Getting ready for Spring!
Whisper it softly, but there’s certainly a hint of Spring in the air. It feels a little warmer (at least while the sun is shining!) the days are getting longer and Spring blossom is bursting through. For some of us, that means a welcome return to the garden, to our bikes, or to longer walks in the parks, by the river or further afield. For others – (we’re not sure we put ourselves willingly into this category) – we turn our attention to spring cleaning…!
So, we thought that this week we’d take a look at the importance of healthy knees to help us achieve all of this – read on for more information and a couple of tips.
Before the clocks go forward at the end of this month, why not take advantage of the early morning daylight to join one of our online Mat classes. They’re at 7am on Mondays and Fridays and for those needing slightly longer in bed, on Wednesday, the class is at 7.30am.
It’s great to see everyone enjoying our latest Find Your Flow® themes in our online classes – as a reminder, we’re focused on:
Twist on Mondays
Side-Lift on Wednesdays and
Bridging on Fridays.
Read more about each movement by following the links.
We’re coming towards the end of our Twist themed program in Reformer Plus classes – we hope you are feeling the benefit as much as we are. It’s not too late to enjoy all of the spirals and balance challenges that our Twist theme offers – reserve your place below – and don’t forget, we now have a Reformer Plus class on Saturday mornings at 10am.
Over on Instagram this week, we’re looking at the Swan. It’s a gorgeous movement – read on for more details.
Although she is such a hard act to follow, we are finalising arrangements with two very experienced teachers who will take over from Mia at the beginning of April. We hope to be able to tell you more about them next week and some of you will have an opportunity to meet them in the studio while they familiarise themselves with how you move and how you get the most from your Pilates session each week.
Whatever the coming week holds for you, we hope you enjoy it!
The knee joint is the biggest joint in our body and helps us sit, stand, walk, run, lift and, of course, kneel. We’re constantly putting our knees under pressure, which can lead to injuries, including those associated simply with wear and tear as we get older.
To enjoy day to day activities, whether we’re rowing the Atlantic, running a marathon or weeding in the garden, we need to strengthen the muscles surrounding our knees, to reduce the stress and strain on the knee joints, and to help keep them stable and moving in the way that they should.
Fortunately, lots of Pilates movements are aimed at strengthening and lengthening muscles in our legs and balancing the load between all of the big muscles groups in our legs (our calf muscles, quadriceps (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), IT band (outside of thigh) adductors (inside of thigh) or glutes (bottom), so that none of these big muscles is over- or under-working and pulling our knees (or pelvis) out of alignment, causing pain in the joints.
Movements like straight and side leg raises, squats, lunges, step-up and hamstring curls (many of which will be incorporated in some format) into your regular Pilates sessions, are really good exercises for muscles supporting your knee joint. If you’d like to incorporate some of these into your routine at home, have a word with your teacher and they’ll advise you which may be best for your body.
If you have any questions about the muscle groups you’re using, or cues you may not fully understand, please ask your teacher. You’re probably not alone, so it will help us all improve our understanding!
To find out more, book a place in one of our classes below.
All Things Pilates Community Corner!
This week on Instagram we’re show-casing the Swan (or Cobra). This is such a lovely movement, focused on improving spinal mobility and strengthening the muscles in our back, as well as opening up the front of our hips, shoulders and chest.
It can be challenging if we have less mobility in our thoracic (upper) spine, which is not uncommon as we tend to under-use that part of our spine, loading the lumbar (lower) spine instead. Adele is demonstrating a number of variations for those with more or less mobility. If the Swan is beyond your reach right now, or causes pain in your lower back, ask your teacher what movements you might focus on to free up your thoracic spine to help you get there – then make it your goal and try again in a couple of months!
Take a look here – and if you like, send us a video or photo of your Swan – we’d love to see how you’re getting on with it!
Stay safe, stay well and enjoy your time at All Things Pilates!
Gemma and the All Things Pilates team