Yesterday I got a chance to mingle with a small group of people in a networking mixer. I met a few men that found the idea of my being a private Pilates instructor in San Diego to be very interesting and they had lots of interesting questions for me. “What exactly IS Pilates?” and “Are men allowed to do Pilates?” as well as “Isn’t Pilates ONLY for women?” were just a few of the questions and comments that I received. And then I told told them what I tell every man that asks me those questions….Pilates IS for men. Pilates is for women too. Pilates is also for EVERYBODY. And when I say everybody, I mean every BODY.
In my quest for knowledge, I come across many articles that are very helpful to me as a Pilates instructor, and I try to impart that knowledge to my clients.
Here is a great article that I came across recently from Adrian Farrell MSTAT of Alexander Technique London, on SITTING! Seems like something so simple but I love the way he breaks things down here. Enjoy.
Stand on your bottom, what?! The truth about sitting.
I don't like to teach from an overly anatomical view, too much detail to think about in day to day living. I'm much more interested in the way we think and react, rather than what we think about, but this is something really useful for you to consider.
Look at how the bottom of the spine joins with the pelvis. What changes to that relationship when the weight bearing changes from going through your hips, and ultimately to the ground via your feet, to going through your sit bones into your chair? Not much! You'll notice that both the hip joints and the sit bones are below the sacral-iliac joint, that is, where the base of the spine, the sacrum, fuses with the pelvis.
The Plank exercise is one of the best total body exercises that one can do. We’ve all heard that, and it’s totally true. The problem with the plank, is that no matter how many times we look at that photo, it’s still a really hard exercise to get RIGHT! When it’s right, it’s challenging. When it’s wrong, it’s challenging AND painful! The plank should be tough, it’s working your core, your arms, your thighs, your shoulders, not to mention those weak little wrists that start burning a few seconds in.
It really doesn’t matter if you do your plank on your knees, or you toes. If you can’t lift your knees off of the ground, that’s ok. Keep working on your knees, you’ll build the strength eventually. If your wrists hurt because you’ve got an injury, it’s perfectly fine to do your planks on your elbows. If you are able to do them on your hands, you’re going to get that arm workout that you won't get if you’re on your elbows.
So how do you get it right without someone like me standing over you, poking and pushing and pulling your body into the perfect plank?