Better Balance

So many beautiful places to practice balance!

We have been focusing on better balance this month at Personal Euphoria.  Balance is affected by our nervous system, our strength and flexibility, and our vision.  It’s easy to get frustrated when you feel like you can’t balance, but try to think of it more as a game.  Be a little playful as you experiment with balance.  Shoes on generally makes all balance exploration easier.  Shoes off will add more challenge to the foot and lower leg. 

Here are some ways to explore balance:

1)      Try balancing on one leg.  Which leg feels easier to balance on?  Can you balance for 60 seconds on each leg?

2)      Working the outer thighs is helpful for increasing balance, so try some of these exercises:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6Y3s0_B57I

3)      This is […]

Better Balance2018-08-15T14:54:10-04:00

Why You Really Want a Toned Butt

This is not a picture of my butt, but it is a picture of me hiking. And without my butt, I wouldn’t go hiking!

No doubt many of us would like a lifted and toned butt.  The look is appealing, but strong glutes (those are our butt muscles) are important for more than aesthetics.

Standing & Posture

Our glutes have an important role in keep us upright all day.  We often take that for granted.  The back and butt work together to hold us up straight.  Our tendency to sit and slump makes their job even harder.  Daily glute exercises would be a great habit to get into.  They are large muscles.  They can take daily workouts.

Strength

The glute max is the largest muscle in the body.  It’s the back of the butt.  When you think of the butt, you are thinking of the glute max.  The muscle is a major mover in propelling us forward with every step.  If you are an athlete you need your butt to propel you forward and up in nearly every movement you do.  Athlete or not, if you walk or jog your butt is required so that […]

Why You Really Want a Toned Butt2018-02-09T14:42:25-04:00

Must I Work Both Sides of My Body Evenly?

What a piece of work is Maggie.  Can you see where I'm unbalanced? What a piece of work is Maggie. Can you see where I’m unbalanced?

Go to one physical therapist and they will focus on the injured side.  Go to another and they pay attention to both sides.  Come to my Pilates class and though I’ll attempt to work you out evenly, my lack of counting skills may get in the way.  So, does it matter?  What you do to the right, must you do to the left? Must we work both sides of the body evenly?

When I first started teaching I thought balance was the key to everything.  If anyone told me to only work one side, I’d have thought it was an atrocity.  Apparently with my youth came a sense of hyperbole in movement.   Now I’ve come to realize we will never be even.  No matter what we do in our 1-hour exercise class, what we face in life will strengthen and alter one side more than the other.  Striving for absolute balance is an impossible task.  Our heart is more to the left.  Our liver is on […]

Must I Work Both Sides of My Body Evenly?2017-12-29T19:42:51-04:00

It’s All Connected: The Hip/Ankle Connection

Last week I was taking a private pilates class. I was complaining about how my ankle has been supinating (rolling outward). It wasn’t painful, but I know it’s not ideal and I wanted to work on it. I was doing basic footwork exercises on the reformer and when I had someone to look at me tell me exactly when my ankle was in the right place I could feel not only the work in my ankle, but I felt a change in my body all the way up to my hip flexors.

It was one of those moments that make me so proud I’m a pilates instructor, and I immediately wanted to make all my clients feel what I had just felt in my body. The footwork, which seems like a really simple exercise was suddenly a huge challenge because of what was going on in my body. All I was doing was lying down and bending and straightening my legs, but suddenly my whole entire body was working to help my ankle stay where it was supposed […]

It’s All Connected: The Hip/Ankle Connection2017-09-12T19:31:41-04:00

Running & Balance

Earlier this year I was working with a group of runners. We met post-run, and I was really surprised at the general lack of balance in the group. The group had varied ages and that didn’t seem to make a difference.

I got to thinking that running really has a lot to do with balance. When you think about it with each step we are only balancing on one leg. The moment that we need to balance is quick and short, but I couldn’t help but wonder if we improved our balance how might we improve our stride or reduce injury?

The great thing is that pilates is all about balance. We try to balance the muscles to create neutral joints throughout the body, but doing that should help someone actually balance better. We work stabilizer muscles and those are the guys that work the most to keep us balanced and aligned. Our big muscles tend to pull us in one direction or another. So if you are a runner try some different balance exercises. Tomorrow I’ll be posting […]

Running & Balance2017-09-12T19:31:41-04:00