Stretches and Strengthening Exercises for Feet and Ankles

I made this video for a client of mine who recently sprained her ankle, and thought I would post it here as well.  It's a great series of exercises to do to strengthen your ankles for dance or sports conditioning, or if you've been wearing too many heels this holiday season!  Because ankle and foot flexibility play a key role in allowing the knee to move in a healthy range of motion, these exercises can also help with knee pain.  I recommend doing this set of exercises daily (if you're a runner or a dancer, do them before you move).

  

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Stretches for Back Pain Relief

Here are a few of my favorite stretches to help alleviate back pain. 

These are not Pilates exercises, but stretches that can be performed 2-3 times a day to help stretch and strengthen your lower back.  If you have back pain that is acute or has not been diagnosed, please check with your doctor before adding in this stretch series.

 

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Keeping Up Your Workout While you Travel

I once had a conversation with a client and I told him that I figured out my body could go three days, four tops without Pilates or I would start to feel some tightening in my SI joint.  His reply to me was, "It sounds like you're addicted.  It's like Pilates is your crack."  I do think my body does go into withdrawal when I don't do Pilates, so whenever I travel, I have a plan.  Here are some simple ways to keep up your workout while you're away from your favorite studio.

1.  Did you see those cool note pads from Pilates Nerd?  It has the classical mat order, power circle, wall, toe work, and space to write more notes!  It's perfect!  I write out my client's workouts on these papers, and it saves time since I only need to fill in reps or modifications for them.  Some of my clients even take a picture with their smart phone so they don't even have to travel with the piece of paper.

2.  Have you made friends with classical Pilates yet?  All you need is a mat and your brain.  You barely need much space at all.  You can even travel with a Power Circle easily to do a Power Circle Mat.  Or what about Reformer on Mat?  This very challenging workout will take your Pilates to a whole new level.  Have  a certified Pilates instructor teach you it before your trip.  If you know the Classical Reformer order, it won't be hard for you to remember how to practice Reformer on the Mat.

3.  Did you know I have workouts here?  All free, all fun, and a great way to take me with you on the road!  They're all listed here.  You can also find the JSP youtube channel here.

4.  Other options that cost money include:  a skype lesson with your teacher, or drop in on a Pilates class where you are traveling.  Find a list of Peak Pilates certified instructors here.

 

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Power Circle Workout

Here's a short workout guaranteed to tone your low belly and inner and outer thighs.  Enjoy!  Want more?  I'm teaching a Power Circle CEC class February 1st.  I'd love to see you there!  It's an open class for Pilates enthusiasts, not just certified teachers.  Why not learn new ways to challenge yourself at home?



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Roller Workout

In Pilates, we don't really have shavasana.  But you can still relax and stretch your body.  Here's a video with a short roller workout to stretch and open your chest and hips.  I promise you'll feel like you just took a nap...well, you'll definitely feel more relaxed then you did when you started!  Enjoy!


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A Warrior's Strength

Lies Within.  If you cannot find your center, you cannot stand tall.  Check out my latest video in honor of Toe Talk's Warrior Chick Sock $2 discount this Monday 12.29.  Enjoy a wonderful sock discount and learn to work your Powerhouse in celebration.


Breathing Video and Discount

Often, my clients ask me how they can breathe in Pilates.  "If I'm pulling my belly in, how do I inhale?"  Watch this short video to learn how to breathe in honor of my toe talk inhale/exhale socks which are $2 off this coming Monday 12.15!

 

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Pilates Series First 5 Exercises

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