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Entries in News/Research (117)

World's Largest Pilates Class


Pilates exerciseIf you’re from Toronto or happen to be in the city this weekend, you can lend your Teaser to an attempt at a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest Pilates class. The event is a joint effort between STOTT PILATES and Can-Fit-Pro, honoring both companies’ anniversaries—20 years for STOTT PILATES, 15 for Can-Fit-Pro.

STOTT PILATES co-founders Lindsay and Moira Merrithew will host the class, which takes place from 5:15 to 6 p.m. on Sat. Aug. 16th at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, Exhibit Hall F, during Can-Fit-Pro’s Consumer Fitness & Wellness Show. The cost is $10 and includes admission to the show. (And if you’re into indoor cycling, you can be part of the attempt at the world’s largest indoor cycling class on Thursday, Aug. 14.) Click here to register.
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STOTT PILATES® photography © Merrithew Corporation
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Posted on Monday, August 11, 2008 at 02:47PM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in | CommentsPost a Comment

Pilates Pro Newsfeed: Bay Area Pilates Meetup

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Attention San Francisco Pilates instructors: In case you haven’t heard, a group of your colleagues is forming a new group called the Bay Area Pilates Collective with the goal of “bringing together Bay Area Pilates studio owners, professionals and aficionados to meet and brainstorm about our profession and vision for the future of the Pilates industry.” Special guests for the first meeting include Marie-Jose Blom, Nora St. John and Elizabeth Larkam, and discussions will entail shaping a voice for the Bay Area Pilates community, scope of practice and the line between employees versus independent contractors. All  area instructors are invited; the event will be held at EHS Pilates Studio (1452 Valencia St.) on Aug. 9 at 5:30 p.m. RSVP: 415-285-5808.

More Pilates-Related News
• Think you have a killer Teaser? If so, you can show off your form (and win an MVe Chair!) in Peak Pilates’ Teaser Photo Contest. The deadline is Sept. 1.

• A Philly Pilates studio is having success with a pilot program for Parkinson’s patients.

• Ana Cabon shares her thoughts about how Pilates can boost fertility on a conceive online podcast.

• A New Zealand Pilates instructor is awarded a grant to develop a training program for Pink Pilates, a program for women recovering from breast cancer.

• New York instructor Rebekah Rotstein is interviewed about practicing Pilates safely with osteoporosis.

• A Cirque du Soliel performer turned Pilates instructor calls Pilates a “life saver.”

• Pilates instructor Claire Roberts discusses how she founded Power of Pilates, a UK business that operates classes in Earley, Reading and Wokingham.

• A dieting blogger gets hooked on Pilates.

• Man with foot fetish assaults New Hampshire Pilates and yoga instructors.
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Pilates Popularity Continues to Climb, Survey Says

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IDEA Health & Fitness AssociationIDEA Health & Fitness Association released results from its 2008 Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey, which polled 214 of its health club owner and exercise program director members. Pilates is offered by a whooping 68 percent of the respondents. Here are some other Pilates-centric findings:

• Average number of mind-body classes per week: 10

• Pilates is offered in 87 percent of YMCAs/YWCAs/JCCs, 72 percent of multipurpose health clubs and 26 percent of personal training gyms.

• 60 percent of those who offer Gyrotonic® or Gyrokinesis® say the trend for them will grow, but only 2 percent of those surveyed offer it.

Here are some broader fitness trends from the survey that could apply to Pilates studios:

• Small group personal training (3-5 people) increased from 44 to 58 percent from last year. (Duets and trios, anyone?)

• Fitness managers see social and community activities, like running clubs and even group cruises, as playing a role in client retention. Sixty-seven percent expect these groups to grow. (Pilates in the park, Pilates at sea—the opportunities are endless.)

• Nutrition coaching and assessment is on the rise. (Partner up with RDs in your area.)

The entire report can be found in the July/Aug issue of IDEA Fitness Journal

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Posted on Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 09:20AM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in | CommentsPost a Comment

Pilates Pro Newsfeed: Pelvic Fitness

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Pelvic fitness
photo: nytimes.com
Top Story:
A new concept in micro-focused spas has come to New York: pelvic fitness. While the idea behind Phit—which stands for “pelvic health integrated techniques”—might sound new (and uncomfortable) to some women, Pilates instructors already know the benefits of getting “in shape from the inside out.” But Dr. Lauri Romanzi’s services go beyond Kegel workouts—the board-certified gynecologist is also offering electrostimulation, nonsurgical labial contouring, vaginal tightening surgery and labiaplasty. I’ll stick with my Seated Legs exercises, thank you very much.


More Pilates-Related News
• Foam roller sales have doubled in the last few years.

• High-end hotels are adding Pilates to their offerings.

• First-generation teacher Ron Fletcher shares his thoughts on Pilates in The Guardian: “The trouble with this work, in general, is that people mistake it for an exercise regimen, and it’s not. It’s an art and it’s a science and it’s a study of movement.”

• A Brooklyn yoga instructor gives new meaning to “phoning it in.”

• An inspiring story about a disabled Pilates instructor

• Peak Pilates’ master trainer Colleen Glenn is profiled as one of Boulder’s “local health pros.
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The Pilates Bookshelf: The Body Has a Mind of Its Own

BodyHasMindofItsOwn.jpgBy Madeline Black
In order to work in a deeper, more expanded way with her clients, Pilates instructor Madeline Black has searched out new ideas and methodologies during her career. This is the third in her series of reviews in which she shares some of the books and resources that have deepened her knowledge and self-practice and have enhanced her teaching beyond Pilates.

The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (Random House, 2007) by Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee is a fascinating and educational book about how we process our experiences through our body. The mother-son science writing team explores the brain’s “body map” and its role in our ability to feel, move, perceive and learn motor skills, as well as how it relates to phenomenons such as phantom limbs, stroke recovery and out-of-body experiences.

The authors explain how the brain works in a way that is scientific yet understandable and entertaining. My favorite part is how they describe the history of the concept of body maps and their importance to the body’s way of learning to move in space and experience the outside world. Read on to see how body maps relate to our work as Pilates instructors.

Posted on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 10:13AM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in , , , | Comments1 Comment

Yoga Documentary Examines the Business of Om

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Yoga, Inc., a documentary by John PhilpEven if you’re not into yoga, you might want to grab an OM-centric friend and check out Yoga, Inc., a documentary about the underbelly of the yoga industry, which is screening in San Francisco, New York and New Jersey this summer. The film, which was written, produced and directed by John Philp, takes an in-depth look at the Americanization of the ancient spiritual practice and interviews some of its major players.

Philp provided Pilates-Pro.com with a review copy, which I eagerly watched with a Pilates instructor friend. We were both struck by the parallels between what’s happening in the Pilates and yoga industries. The explosion in popularity of the two practices in the West has opened the door for capitalism to rear its head in ways that aren’t always consistent with the ideals of either one.

The similarities are many. In their early days, both disciplines got boosts from the celebrity set. Once it became clear there was money to be made, the intellectual property issues bubbled up—the Pilates industry dealt with its trademark demons a few years back; yoga’s version revolved around Bikram Choudhury’s copyright claim on his hot form of the practice. And each is dealing with whether to impose standards and ethical codes on its teachers, as well as the new phenomenon of chain studios. But yoga also has its unique issues—ever heard of “competitive yoga”? And what about the guy in New York who has a store selling products with the slogan “F*@& Yoga“on them?

The film—which includes interviews with yoga luminaries such as Rodney Yee, Trisha Lamb and the founders of YogaWorks—presents these issues fairly and with a good balance of humor and sensitivity. After all, it’s a complex topic. It’s not a bad thing to earn a living in the yoga or Pilates worlds, but it seems even things as pure as spirituality and fitness bring out the best and worst in a capitalistic society. Perhaps that’s why we need them so much.
Click here to learn more about upcoming Yoga, Inc. screenings, when to catch it on TV in Canada or how to purchase a copy.

Also, be on the lookout for Yoga, Inc., the book, coming in 2009.

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Pilates in Australia: A Look Down Under

APMA.jpgPilates has expanded around the world in the last few decades, and one place it’s certainly taken root is Australia. Pilates-Pro.com caught up with Donna Oliver, president of the Australian Pilates Method Association (APMA), by email to get the scoop on the Pilates landscape in the land down under. Read on to find out who brought it there and what the scene is like today.

Pilates-Pro.com: Can you describe the level of popularity of Pilates in Australia?

Donna Oliver: The Pilates industry in Australia has continued to grow since it came to our shores in the early 1980s. It has somewhat mirrored the pathway taken in the U.S. Initially, used as a tool with dancers for injury prevention and rehabilitation, its reputation grew and its benefits within the general population were accepted. Of course, then the fitness industry came aboard with group mat classes for the masses in the gymnasiums and health clubs.

In the early days Pilates studios were only to be found in the capital cities of each state and were attended by the “in the know” dancers and the more affluent client who could afford private sessions, but these days Pilates in all its forms can be found in most larger towns and even some smaller regional centers from the tropical north Queensland to the southern wilderness areas of Tasmania and the extraordinary western region of Perth.

Essentially, you can find expert Pilates tuition covering areas of fitness, rehab and sports conditioning. There are instructors catering to the very deconditioned, frail client to the elite athletes. But we all wear corks hanging from our hats and say “crikey” at the end of most sentences.….Sorry, not really!

Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at 05:09PM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in , | Comments1 Comment | References2 References

Pilates Pro Newsfeed: Baby Boomers Edition

Top Stories: Baby Boomers Benefit from Pilates
As Baby Boomers age, their health issues are coming into focus. A symposium at the recent American College of Sports Medicine’s annual meeting explored the topic of overuse injuries in Baby Boomers, which are common in the athletic members of this age group. Symposium Chair, Jeffrey A. Ross, DPM, MD, FACSM, suggested that as people age they need to transition from activities like running and basketball into more joint-friendly workouts, like Pilates. This approach is working for Atlanta Jazz musician Earl Klugh, who says he’s in the best shape of his life thanks to Pilates. And the Today Show recommended Pilates for women going through menopause to improve their pelvic floor strength.

More Pilates News
• A new teacher-training center opens in northern Ontario.

• A UK Pilates Instructor writes about how she helps a Parkinson’s disease sufferer.

• Gillian McKeith, host of the UK TV show “You Are What You Eat,” writes in depth about her lifelong battle with scoliosis and how Pilates helps her manage the pain. “From my first session, the pain started to lessen. I was hooked. My life changed completely,” she says.

and…Star Jones isn’t the only one skipping Pilates class. UK morning show host Fern Britton recently admitted to having gastric banding surgery while promoting that she’d lost weight naturally. Britton produced a best-selling Pilates video with Lynne Robinson in 2003.

Posted on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 06:23PM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in , | CommentsPost a Comment

Low-Flexion Pilates Exercises Found to Work Deep Ab Muscles

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Michele Olson, PhD, a Pilates teacher and fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), added to her portfolio of Pilates research when she presented her latest findings at the 2008 Annual ACSM Conference on May 31, 2008. Olson used a recently validated technique in electromyography (EMG) to determine the degree of deep muscle activity—primarily that of the internal obliques and the transverse abdominis—for the Hundred, Double Leg Stretch and Roll Up. She and her team of researchers found that the low flexion Hundred and Double Leg Stretch were quite effective at promoting deep muscle activity.

Pilates teacher Michele Olson conducts research on low-flexion Pilates exercises

However, the study found that the Roll Up produced a more moderate level of deep muscle activity and was high on recruiting the rectus abdominis. “Any abdominal exercise that requires full flexion of the trunk away from the mat will always rely heavily on the outer layer rectus abdominis,” says Olson. But, Dr. Olson is quick to point out that this doesn’t make the Roll Up an inferior Pilates exercise. “All of the muscles in the abdominal wall are important. Clients need work that is comprehensive and challenges the entire abdominal wall; both the deep muscles and more superficial muscles.”

Olson plans to continue studying Pilates from her post as professor at Auburn University Montgomery, work she hopes will better inform Pilates’ practitioners about the exercises that are most adept at recruiting deeper muscles versus more superficial muscles.

Dr. Olson is pictured above in the lab.

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Posted on Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 04:08PM by Registered CommenterJessica Cassity in | Comments14 Comments | References3 References

Hot Posts from the Community

Discussion.jpgIt’s been just 3 weeks since we’ve added the Pilates-Pro.com Community Forum, and there are already several great conversations going.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s a sample of one of the hot topics, Fitness vs. Bodywork?, started by Alycea Ungaro:

“Where do you think our craft is headed? Might our training become more anatomically based and potentially longer to complete? Would a degree be possible one day? Or will there be a backlash of other bodyworkers, pushing Pilates back into the fitness arena exclusively?”
Visit the forum and join the conversation today!
Posted on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 06:06AM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in | CommentsPost a Comment