Pilates Classes – Side Twist

Today I’m going to introduce you a piece which I like to teach in my Pilates classes, called the Side Twist. I like this Pilates mat exercise because there aren’t many exercises that involves spinal rotation in mat Pilates, hence this gives balance to a mat Pilates workout. In addition, it is a challenging exercise which includes a large number of muscles in the different parts of this movement.

Tips when doing the Side Twist in Pilates classes

1. Press the support arm into the Pilates mat to reach your weight back towards the legs.

2. Think about lifting and rotating the pelvis up then rotating the lowering the pelvis back down.

3. Rotate the ribcage more to reach the arms when up.

4. Keep the pelvis high up to allow for more rotation.

5. Keep the legs straight to allow stretch to the back and outside of the standing leg.

Why rotate in Pilates classes?

With the massive usage of computers at work, a normal working person could be facing one direction for hours. This means the spine does not get any other movement other than bending forward to look at the screen closely. Hence rotating from side to side gives the spine another direction of movement. In Pilates classes, most teachers emphasize on doing the exercises equally on both sides and so this will allow both sides to be equally flexible. A very effective way of increasing flexibility is when you are in a ‘closed loop’ when exercising, which allows you to be at your end-range of movement and this exercise allows that.

There are also another group of people who needs this; those who love sports such as golf or tennis. They may be fanatics who play more than once a week and these sports involve a lot of rotation or twisting. Since these sports are typically power driven, it is easy to get injured if you over-exert yourself without being flexible or good in rotating. It is more crucial to have a good range in rotation than a pair of strong arms when generating power on the ball hence I highly recommend this piece!

What if I don’t do the Side Twist in Pilates classes?

Well you can do other mat Pilates exercises that are similar such as the Saw, Spine Twist, Criss Cross and Corkscrew. However I personally feel there are a whole lot of Pilates exercises that involves twisting the body if you are not restricted to just the Pilates mat workout. There are many Pilates equipment such as the Pilates reformer, Pilates chair, Cadillac, Spine corrector or even the signature Towelwork and Floorwork from Fletcher Pilates. There is so much more out there so don’t miss them!

After watching this video, please comment on your experience of this piece in your Pilates classes.


Pilates Class – Side Bend

This Pilates video shows a Pilates Mat exercise that I love to teach in a Pilates class. There are not many mat Pilates piece that works on our sides and this piece stretches as well as strengthens our sides. Compared to the other side exercises in mat Pilates such as the Side Kick and Side Kick Kneeling, the Side bend is a more difficult piece. This is especially in terms of stabilization to our trunk and the fact that only a feet and arm supports the body. However this is extremely effective!

Strengthen & Stretch your sides in a Pilates Class!

The Side Bend gives you a great opportunity to target your Obliques (Side Abdominal muscles) and transverse abdominis (Deep Abdominal muscles) which are a favourite with people who love the idea of a slim waist! I agree that this is a good exercise to include in your Pilates workout or Pilates class if that is your goal. However there are more benefits than just that. The muscles of our shoulders and back that are responsible for abducting our shoulders and depressing & abducting our shoulder blades are all working here (This includes at least 5 different muscles). I always say if you do not have much time to exercise every day, practise Pilates for the simple reason: You work many body parts in an hour of Pilates class.

Few pieces with arm work in mat Pilates Class

I often get questions by my clients who does mat Pilates Class regularly if there were more arm work or why they were not getting much arm exercises. Well the first reason has got to be there is not many in the first place. Even there were pieces with arm work, they were all more advanced and may not be done all at the same time for a class with Pilates beginners. Many new students struggle coping with exercises which required them to have their hand on the floor. Probably most people do not have much upper body strength? I’m not sure if it is due to our culture in Singapore, but many struggle with exercises that involve a fair amount of arm strength. I often joked with my female clients that they did not have to do housework since they employed maids. So no sweeping, mopping, cleaning chore with the arms. Some of them agreed! On the other hand I feel it is because many people do not want bulky arms and they associate that with arm work. However having a competent arm and shoulder is necessary to enjoy the benefits of an exercise like the Side Bend. I personally feel having a balanced and toned body is important but not to the extend that we potentially hurt ourselves during fatigue.

Things to note for this piece in a Pilates Class

In a Pilates class, Think about creating an arc from the head to the foot on the floor by pressing the support hand and foot against the ground as this helps to stretch the side that is facing the ceiling. Be careful not to go into a hyper-extension of the elbow for the support arm. The lowering of the trunk is not a drop but a controlled lowering. Think of yourself as a piece of bread in a toaster slot, where your whole side is in line and not deviated from centre.


Enjoy this Pilates video and share with us your experience practising this piece!



Learning Pilates For Beginners

Pilates has become a very popular word and if you ask many people what Pilates is all about, a common answer would be “Its like Yoga”. Now that you know the word “Pilates”, it is time to understand it. To do that, here is the 3 most important steps.

1. READ about Pilates.

2. WATCH Pilates videos.

3. PRACTISE Pilates.

I’m committed to getting you to take these 3 steps in this website! This article is part of your 1st step. Enjoy the read!


Pilates is not new, in fact it’s been around for decades, but it’s become one of the fastest growing fitness programs and is popular across a wide populace. Athletes, movie stars, seniors, and everyone in between, have all learned the advantages that Pilates can bring to their workout and fitness routines.

Pilates workout involves the precise, controlled movement of muscles through a series of exercises designed to lengthen, strengthen and tone the body. These Pilates exercises target core muscles such as the abs, hip flexors and lower back, but the effects of Pilates are a whole body experience. Pilates not only shapes and tones the body, it brings balance and harmony as well.

Because of its ease of use and adaptability, Pilates is an ideal exercise method for many people. The Pilates method can easily be modified to suit individual needs and is ideal not only for fitness, but rehabilitating after an injury. There are many wonderful exercise videos and Pilates DVDs on the market, these can help the beginner get off to a solid start.

There are 6 basic Pilates principles:

Breathing – proper breathing is important in Pilates as in all exercise programs.

Centering – all Pilates movements are centered on your core muscles.

Concentration – every movement should be deliberate, focused and controlled.

Control – correct form and muscle control are essential to effective Pilates training.

Precision – with practice, every movement will become precise and controlled.

Flow – movements should flow smoothly from one exercise to the next without stopping.

Pilates puts much emphasis on core strength and flexibility. The results of Pilates can be profound, resulting in a body that is not only strong, but balanced and able to move freely. It can be a refreshing discovery for anyone who has not found success with other fitness methods.

Pilates for beginners is often helped by watching a Pilates DVD or Pilates video, it’s essential to learn the proper form, concentration and movement if you want to maximize your Pilates workout. To get started a Pilates mat and fitness DVDs will get you headed down the path to whole body fitness and toning.

Some of the Pilates techniques will require time to master; don’t expect to gain proficiency overnight. Take your time, concentrate on form and with experience you’ll gain mastery as well as a strong, lean body.

When looking for the most effective exercise program Pilates wins hands down. If you’re new to Pilates be sure to visit our Pilates for Beginners section to get you off to a solid start. You’ll soon be the envy of all your friends when the amazing results of Pilates is revealed in your new tight and toned body.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=D_Hofman

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4596711

I feel this article is helpful to people who do not know anything about Pilates. I would love to hear your feedback on this article, so please comment below to share your opinion and experiences.


Pilates for Beginners – Double Leg Stretch

This Pilates mat exercise helps you to work your deep abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis. As promised, we will be looking at a few abdominal exercises in these few Pilates videos. It is suitable for Pilates beginners so I recommend that you include this when practising Pilates at home. Enjoy your Pilates workout and reap the benefits of Pilates! And if you like this video, recommend all your friends to watch our videos!


Pilates for Beginners – Single Leg Stretch

This Pilates video introduces you one of the Pilates mat exercises that can help you get flat abdominals. I think together with the next 4 abdominal exercises from the mat Pilates, you are going to get a really well-toned abdominals if you practise these 5 pilates mat exercises EVERYDAY!


5 Great Pilates Exercises for Shoulder Pain Relief

Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?5-Great-Pilates-Exercises-for-Shoulder-Pain-Relief&id=6154885

My Thoughts:
I think its really common to experience shoulder pain since most people have to work in front of a desktop or laptop for many hours a day. We all know that we have to do something about it and I thought this is an article that can save your search for “How?”. Fortunately we have Pilates exercise that can help you with it so lets all do it together!

If you are experiencing shoulder pain as a result of sports injuries, car accident, frozen shoulder impingement, lifting or any other activity, pilates can help ease the pain and inflammation. There are several exercises you can do, both at home and at your work desk. These are safe to do daily. In fact, you are encouraged to do them at a 2 hour interval.

Here are some pilates pain relief shoulder exercises. They are simple to do and can be done virtually anywhere, even while sitting at your desk at work.

Shoulder Rolls Simply roll your shoulders upwards and backwards away from your ears for 5 to10 repetitions; repeat the process in a forward motion. Movements should be performed slowly and in a controlled manner for shoulder relief.

Neck Rotation You can do the same with your neck by rotating your neck one way, in a clockwise direction. Repeat in anti-clockwise direction. This exercise releases tension at the neck and shoulders and improves blood circulation.

Arms Circle Back Stand facing front or seated. Lift both arms upward slowly, palms facing the ceiling. Reach up towards the ceiling, keeping shoulders away from your ears. Turn palms outwards when the arms are extended fully and start to bring the arms down slowly behind you. You should feel your chest widen as your shoulder blades draw backwards. Do the exercises as if you are in a sphere feeling the wall around you. Repeat 5-10 times.

Overhead Back Shoulder Stretch Bring both arms up over your head. Use your right hand to grasp your left wrist. As you inhale, prepare to extend backwards. Exhale open and lift chest out and up. Hold the stretch for about 10 seconds and repeat 3-5 times. Repeat the same with change in the wrist hold. This is an especially good exercise if you suffer from stiff neck and shoulder pain.

Elbow Circle Backwards Bend both your arms as you take your fingers to your shoulder. Keep your elbows bend as you circle them backwards. Squeeze shoulder blades backwards together as the elbows move upwards and backwards. Keep chest open and wide all the time. This exercise restores functionality and mobility to tight shoulders. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Take the exercises in your stride. Do not try doing too much at once; it may actually aggravate your tight / sore muscles further. There are a number of other pilates exercises you can do for shoulder release that are great for beginners.

Learn these simple pilates shoulder pain relief exercises that will ease pain and inflammation. As you get better and stronger, you can work under a certified Pilates instructor for more challenging program to gain more muscular strength and endurance for improving shoulder joint stability. Do not stop your pilates shoulder pain relief exercises as you get better. You will want to make it part of your lifestyle activity.

Shoulder pain can keep you from enjoying daily activities like hiking, golf, playing with your children or grandchildren, and even simple things like getting in and out of your car. By doing these pilates shoulder pain exercises you can strengthen your shoulder muscles and joints and start to enjoy the simple things in life again.


Mat Pilates – The classical version

This is the perfect time to see this video because we are showing our very own mat Pilates video at this time for our Pilates beginners! The classical mat Pilates being performed from start to finish. What I love about this video is the flow and continuous movement you see from that guy. I think the in-between of each pilates mat exercises is just as important as the mat exercises itself. Enjoy the video!