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Maintaining the best results requires knowledge and expertise. Our athletes train and so do we, through our professional development program. Meaning that when a practitioner the treats you, they have the most advanced injury care knowledge. Read about what our practitioners are thinking in the injury blogs below.
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These days it seems there are a lot of trends in the fitness industry. Spin classes, Yoga, Crossfit, Pilates. It can all be a little overwhelming. But it can also be difficult to know what is going to benefit your health, and what is just a fad.
Pilates has always been the go-to exercise choice for physiotherapists and health-care practitioners alike. It is safe, challenging and an enjoyable way to restore strength and alignment through the body. It is also one of few exercise programs that can be easily applied to a variety of ages and abilities. But did you know there are different kinds of Pilates?
If you have been to the clinic before, no doubt you would have seen or experienced the clinical Pilates program. Designed for its rehabilitative purposes, clinical Pilates is personalised and tailored to an individual, depending on their specific needs and the nature of their injury. You would generally consult with your physiotherapist before commencing, and would then undertake a 4-5 week program depending on your goals and the severity of your ailment.
But what happens after clinical Pilates? Or what if you are not injured, or your ailment is not restricting you in day-to-day activities? That is where Dynamic Pilates enters.
Dynamic Pilates is a fitness based program, which looks to strengthen, tone and stretch the muscles of the body. Classes involve both body weight and resistance based exercises, which is highly effective in reducing muscular imbalances and improving general posture. It is the perfect program for those looking to challenge their bodies, without risk of further injury.
Classes are taught using both reformer and mat based exercises. Each class will incorporate exercises designed to strengthen generally weaker muscle groups, such as glutes, and release generally restricted muscle groups, such as hip flexors. Classes are also a fantastic way to cross-train, when combining with another sport or exercise program.
Dynamic Pilates is the perfect compliment to your current exercise schedule. From the athlete to the weekend warrior, and everything in between, Dynamic Pilates can cater to a variety of ages and abilities. If you are looking to improve your strength, flexibility and posture, we have the program for you.
For further information please contact the clinic.
Beginning a new exercise program can be overwhelming. There is so much choice and variety, but not a lot of information about different programs and what works for different bodies.
Crossfit, yoga, spin class, body pump- just to name a few. What’s a fad, and what will actually benefit your body?
How is Pilates different to the rest?
Pilates is a series of controlled, isolated movements that looks to lengthen and strengthen the muscles of the body. Pilates typically focuses on your ‘core’ abdominals. Your core is not just your ‘6 pack’ it’s the muscles that attach to the trunk of the body (your spine and pelvis) and includes abdominals, glutes and erector spinae (back) muscles.
The idea is to strengthen these trunk muscles to improve your posture and mobility so that your limbs move more effectively.
In a gym setting, you would typically work your global muscles (like quadriceps in your legs) or deltoids (in your shoulders). While this is great strength training, in terms of improving posture and spinal mobility, we need to focus on the intrinsic muscles- which is where Pilates is better.
Pilates is also one of the only forms of exercise that compliments other training. For example if you are a runner, you could combine Pilates training to assist with recovery and to strengthen your gluteal (bum) muscles, which will improve your running. This principle can then also be applied to a variety of other sports or activities
In fact, studies have shown that for those who attended two 45 minute Pilates training sessions a week - after 8 weeks their flexibility and lumbo-pelvic stability had improved significantly. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Asian J Sports Med 2011)
Pilates exercises are also easily adapted to a variety of levels and capabilities. Pilates can be safely performed pre and post pregnancy and post surgery (clinical Pilates). As well as this, Pilates is supervised by a trained practitioner, meaning you know you are performing each exercise safely - something that lacks in a typical gym setting.
A concern from many clients is that they believe they aren’t flexible and can’t do Pilates. But that is exactly why we come to Pilates, to increase our flexibility and to improve our posture. You don’t need to be flexible or strong to start, you just need to have the desire to improve.
If you have a pre existing injury, we recommend you chat to your practitioner before commencing a Pilates program, because in that instance clinical may be more beneficial to you (clinical is supervised by a physio and is rehabilitation based).
Your first Pilates Fit class is free, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!
The Benefits of Early Morning Exercise
Who doesn’t love the idea of being an early riser? You’re up before sunrise, into the clinic, Pilates class done, and then home in time for a quick shower and breakfast before work.
But when the alarm goes off at 5.30am, there’s easy temptation to stay under the doona. So how can you motivate yourself to get up and going before the crack of dawn? Is there any additional benefit to exercise in the morning, as opposed to late evening after work? If you’re looking to decrease stress, increase quality of sleep and boost your energy levels then read on.
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. But we don’t often associate the connection between exercise and sleep behaviours. A study in the US from Appalachian State University found participants who exercised early in the morning had increased levels of mental alertness and felt more energised than their evening counterparts. The same study looked at participant’s sleeping patterns. It found participants who exercised regularly at 7am or earlier, reduced their blood pressure by an average of 10% which carried through the remainder of the day. They also had an average 25% dip in blood pressure at night, slept longer and had better quality sleep cycles than those participants who exercised later in the day. Morning movers are also at an advantage over their evening counterparts as some forms of high intensity exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime is known to disrupt sleep. Simply said, the early risers were more energised during the day, and slept better at night.
One of the most important benefits of exercise, is the role it plays with our Endocrine (Hormonal) System. Our Endocrine system is responsible for the regulation of stress hormones, appetite control and immune function. The primary hormone responsible for stress is cortisol. Cortisol is secreted from the adrenal gland and is known for increasing heart rate & blood pressure, storing fat, increasing appetite, breaking down muscle tissue and suppressing immune function. We can’t always remove the factors that cause stress, but we can control how we respond to these triggers. It’s commonly known that exercise increases our endorphins. Endorphins are released from the pituitary gland and are commonly known as that ‘rush’ of energy and satisfaction post exercise. The effect of endorphins can counteract the effects of cortisol, by decreasing appetite, and reducing tension & anxiety. Endorphins also interact with the receptors in our brain that control our perception of pain, which is why exercise is known to improve our moods. Making time for exercise in the morning, means we feel these benefits throughout the day, when we need them most.
Morning exercises are also at a greater advantage as testosterone levels are typically higher in the morning than they are in the evening. Testosterone is essential for optimal bone health, as well as being responsible for muscle growth and health. Exercising in the morning means you are using this natural fluctuation of testosterone to your advantage.
As we move past holidays and summer social events, setting goals for the year ahead becomes more crucial. We are often setting intentions to improve our physical and mental health, without the proper commitment or motivation to ensure these goals are met. Making time for a morning workout means you are setting aside time at the start of your day, ensuring that the rest of your day is free for other responsibilities. With any goal, consistency is key. Why not set yourself a new goal for the year, and see why the early birds really do get the worm!