Entries in News/Research (93)
As 2010 winds down it’s time for our very own Pilates-Pro.com “Year in Review,” a countdown of the site’s 10 most popular articles from the past year. We’d also like to publically thank our community of passionate Pilates professionals who contributed to Pilates-Pro.com this year by writing articles and participating in our forums and lively social networks. Pilates-Pro.com continues to grow because of you. And of course, if you have topics you’d like us tackle in 2011, please drop a line and let us know!
1. Adding Barre Work to Your Pilates Workout by Christine Binnendyk
2. Pilates on Call: Working with Pregnant and Postpartum Clients with Debra Goodman and Amanda Martin
3. How to Work with the Pilates Foot Corrector by Dianne Wise
4. How to Brand Your Pilates Studio on a Shoestring by Erika Quest
5. Pilates for Runners: The Basics by Pat Guyton
6. Intro to the Psoas Muscle by Liz Koch
7. Pilates and Going for the Burn: How Much is Too Much? by Maria Leone
8. Pilates Instructors’ Top Tax Questions, Answered Q&A with Steve Kingsley
9. Just a Pilates Instructor? by Kristen Matthews
10. That New Fitness Trend? Pilates Has It Covered by Jonathan Urla
There has been a lot of talk about core stability lately, prompted in part by the publication of Professor Eyal Lederman’s paper The Myth of Core Stability and other rumblings in the media about the validity and safety of core training.
On Aug. 10, Peta Bee wrote an article in the London Times (requires payment) stating that the founding principles of Pilates are flawed. Glenn Withers, founder of the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute, followed up four days later by posting an excellent, detailed response on the APPI website. All of these are worth reading to educate yourself on the arguments.
But what does this all mean to you? As a Pilates instructor, you instinctively know that the work is incredibly valuable if taught correctly. But clients who have read these articles may have questions. Nuala Coombs, a founding director of the Pilates Institute UK and owner of The Pilates Consultant, tackles this issue below. We also invite your ideas on how to talk to clients about this issue in the comments section.
Following the publication of the article by Peta Bee, I received several emails from teachers wondering how they would respond to their clients should they refer to the article. My advice was simple. If they don’t mention it, there is no point in bringing it to their attention. For those clients who did not read the article, it will only create confusion. Of course for those clients who have questions, we need to be able to give them clear, satisfactory answers.
by Jonathan Urla, MFA, CPT-PMA
It seems that I hear about a “new” fitness term or trend every week. These words usually come from the scientific community, but they often take on new meanings when the media and general public start using them. I started noticing that most of these words could be used to describe Pilates exercise, so I decided to dig a little deeper.
I compiled a list of the terms that are currently in fashion in the fitness world and media and looked at the relevance that each has to Pilates training. I hope the result is as illuminating to you as it was to me. This exercise reiterated to me that the techniques of Joseph and Clara Pilates are still proving to be years ahead of their time. As instructors in the health and wellness field, it is important for us to be aware of these trends and be able to explain to students how they relate to Pilates.
If you’re a student of movement, a parent or just baby crazy, you’ll love this video montage of baby Liv as she learns how to use her body. Without even realizing it, you’ve also just watched what you would do in a Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Lesson. The video is part of The Next 25 Years, a video project that aims to demonstrate and explain the Feldenkrais Method in a simple, effective way. Moshe Feldenkrais, like Joseph Pilates, studied how babies develop and move and used those observations as a foundation for his method.
Even more so than Pilates, Feldenkrais is difficult to explain to the uninitiated, and it suffers from a “strange” name. Irene Gutteridge, producer of The Next 25 Years and a Feldenkrais practitioner in British Columbia, Canada, is trying to make it more accessible and bring more recognition to the method. If Baby Liv’s video is any indication, she may succeed. It’s been on YouTube for just over two weeks and already has over 10,000 views. We’ll be keeping our eye on this project - maybe she can take on Pilates next?
The Pilates community was saddened by last week’s news that Kathleen Stanford Grant passed away at age 89. A dancer, choreographer and protege of Joseph Pilates, Kathy taught the Pilates Method for more than 50 years, most recently at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Here is a touching portrait of this influential teacher from her longtime friend and fellow first-generation teacher, Lolita San Miguel.
By Lolita San Miguel
There are certain relationships one makes which quickly and deeply evolve to form the unbreakable bond of true friendship that neither time, nor the distancing that personal or professional commitments usually cause, can ever shatter.
Kathleen Stanford Grant and I had that type of friendship for 52 years. We would see each other after not communicating for months and pick up as if we had just seen each other the day before.
I first met Kathy when in 1958 I suffered an injury, and upon the advice of Dr. Henry Jordan, a renowned doctor who treated injured dancers, I went to Carola Trier for rehabilitation. Kathy and Romana Kryzanowska were Carola’s assistants at the time. Kathy was a thin, muscular, ex-modern dancer with short-cropped red hair, freckles, polite and disciplined and already had that wonderful “eye” for corrections. My sessions were in the early afternoon, which coincided with Kathy’s shift.
Kathy and I had two additional strong bonds: dance and being very proud of our heritages. The 1960s and ‘70s were passionate years of change, and we both felt a responsibility to give to our people, she to the African-American community through Dance Theater of Harlem and her husband’s Broadway projects as a producer, and I to the Hispanic community in New York through the Puerto Rican Dance Theater and other Hispanic activities. Our training and background and the talent and privileges we had received gave us a strong social conscience. So these two “kindred spirits” became friends instantly and often we socialized and went to dinner with our husbands.
It was Kathy who gave me one of the biggest surprises of my life one day while we were talking in front of Carola’s studio at 200 West 58th Street in Manhattan. After many years as Carola’s client, I had decided to train as a Pilates instructor and possibly open my own studio and was about to finish my 6-month, 520-hour apprenticeship with Carola. I expressed my concerns to Kathy, however, for I didn’t feel ready to open my own studio and told her that I would just integrate Pilates into my ballet teaching.
Kathy casually said, “Why don’t you go to Joe’s?”
“Joe who?” I asked back.
“Joseph Pilates,” Kathy said.
By Michelle Fama
A career in Pilates can take you just about anywhere, including the set of a cutting-edge reality series. Instructor Michelle Fama, owner of Core Pilates NYC, was recently offered the opportunity to train the cast of If I Can Dream, a new reality show that streams live online 24/7. Here’s her behind-the-scenes look at working on a show that doesn’t really have a “behind-the-scenes.”
My suck into the Hoover-vac of reality TV began early. First there was my “Survivor,” Season 1 finale party where guests casted their votes next to a lit tiki torch outside my Brooklyn brownstone apartment. I shed tears for Ryan and Trista’s blooming love on “The Bachelorette” and have texted “vote” for my Idol faves more times in a row than I would like to mention. And, who doesn’t cry when they “move that bus” and reveal a new house?
So when I received a call from producers of “If I Can Dream,” a new hybrid TV/Web show from “American Idol” co-creator Simon Fuller, I was ecstatic. The show gives viewers a documentary-like look at what it takes to achieve success in Hollywood. A cast of six young people — two musicians, an actor, two actresses and a model — leave their hometowns and live together in the Hollywood Hills. Their every move is streamed live online by over 60 fixed cameras as they rehearse, write music, socialize, plan their careers…and do Pilates!
How did they find me? They had just outfitted the “Dream” house with a new bamboo Reformer from Root Manufacturing and asked Root to recommend a Pilates instructor that could train the cast and teach them how to properly use and care for the Reformer. Having just furnished my NYC studio with Root equipment, Root recommended me.
The show’s mission is to give these kids opportunities to help them on their journey toward stardom. Producers realized the undeniable benefits Pilates could bring to the cast members’ Hollywood pursuits. It would help them with the voice, acting and modeling auditions that they would be filmed doing. Along with Pilates, the cast gets weekly yoga sessions with a yoga instructor who visits the house.
While I have been scheduled to train the entire cast, I’ve only gotten half of them at any given time since their audition schedules and classes keep them busy. I created their Reformer workouts based on easy-to-retain exercises organized by areas of the body – arms, legs and butt, and core – rather than training them through a classically ordered session. With such a bustling, social household and busy schedules, I needed to deliver quick routines that they could safely do if they worked out solo or in a time pinch. When I train more than one at a time, I take them through a classical mat class as well.
Improving posture and flexibility is aspiring model Giglianne’s goal, while actor Ben wants core strength to improve his gym workouts. Although the cast had never done Pilates before, they were excited to have the chance to see what the hype is all about. Each came with individual requests such as easing tight hamstrings and lower back while carving the core. They are not required to do the workouts, but the workouts kept them interested. They are all sold on Pilates so far!
My biggest challenge is remembering that the cameras are always on. My first day in the house I made a comment about how sloppy 21-year-olds can be after seeing one of their messy bedrooms, and proceeded to blurt out language worthy of a bleep while setting up the Reformer. A friend who was helping me, clueless of the cameras, turned beat red after her how-does-reality-TV-work questions elicited the “It’s confidential – I can’t answer” response.
While I’m pretty sure that a few slips of the tongue and my tough training tactics won’t get me voted out of the house anytime soon, I’m not so sure the cast will like my lecture on Reformer etiquette next time: I just clicked on the live feed from the Laundry Room where they keep the Reformer and noticed that the handles and straps were sloppily dumped on the floor, and someone had placed their guitar on top of the carriage.
Will someone be working out tomorrow at lunchtime? Will the straps still be in the same place? Will you catch me training them? Log on to the Laundry Room cam, and keep me updated by posting comments here. For real-time action on and off the Reformer tune in to ificandream.com or hulu.com for episodes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Fama is the co-founder of Core Pilates NYC and is the NYC chapter head for the United Pilates Collective. Prior to establishing her Pilates brand in 2002 and growing it internationally, Michelle lived and adventured extensively through Africa, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and South America as a journalist and travel writer.
The Growth of Pilates Collectives
How to Run Your Pilates Studio Remotely
New, Eco-Friendly Pilates Equipment from Root Manufacturing
Pilates and the Voice
By Rebekah Rotstein
One in two women and one in four men over 50 are expected to experience a fracture from osteoporosis in their lives. These stats can be a wake-up call to those middle-aged and older. Yet did you know that osteoporosis can occur at any age? We reach our peak bone mass in our early 30s, making prevention of bone loss a relevant topic for younger people as well. May is National Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month—a good time for everyone to pay attention to bone health.
You can help raise awareness on the importance of bone health by starting with your clients. If they’re doing Pilates, they’ve got a great start on a healthy lifestyle, which is key to building and preserving bone strength. Here are my top 5 important tips for bone health:
Our semi-regular rundown of Pilates (and Pilates-related) news from around the web. Enjoy!
- According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, 9 out of 10 rehab specialists recommend Pilates as the best form of exercise for lower back pain. Another great number for the Pilates industry, though we wish we knew where he found that figure. “The most successful programs for back rehabilitation are those that creatively integrate traditional Pilates with props, like big balls, resistance bands, or balance disks,” he writes in the Ask Dr. Oz section of his website.
- Who needs cash when you can barter with Pilates sessions? In this New York Post article, studio owner Elise Chen explains how she beat the sluggish economy by trading for website help and squash lessons for her kids. “One extra person in class is not costing me anyway,” she says. “I can’t say enough good things about the experience.”
- re:AB’s Brooke Siler shared five two-minute body-awareness-raising exercises on SocialWorkout.com.
- Also on SocialWorkout.com: The Beauty of Home Pilates posed the question ‘Can a home gym be pretty?’ and answered it with a collection of lovely home Pilates studios, featuring Pilates-Pro.com’s How to Open a Pilates Business at Home. Thanks SoWo!
- Apparently, May 1 is not only Pilates Day, but also World Fitness Day, newly launched and spearheaded by Jane Fonda.
- Last, but certainly not least, we learned that even rodeo cowboys do Pilates. It makes sense: “You don’t want to get too big and bulky…you want a strong center of balance,” bull-riding champ Austin Meiers told the Billings Gazette. Next time you hear someone call Pilates “girly,” you tell ‘em to take it up with the cowboys!
You can visit RecycleYourMat.com, a site that makes the process simple and easy. Founded in 2008 with a mission to keep yoga mats out of landfills by yoga and nature enthusiast Stephanie Stano, RecycleYourMat.com accepts mats made from any kind of material. First, clean your mat (the site provides ample information on ways to do that). Then you either send it to the company headquarters in Eugene, Oregon, or drop it off if there’s an affiliate center near you. The site allows you to search by zip code to find out if there’s a drop-off spot near where you live. If not, you can always sign your studio up to be a drop-off location for the program. Some studios charge a nominal fee for the service. For more information and details on shipping and recycling, check out RecycleYourMat.com’s FAQ page.
Our semi-regular rundown of Pilates (and Pilates-related) news from around the web. Enjoy!
- Last week, a big number was released for the Pilates industry: 8.6 million, as in people who practiced Pilates in the U.S. in 2009 per the results of The Sporting Goods Manufacturer’s Association annual survey, CNBC reports. The survey also showed that Pilates is the nation’s fastest-growing activity; in the past decade, the popularity of Pilates has exploded and then some. According to the SGMA, the number of Americans doing Pilates has risen by an astronomical 456 percent since the year 2000. For more on SGMA survey findings on other sports and activities, read the full article here.
- New York and Virginia both passed measures mid-March that exempted yoga from state regulation, ending a nearly yearlong fight.
- In case you missed these on our Facebook page or Twitter feed: In the Wall Street Journal’s Why Core Strength Workouts Work, a fitness buff was humbled by the difficulty of “girly” exercise. And there were several mentions of Pilates in At-Home Personal Trainers Become More Affordable, from the New York Times, a report on the economy’s effects on that segment of the fitness industry.
- Exercise-related injuries are on the rise among baby boomers, according to the Mayo Clinic, which provides seven tips to avoid this phenomenon, which they’ve dubbed Boomeritis.
- Here’s a bit on the CoreAlign, the new machine that Balanced Body is introducing to the Pilates market. Montana’s The Missoulian reports on a visit from CoreAlign inventor Jonathan Hoffman to show physical therapists how to use the machine, which is so effective, it just might “exceed” Pilates, he told the paper.
- We really liked this Five Ways to Give Back to Yourself post from Psychology Today. It reminds us of lessons our own Pilates mentor instilled in our training program. The tagline reads: The more you give of yourself, the more you need to give to yourself. A little self-care is never a bad thing!