Happy New Year. I wish you a healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2020
I hope you weren't hoping for a galvanising Call To Arms in this letter. I'm not quite up to that yet. This Gif seems strangely apposite: forging forwards, happy and sad, on the up with a few downs.
However, the lights are still shining bright and colourful and the weather is being kind to us which always helps at this time of year.
NEW YEAR NEWS
CLASS CHANGES AT MEANWOOD
Still Thursdays, Still Meanwood Institute. The times have changed:
The Beginners class is at 7.30 pm
The Improvers class is at 6.30 pm
Not news really, just a reminder if you work in town or you are passing through
I'm at Liquorist on Greek Street each Tuesday lunchtime at 1.15 pm For booking and more info click here
This is one for those of you who get nagging buttock pain or maybe a touch of sciatic pain or who have been told to stretch Piriformis and it hasn't helped. This is an alternative approach that can really help some people.
JANUARY BLOG POST:
A PELVIC FLOOR STORY: THE HIDDEN WORLD THAT DESERVES THE LIMELIGHT
It is an area of the human body which can very often fail to work optimally, causing practical, physical and subsequently emotional problems
It is affected by weakness elsewhere, constipation, increasing age, dysfunctional breathing, surgery, childbirth, Menopause, certain medication
This article is outlining a few facts that you might not know about this important part of our bodies.
READER'S QUESTION: What is the best exercise for toning the bottom?
I get asked this one a lot and my answer is, for most people most of the time: Glute Bridge. The name comes from the big muscles of the bottom: The Gluteals or Glutes for short. It is the exercise that most people can have a go at and you actually feel the the gluteals working. It can be modified to make it much harder - One Leg Glute Bridge and modified to involve different bits of the buttock muscles - Wide Leg Glute Bridge. It can also be modified to make it easier - Glute bridge with your legs against a wall.
(All of this is covered in the YouTube clip below)
All of the Pilates Swimming Exercises work the Buttocks but be careful: make sure that you don't use your lower back to substitute for the buttocks, Keep your Pelvis neutral throughout
Squats and Lunges also work but mostly in the end range - when you have come up from squatting down, back to standing. This is the same principle as with Glute Bridge really - you feel the glutes working when you are fully straightened out with your body in the air. With Squats you can add weight - this the The Deadlift. Without extra weight the squat still works and is a brilliant antidote to lots of sitting down. Make sure you stand up fully without swaying back into your spine. Go slow, and watch your breath. Breathe in to go down, breathe out to come back up again.
Oh, and one other thing, watch that your knees don't roll in when you squat down. Keep them in line with your toes and feel that you control that from your buttocks.
All of these exercises are fantastic because they have other benefits too, not least, working the backs of the legs and stretching the front of the hips.
PILATES FOR EVERYDAY LIFE (if you drive a car that is....)
Reversing a car is never the easiest thing to do but is extra specially tricky when you feel limited by your ability to rotate the neck to see behind you.
Try this: before you turn your head, make sure that you rotate through your trunk first. Use the big strong back muscles to send your body around and then finish off by turning your neck.
Even if you already do this (helped by your left arm on the seat behind you), chances are you could turn a little bit more. Take it slowly and carefully.
Better still: take a breath in and turn around whilst you breathe out. That will help you even more.