investment to last a lifetime. Private Pilates sessions are equivalent to the costs of personal training. Both equally worth it. Pilates instructors go through very rigorous training to obtain their certifications, therefore you are receiving in-depth knowledge on how to correctly execute each Pilates move and the Pilates principles. After you learn the basics, costs can be minimized by joining group classes, whether on mat or equipment.

 

Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of why Pilates is a game changer to an over-all cross-training program. Incorporating Pilates into your weekly workout schedule will help target areas that weight training alone often misses. Think of it as an investment in your health and physical fitness. It is for people looking to increase flexibility, core strength, prevent injuries, and build a stronger physical foundation.

 

Quick Butt and Thigh Workout

It’s time for another no gym, no problem workout. As part of the fitness series I have been taking Sherry from GirlTalkTV through, this one is all about one “simple” lower body series to hit those tush and thigh trouble spots. Whether you’re looking to improve your strength, balance, and coordination; or just want something to add to your routine that will shrink your tush and thighs, this “sneaky” move will leave your heart racing, legs burning, and body wanting MORE!

So why does this move target so many of your trouble spots?

The Side Lunge is also a unique lower body exercise because it works not only the quadriceps (thighs) but also targets the inner and outer thighs, hips, glutes and indirectly works your calf muscles as well. By adding the lateral (or side) leg lift you target the outer hip and thigh muscles all the way up to the “beloved” muffin top area. This single exercise utilizes multiple muscle groups and offers numerous benefits. They are easy to do, but proper form is essential to injury prevention. The term lateral implies movement away from the midline of the body. If done while standing, your leg moves outward shifting your balance to your stationary leg. The final piece to this move (before returning to your starting point) is your curtsy lunge. The curtsy lunge hits your glute medius—one of your glute muscles that helps pull your legs away from the midline of your body—and also strengthens your abductors and adductors.
Now that you know what this power packed exercise can do for you, try it between 5-10 times on each leg keeping your hands at your hips. Once you have perfected that move, add the arm variation provided for an additional boost of power.

 

Oh and after your first week, let us know how you’re doing….

3 Exercises + 5 Minutes = A Strong Core & Sleek Abs

I’ve been teaching fitness for more than twenty years and Pilates for about 15, and no matter what part of the country I’ve taught in the most commonly asked question is “how do I create a 6 pack?”   While there are tons of awesome ab exercises, (and part of creating a “6 pack may be related to your eating habits) I want to take you through some basic moves, done in not such a basic way. Join me as I show Sherry from GirlTalkTV (girltalktv.com) some of my favorite tips and tricks on strengthening your core, eliminating neck pain, and creating those infamous 6 pack abs.

For the 3 exercises you’ll be doing today, you’ll need a soft playground ball about 10” in diameter.  We are going to kick off your routine by starting with a basic crunch otherwise known as an “ab curl”. Then you’ll move onto your obliques with your “c curl and twist”. Start with the basic option by keeping your feet on the floor and then move onto the advanced move by adding the leg lift. From there you’ll add in another one of my favorite Pilates ab exercises the “single leg stretch”.

Ready for a 6 pack?

 

While these are simple moves to get you started, they are definitely not easy. Make sure to coordinate your breath with your movement, so your moves are fluid and not rigid.  Remember if you’re feeling neck pain, make sure that your chin is slightly tucked and that your looking towards your knees or thighs vs the ceiling.

Try these moves 3 times a week for a month and let me know if you’re noticing any changes….

Be well,

Amy

 

Bodyweight Workout for anytime- anyplace

One of the most common questions I get from clients and friends on the go is, “How can I keep up my workouts if I don’t have access to a gym when I travel?”  Now if you’re a runner that can run anywhere you’re golden… but for the rest of us non runners (and runners looking to add some strength training to their program) here are some of my favorite bodyweight exercises…

This entire series is from our recent trip to St Martin. While the community we stayed in has a tiny gym, I really wanted to do something outside… Obviously I’m using a fairly low wall, but a bench could work as well. This bodyweight workout will strengthen your chest, back, arms, core, legs, and glutes. Try my add-ons and you’ll have a complete bodyweight workout for anytime and anyplace, no props required.

 

P.S.Try each move for 20 repetitions and do the complete series for 3 sets. I actually started this workout with a slight jog, just enough to warm up (about 10 minutes) and then added some Pilates ab work at the end.   If you’re new to this workout begin with 10 reps and go through the series one time. As you progress increase the number of repetitions before increasing your sets. If you’re taking a break between exercises try to take no more than 1-2 minutes. Make sure your focus is on your form, not your time. Oh and if you’re feeling your knees on the first 2 exercises make sure you’re knee and ankle are aligned correctly and that you are pressing through your heel to straightening your base leg. If you’re pressing more through the ball of your foot or toes, you’ll feel more pressure in your knee and quad. If you’re pressing through your heel, you’ll actually find your hamstrings and glutes.

 

1) (top left) “Bulgarian Split Squat”- Keep the top of your foot resting on the wall and make sure your front leg lines up so that your knee and ankle are perpendicular. Lower yourself as far down as you can to make your hip and knee parallel while keeping your spine completely straight and core engaged. Press through your front foot to straighten your leg.  Do up to 20 on each leg. (P.S. the lower you go the bigger the hip flexor and quad stretch you’ll feel in your elevated leg.)

2) (top right) “Elevated Lateral Lunge” – Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width and then place your foot level to the back of the bench or top of the wall, so that leg is straight and foot is safe and flat.  Squat to a 90 degree angle at the right knee. Try to sit down with your butt, keeping your torso as upright as possible. Make sure to push through your entire base foot so that you can feel your hamstring and glutes engage. Keep your back lengthened and your core engaged. Do up to 20 on each leg.

3) (bottom left) “Incline Push Ups”- I actually did 2 variations here. One was a wider grip allowing my elbows to bend outward away from my body and really working my chest, shoulders, and core. The picture below is a closer hand position to incorporate my triceps. Place your hands at the top of your bench or wall and walk your body back until you’re in an inclined plank position. In the tricep variation make sure your torso is forward enough that your thumbs align with your arm pits and your elbows become “glued” to your rib cage. Inhale and lower yourself down so that your elbows continue to graze your ribs. Exhale and press up making sure to keep your elbows close to your body.  P.S. If you separate your legs about hip distance apart while pressing your heals back, you will decrease the challenge. By squeezing your inner thighs together and pressing your heals back away from your body, you’re creating a bigger challenge. Do up to 20 of each variation.

4) (bottom right) “Dips” – Place your hands on your bench seat or wall with your fingers facing you. Walk your legs out until your heels are down and toes up. Inhale as your bend your elbows and lower your body down as far as you can while maintaining a tight core and completely erect spine. Exhale to press yourself up, while keeping your shoulders, traps and neck relaxed. Do up to 20.

 

Have fun and let me know how you did!
Amy

Oh and since I am totally obsessed with Pharrell Williams new album I had the song “Freedom” playing during this bodyweight workout. Here’s it is if you’re looking for something fun!

 

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