Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pilates and sports BOTH require:
• Core strength
• Proper body alignment
• Natural flowing movement
• Efficient breathing
• A body-mind connection

Use the Pilates principles for your Tri/Duathlon sports


  • Use your core (abdominal and back muscles) each stroke so you are not relying on the arms and shoulder joints alone
  • A strong core helps in aligning your body so legs do not drop below the hips
  • Use appropriate breathing to help you stay focused and calm
  • Strengthen your core to help you stay aligned and balanced in the water
  • Improve rotary flexibility in hips which is important for proper breathing
  • Improve flexibility in shoulder, hips and feet to improve kicking and strokes

  • Create a rhythm of breathing to establish pace, cadence and focus
  • Center your muscle engagement in the core and minimize torso movement
  • Be precise; quiet in the torso, relaxed in the shoulders, elbows and jaw
  • Avoid gripping the handlebars and stay centered over your bike

  • Pilates emphasizes proper body alignment, breathing and relaxed shoulders – important for fluid, more effortless running
  • Pilates promotes flexibility in the legs, hips, torso and shoulders improving range of motion, and forward lean from the ankles, not the waist
  • Pilates improves posture, balance, & core strength to support the low back
  • Running recruits the hamstrings, hips, calves, buttocks and IT band
  • Pilates exercises work to correct the resulting tightness and muscle imbalance of the strength of the hamstrings to the quadriceps

Pilates core strength and stretching will be incorporated into Lisa Hesse’s Tri Training program Thursday evenings beginning April 12/12.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Summer!

To kick off the summer, the Library goddess class gathered after class to celebrate the marriage of our most youthful class member.

I have been delinquent about posting so I'll do a quick catch up. The calendar shows group classes only and feel free to contact me regarding when to schedule privates. I will be away from July 17 to August 26. First it will be adventures at Ojibway (teaching Pilates three days a week I might add), then a trip west which will include working at Pilates On Tour; 3 days of workshops to inspire me for September.

In May, daughter Emily and I ran the Title 9 Boulder 9 km. Being Boulder, where everything seems to be a little bigger, 9 km was actually 9.7 km. We were there to celebrate women in sports, women in general, family and Rob's graduation from University of Colorado.

This weekend is the Michigan women's only Triathlon called Tri Goddess Tri. I will be there with awesome Triathlon coach Lisa Hesse to cheer on the group we have been working with the last 11 weeks. I decided to pass on participating this year and enjoy the role of support person but I promise I will do a tri at some point this summer, even if informally. Having those challenges can keep you going.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Upcoming Schedule Changes

Did you receive an at-home Pilates video for Christmas? Have you been planning an outdoor adventure? Well, these upcoming dates are the perfect opportunities to use those alternatives! There will be NO CLASS on:
Thursday, February 3
Tuesday, March 1
Tuesday, March 8.
Get out and play!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Outdoor Adventures: Rowanwood

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a great holiday with family and friends. Celebrating in Ann Arbor on Thursday reminded me of last month when I took advantage of the fact that Canadian Thanksgiving falls in October to visit my sister who lives in hilly, rural Caledon, north of Toronto. I put my spinning workouts to task with a morning bike ride amid the maples, making it up all but one of the hills! I've visited Caledon many times, but with my outdoor adventure mindset I saw new potential in a familiar place.

What are you doing these holiday months to balance the celebrating?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Outdoor Adventures: Boulder

One of the consolation prizes for having my kids far from home is visiting them in beautiful places. The readily-accessible hikes around Chautauqua National Historic Landmark in Boulder and the well-kept trails and majestic views in Rocky Mountain National Park a short drive away provided our family with plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventures in October.

Here is my daughter on the Royal Arch trail behind Chautauqua in Boulder and at the top of the post, my son, me, and my daughter pause for lunch and pose for photos at Bierstadt Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. My husband and I were inspired by the hike and have been able to follow up in November with hikes around Ann Arbor.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Visualizations in Pilates

One of the most important elements to teaching a successful Pilates class is a visual cue. I try to use a wide variety of images and analogies to describe the movement and breathing that will help students get the maximum benefit from the exercises. Students come to Pilates with varying degrees of body awareness. It is very rewarding to witness this body awareness grow and develop the more time the student spends with Pilates! I often begin my classes with some small exercises to locate neutral spine. With the students lying on their backs, knees bent, feet on the floor, I describe the pelvis as a bowl filled with water. When the spine is in neutral, the water in the bowl is level. Then I ask the students to flatten the back of their waists to the mat, tipping the pelvis under, spilling the water over the rim of the bowl towards their bellies. This is called imprinting the spine to the mat. Then we relax the pelvis back to neutral and the water in the bowl is level again. Next the students tip the pelvis forward, increasing the space under the lower back, spilling the water between their legs. I find the bowl of water image really works. What visualizations in your Pilates classes have helped you and which ones have seemed completely odd?"

thanks to Beatnick on flickr:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Outdoor Adventures: the Arb

Working out at the gym is a means to an end for me - I want to be fit so I can play outside. Instead of planning workouts, I'm focusing on planning outdoor adventures. It's not always easy to figure out how to get outside, but the rewards are great, especially amid the fall folliage. In the past few weeks I've noticed that finding resources in my own neighborhood seemed more daunting than finding them when I travel. Lisa, my training buddy and great adventure planner, has really helped me see that Ann Arbor has great workout opportunities hidden under our noses.

Circuit Training in Nichols Arboretum - Ann Arbor, Michigan
The hills, meadows, and benches along the trail at the Arb create an ideal outdoor gym. Lisa and I alternated walk/jogs with strength training on the benches. When we came to a bench we paused for dips, push ups, and stretches, making this walk in the woods a real interval workout.

photos thanks to and