Leaders In Fitness

Entries in Special Populations (40)

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

Teaching Pilates Clients with Sciatica

By Elaine Ewing

sciatica%20intro%20image.jpgHave you ever had a Pilates client who seemed to be advancing nicely, then sciatica strikes? This condition—which is an irritation or pinching of the sciatic nerve—often includes pain radiating from the lower back down the back of the leg, tingling in the toes or feet and numbness along the track of the nerve. Sciatica is a symptom of another problem in the body, such as a herniated disk, lumbar spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, pelvic instabilities or Piriformis Syndrome. It is important to remember that, while Pilates work can increase sciatica symptoms, it is not a cause of the condition.  

Luckily, the practice can be modified to make irritation of the sciatic nerve less likely. In working with clients, and in my own battle with the condition, I’ve found that certain positions, practices and cues can actually cause an increase in irritation, but a few subtle changes can help deter flare-ups. Below I’ve listed some easy-to-avoid situations that can contribute to discomfort in sciatica sufferers. Usually, when one of these root causes is found and eliminated early, the sciatica will decrease or disappear.

Posted on Monday, April 21, 2008 at 11:36AM by Registered CommenterJessica Cassity in , | Comments6 Comments | References11 References

Anatomy and Pilates: The Dish on Disc Problems

Updated on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 06:48PM by Registered CommenterPilates-Pro

Disc%20Herniation.jpegBy Carrie McCulloch

Carrie McCulloch is a 4th-year medical student at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, a Certifying Instructor for Pilates Academy International, and Course Co-Director for the Functional Anatomy for Movement & Injuries (FAMI) Workshop.

Degenerated discs, prolapsed discs, bulging discs, herniated discs—these terms float around Pilates studios quite freely. Indeed, these conditions are some of the most common reasons why clients with back pain seek help from Pilates instructors in the first place. Despite their familiarity, however, these terms—and the medical jargon surrounding them—can get quite confusing. Here, I’ll explain the particulars of three common disc problems and suggest programming tips for affected clients.

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 06:02AM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in , , | Comments11 Comments | References34 References

Restoring the Floor While Integrating the Core

6 Essential Moves for Postpartum Health


baby photo.jpgDawn-Marie Ickes, MPT, is a partner in the Los Angeles studio Core Conditioning, which offers Pilates, Gyrotonic and physical therapy at Burbank and Studio City locations. Ickes has lectured nationally on Pilates and is on the Board of Directors of the Pilates Method Alliance. She is often noted for her work with pregnant women and new mothers. Here, Ickes shares her approach to training women who have recently given birth.

By Dawn-Marie Ickes


Many women will spend hours each week exercising their legs and abdominal muscles in an effort to “get their pre-pregnancy body back.” The most crucial component of ANY sort of exercise in this immediate postpartum period is restoring the normal function of the pelvic floor muscles and integrating the core muscles. Women are very adept at identifying the changes in sensation and strength in their abdominal muscles following birth, yet few are able to tell or even consider how their pelvic floor and other core muscles have been affected by 9 months of pregnancy and a delivery.

Pilates for Golfers

By Barbara Wintroub

iStock_000000888804Small.jpgIn the past, because golfers were not considered high-performance athletes, maintaining a base level of fitness wasn’t emphasized. However, studies show that golf-related injuries affect a surprising 60 percent of all amateur golfers (Horowitz, 1999). What’s worse, golf injuries prematurely end the careers of a shocking 50 percent of all professional golfers, often forcing them into early retirement (Metz 1999). But the new generation of golfers, led by Tiger Woods, is proving that adopting the right golf-specific fitness routine can not only improve a player’s game, it can also keep them swinging through the longest par 5’s well into old age.

Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 at 11:12PM by Registered CommenterJessica Cassity in , | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

The Pilates Pro Newsfeed

Top Story: The Associated Press reported on how Pilates can help some with Parkinson’s disease. Do you have experience with clients with Parkinson’s disease? If so, exchange your experiences with other instructors by posting a comment below.

Milwaukee health clubs push total-body fitness: “Clubs that have a bland menu of strength training, cardio workouts, and maybe a lap pool, are headed down the path toward extinction.”
Actor Sidney Poitier says his “posture is by Pilates.”
A roundup of new Hollywood fitness trends on their way to the U.K.
A look at Personal Best Pilates, a studio in Overland Park, Kansas
Chung Shi Balance Step shoes touted to be “like a Pilates class in a shoe”
Seniors get fit in Odessa, Texas.
A Florida public school district hosts health and exercise classes for employees.
Eight percent of Canadian luxury home buyers want in-home fitness studios.

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2006 at 05:00PM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in , | Comments2 Comments

Osteoporosis and the Abs

How a young instructor found safe techniques to challenge herself and her clients
By Rebekah Rotstein

RebekahRotsteinPeople who first meet me find it odd that as a Pilates instructor I actually don’t do Pilates mat for my own body. In fact, ever since my osteoporosis diagnosis two years ago at the unusually young age of 28, the annual PMA conference is the only time I participate in a traditional mat class. Flexion, lateral flexion (side bending) and rotation of the spine are contraindicated for people with osteoporosis and osteopenia (the precursor to osteoporosis, which should be treated in the same manner from a movement perspective). Unfortunately, this rules out three-quarters of the Pilates mat exercises. So I’m often asked with disbelief how it is that I can actually work my abs.

The Pilates Pro Newsfeed

Not a day goes by that Pilates isn’t written about somewhere in the world. Since you’re too busy teaching to scour the web for the latest news, we’ll do the work for you. Look for frequent updates to The Pilates Pro Newsfeed.

• On Nov. 4, The Wall Street Journal wrote about Pilates for golfers. (There is a fee to read the article; search for “Pilates for Putters.”)

Texas Longhorns credit Pilates for improved flexibility, strength and conditioning. Click here for another article.

• Is Gyro the Tonic for You?
California studio holds holiday artisan fair.
• Actress Rachel Weisz slims down with Pilates.
• New Jersey wellness center profile
New studio opens in Iowa.
• A look at a Pilates studio-cum-art gallery in Wisconsin.
• The Roll Up is featured in the Orange County Register.

Posted on Saturday, November 11, 2006 at 05:46PM by Registered CommenterAmy Leibrock in , | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

How to work with…Dancers

By Allyson Cabot

A professional dancer may seem like a dream client—she’s got rhythm, flexibility and coordination—but beneath the fit façade may be a body that needs extremely specialized instruction. Unfortunately, dancers, even when well conditioned, trained and psychologically prepared for the rigors of a life in dance, will experience injuries due to the nature of movement demands.

iStock_000002108510Small.jpgAccording to the Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, up to 80 percent of dancers report injuries at some stage in their career. As much as a third of these are the result of specific trauma, and 65 percent are overuse injuries. Conditions which effect dancers include muscle weakness, muscular imbalances, range of motion deficits and the various forces associated with dance and dance movement.

In any form of dance, the greatest stressors occur in a dancer’s foot, ankle, knee, hip, pelvis and lumbar spine. Hypermobility in these areas is common in most dancers, and can often lead to poor motion control and destabilization of the joint surfaces. Consequently, compensation patterns often occur in locations above or below the hypermobile region, which can also lead to injury. To prevent this, it is necessary to create a balance between mobility and stability at all of the joint surfaces in addition to careful maintenance of alignment.

Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2006 at 03:20PM by Registered CommenterJessica Cassity in , | Comments2 Comments | References2 References

Giving Back

pinkribbon.jpgOctober is breast cancer awareness month, and Pilates instructors and enthusiasts are joining the fundraising fun at studios across the country. One of our favorite programs is Pilates for Pink, a joint effort sponsored by The Sports Club/LA health clubs and Shape magazine. The program is sponsoring classes with Pilates video star Ana Caban at Miami and New York locations, but it also allows private instructors and studios to sign up to host fundraising classes at a location of your choice. So far dozens of studios all across the country have signed up. To register, visit pilatesforpink.com. Class prices are suggested at $10, and all proceeds will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Posted on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 08:44PM by Registered CommenterJessica Cassity in , | CommentsPost a Comment