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Experience Pilates’ blog can be considered as a virtual store of everything Pilates!  We have lots of information about Pilates and how it can benefit your life.

There are post for my class participants – including video homework, weekly news letters and offers just for them!

My private clients also have access to many forms of information – some specific to them and their reasons for coming to Pilates.

Pages for my Private clients and class participants are password protected – so only you have access!  If you ever forget your password, let me know and I will email it to you,  It’s that simple!

However,  most of the blog is accessible to everyone and is FREE. Use the ‘search’ box at the top of the page to find what you are looking for, or use the categories or ‘tag cloud’.

Happy reading and let me know what you think!

Yours in health

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Well, we could write a whole thesis on it, but below is an outline of what it is, what it does and where it is!

The pelvic floor consists of layers of muscles which stretch like a supportive hammock from the pubic bone at the front to the back of coccyx.

During pregnancy you may find that your leak urine when you cough or strain. This is know as stress incontinence of urine and it can continue after pregnancy.

By performing pelvic floor exercises you strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and this helps reduce or avoid this problem after pregnancy.  it si also important to do then even if you are young and not suffering from stress incontinence now.

You will also need to pracrise tightening up the pelvic floor before and during coughing and sneezing.

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One piece of advice that is regularly given by nearly all health care professionals is to “do your pelvic floor exercises”.

Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor which are placed under great strain during pregnancy and childbirth.  However due to the effects of the hormone relaxin combined with the weight of baby means these muscles need as much help as possible to maintain support and continence. It is essential to exercise them regularly.

These exercises can be done any time, any place, anywhere but always with the spine in an upright position – not slumped, like on the sofa! Nobody should be able to tell if you are doing them except maybe a lifting of the eyebrows!

Here are two to help your practice:

Slow exercise
This exercise strengthens the pelvic floor muscles.

Draw the two sides of the pelvic floor in towards the centre and wrap around the front passage as if to stop yourself having a wee. Lift up inside and hold for a few seconds, continuing to breathe, then release with control.
If you find there is nothing left to release and the contraction has been lost you’ve probably held it for too long. Start with just a couple of seconds and only progress when you can lower confidently without letting it drop. This is just the same as doing a biceps curl with a weight in your hand – you need to control both phases of the movement – the pelvic floor is no different!
 Gradually build up to a longer hold. Remember to keep breathing throughout and adopt an upright position.

 

Quick Exercise
This exercise will help prevent any embarrassing leaks when you cough, sneeze, laugh or lift something heavy.
Stand or sit in an upright position as before. Tighten and lift the pelvic floor in one quick contraction and release immediately Snatch the snatch! Pause before repeating four times.

NB: Aim to make your fourth repetition as strong and quick as the first. You may find this difficult to do initially but stick with it and monitor your own progress. It’s never to late to start but once you do it should be an exercise for life!

And yet another way!

Close up your back passage as if trying to prevent a bowel movement.  At the same time, draw in your vagina as if you were gripping a tampon, and your urethra as if to stop the flow of wee.  Do these both quickly – tightening and releases the muscles straight away, and slowly – holding the contractions for as long as you can before you relax.  Try to count to 10.

Try to do three sets of eight squeezes every day.  To help you remember, you could do them once at each meal time.

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Joseph Pilates was certainly ahead of his time; indeed he predicted the very same thing…

“I’m 50 years ahead of my time”! Joseph Pilates

The simple answer is because it works!

NHS and private facilities all over the UK (and the world), advocate Pilates method of rehabilitation.  Lots of Pilates practitioners have many very satisfied clients who have benefited from Pilates.  They find the moves easy to do, though the breathing can take a while to master, but it is worth it in the end.

But, before you think about doing moves with very strange names (such as, Crab, the One Hundred or the Boomerang), it is essential you get the basics under your belt.

Below are a few moves to get you started:

In sitting

Neutral Spine (Sitting tall)

We tend to sit for hours at a time – either in the car, at a desk or on the settee at home.  All of which can alter our posture. 

Try this easy to do move that will start to lengthen your spine:

  • Find a good supportive chair (or an exercise ball if you have one).
  • Sit tall on the sitting bones of your pelvis (the bony points of your bottom).
  • Slowly draw in your navel to your spine (as though you had a pair of trousers or a skirt that was a little too tight.
  • Hold this contraction for 5 seconds (keep breathing), then slowly release
  • Repeat three times a day, aiming to hold your abdominals in for longer each practice.

The idea is that you are able to hold your tummy in for a considerable amount of time.

Angel Arms

This helps improve your posture, open your chest and gives you room to breathe!

  • In sitting (as above), slowly take both arms out to the side of your body, and float the arms up to the ceiling.
  • Allow them to float back to the sides of your body
  • Aim to keep the shoulder blades down and relaxed.
    • Repeat 10 times


Dumb Waiter:

Another one perfect if you sit for long periods of time or work on a computer:

  • Keep your elbows close to your ribs and squeeze your shoulder blades together (this will allow your arms to move out inline with your body.
  • Release and bring your arms back in front of your body.
    • Repeat 10 times

None of these exercises should be painful or make any existing condition worse.  They are aimed at improving joint function, mobility and stability.  If any of the movements feel uncomfortable or cause you pain, STOP and contact an appropriately qualified health professional.

For the full effect of Pilates it is highly recommend you either join a suitable group or take part in private Pilates sessions.

 

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