Let's Talk About Abs-Part 3: Rectus Abdominus

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Let's Talk About Abs-Part 3: Rectus Abdominus

The 6-pack.  Never before has a muscle struck such terror, horror, and joy into the hearts of people.  This area is by far the most requested muscle group I get from clients who are wanting to search, find, and conquer their midsection!  So how do we attain such slimming, toning success?  Let's take a look at what the rectus abdominus is and how we can find and conquer!

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Let's Talk About Abs-Part 2: Obliques

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Let's Talk About Abs-Part 2: Obliques

The obliques are vital for more reasons than just side bending.  These fellas are here for our stabilizing enjoyment.  They are some of the key reinforcers for core stability.  They support our spine and lower back, preventing sports/exercise-related injuries, back pain, and postural problems.

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Glutes, Biceps, and Babies

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Glutes, Biceps, and Babies

Last week we heard from Jessica, this week we hear from the other half of the pie.  Alicia Lavender gets reals as she opens up about her favorite exercises that get quick results, how Pilates helped her through her pregnancy, and why she's hooked on Pilates for good. 

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Good Nutrition: The Power Is In Your Hands

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Good Nutrition: The Power Is In Your Hands

This week nutritionist and Pilates studio owner, Jessica Hope Restrepo, owner of TONE Pilates and Wellness Studio in Astoria, NY, lets us in on some secrets about nutrition and losing weight!  She has been advising and training men and women in both NYC and LA for many years now and is known for getting results.  So what has her experience and training taught her?  Let's check it out!

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Trying to keep it together... Part 1

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Trying to keep it together... Part 1

Stress.  It affects us all.  In fact, it is so common to our everyday life that it seems to be our new norm.  Besides a headache or sore neck and shoulders what's the big deal if I have stress in my life?  Well actually, long-term, low-grade stress can lead to serious health problems.

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Three Exercises To Combat Back Pain

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Three Exercises To Combat Back Pain

One half of all working Americans admit to experiencing back pain every year.  It is the single most common reasons for missed work and is the second most common reason for visiting the doctor's office.  This week we take a look at three exercises that are going to combat that pain!

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What's so great about Chia Seeds?

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What's so great about Chia Seeds?

Looking for a food packed with a punch?  Then you’re looking for chia seeds.  Many consider those babies to be the richest plant-based source of dietary fiber, protein, and Omega-3’s.  In one tablespoon, you get six grams of fiber, three grams of protein, and 2.9 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about!  Chia seeds are from a flowering plant in the mint family, originating in central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, used for centuries as a staple, energy-giving food.  How can we use these seeds?  Chia can be added to snacks, muffins, salads, drinks (check out kombucha and chia seeds!!), you name it!  Today I leave you with a killer recipe for a chia seed pudding!!  This recipe is DELICIOUS!!  This is a fab start to the day or for an energy boosting snack.  Check it out!!

 

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis for Food Network Magazine

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis for Food Network Magazine

Ingredients
1 cup vanilla-flavored unsweetened almond milk
1 cup plain low-fat (2 percent) Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably grade B)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Kosher salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 pint strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (pecans are also delicious)

Directions
In a medium bowl, gently whisk the almond milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, the vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon salt until just blended. Whisk in the chia seeds; let stand 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the seeds if they have settled. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, in a medium bowl, toss the berries with the almonds.

Spoon the pudding into 4 bowls or glasses; mound the berry mixture on top and serve.

Photograph by Kana Okada
 

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Best Killer Pilates Ab Workout-Part 1

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Best Killer Pilates Ab Workout-Part 1

Hey ladies and gents!  Summer is hear and boy oh boy is it time to hit those abs until there is nothing left but sculpted awesomeness.  Get ready to hit it hard.  This ab workout was designed as a quick five minute workout that will fit in with everyone's busy schedule.  If you are new to Pilates build up to doing this workout three times per week, doing as much of the workout as you can while still keeping your lower back from lifting off the floor, keeping pelvis still, and keeping that ribcage closed into a corset!  If you are a Pilates-extraodinaire then rock this bad boy 3-4 times/wk.  Always remember to be safe and smart when working out at home!  If it feels like it's breaking...well friends, it probably is.  If you feel pain, every movement should get smaller, rest, concentrate on engaging those abdominals stronger and with more focus, then continue with the exercise.  Alright kids!  Let's get 'er done!!

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Why Pilates?

Joseph Pilates

Pilates is a sweet exercise discipline that was created in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates.  During World War I, he was interned as an "alien national" with other German nationals in England.  It was here that Joe began to work with other internees in a strengthening discipline that not only toned the body but the mind as well.  He began to work with bedridden patients, attaching springs and bars to their hospital beds, an innovation that led to his later equipment designs.  It was during this time that a huge influenza epidemic devastated England, killing thousands, however not one of Joe's clients perished due to what Joe believed were his new techniques.  After the war, he moved to NYC with his wife Clara, and that is where they began to teach what is now known today as Pilates.

So what's happened since then? Well the secret of Pilates is out and it has swept the world.  Today over 8.6 million people do Pilates, which is a 450% increase since 2010, making it the fastest growing activity in the United States (Rovell 2010).  And the numbers are expected to continue to climb!  People are hot for Pilates!!  And it's no surprise either.  What other workout offers to create a slimmed down, toned version of you in a nonabrasive, balanced manner that teaches you how to be present with your mind as well?  I dare say not many!  And that's why celebrities, athletes, office workers, and stay at home moms alike are flocking to get into a class!  It works!

So are there different styles?  Well today it's original, unadulterated form still exists.  However now a living, adapting version takes over in dominance. You see when Joe was teaching in NYC most of his clientele were professional dancers. Today's population is a little different than that and quite frankly this is a different world with different needs. Being able to pas de chat in ballet class without pain is less relevant than being able to sit without back pain while at work for ten hours at a computer.

Joseph Pilates Star


So this is the approach we are going to take in this blog, using Joe's sweet exercises and adding some love to make it work for today's peeps. Brilliant!  So remember, Pilates  can be different things for you at different stages. It can be something to get you toned and in shape, but it can also be used to rehab injuries.  That's where you come in.  Pilates takes a ton of mental awareness.  Knowing and listening to your body is key to knowing your path.  So if you're looking to tone up those triceps and say, "peace out!" to those love handles then read on my friend!

Joe said it best, "The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious power."  So true Joe.  And that is the lovely power we are going to find!!  We have the power to build our bodies strong and resilient so that we can transform our bodies into cut, hot-lookin' pieces of property, baby!!  So fear not friends!  The "glorious power" is on its way!!!

 

References:

Rovell, D. 2010. Survey: Pilates exploding, darts & billards plummeting. CNBC Sports Business Section (Mar.30).

 

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Hello and Welcome!

Red Springs

Hello and welcome to one sexy Pilates blog.  My name is Annie and I am here to tantalize your taste buds with all that is deemed awesome about Pilates, health, and fitness!  Here are a couple of the topics you can expect from my sweet blog:

Workout tips

Nutrition tips

Pre or post-workout snack ideas

Recipes for healthy smoothies or juices

Most effective Pilates and fitness exercises people can do at home to stay fit and tone!!

Interviews with professionals in the industry

Relaxation techniques

Injury prevention

Stretching techniques


So slap on your spandex and get ready to hit it in 2014!!!!

 

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