Tag Archives: core

Pilates and Dance: What is influencing what?

Chris Hunt Pilates Pilates and Dance blog

Pilates and Dance: Have we gone too far?

I do not go looking for controversy, but I am not afraid to speak my mind either, and after all that is what a blog should be for. I certainly do not write articles to create animosity or bad feeling, so please understand that before you read this article or comment upon it. I write from my own opinion, so obviously you might think me right or wrong depending on your own opinion, but we all have the right to our opinion. I respect yours, so please respect mine.

With that said I want to talk about Pilates and dance. We all know that Joseph Pilates was not a dancer, and that in his early days he did not work to any great extent with dancers. It was opening his studio next door to the New York City Ballet that really began the love affair between Pilates and dance, and that affair is still going strong today.

We also all know exactly why Pilates is so suited to dancers so it is not my intention to discuss that here today. What I want to talk about is not so much how much Pilates has influenced dance and dancers, but how much dance and dancers are influencing Pilates.

I know many wonderful Pilates teachers who are former dancers, some of who were integral in my first Pilates experiences and my decision to become a Pilates professional. What concerns me are presenters who are turning Pilates into dance choreography. This means that I come across Pilates teachers who have only ever trained with certain presenters so their idea of Pilates is clearly and fundamentally influenced by dance.

So how should the Pilates method be taught to new teachers?

Everybody has their own individual take on our beloved system, me included (see Pilates EVO: From the Heart). I respect everyone’s ideas, and many of those individual “takes” are wonderful and enhance the experience.  But for me the basic principles are sacrosanct and so is a more classical grounding. I only teach Pilates EVO to teachers who are already fully qualified. I see it as an add-on to people’s fundamental knowledge, not the starting point.

I do not think it is good that people do not experience fundamental training and then different types of Pilates, so they can understand that different presenters do sometimes have very different interpretations of the method. I see conventions year after year that feature the same list of presenters, and whilst I am not questioning the value of anyone’s integrity, ability, knowledge or professionalism, in my opinion that can continue to perpetuate the insular beliefs and experiences in some teacher’s minds about what Pilates is.

So what is your opinion about Pilates and dance? Do you agree that there is some truth in what I say, or is your opinion different? I would love to know, so please share.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

Pilates services for people living in the UK

Pilates Rehab Chris Hunt

www.pilatesrehab.co.uk

Pilates service for people living in the UK

If you are the type of person who wants to be responsible for your own health and rehabilitation, we can help you. If your business suffers from absenteeism due to injuries and back problems, we can help you.

How can we help you?
We can help you with many things such as whiplash injuries, pre and post pregnancy training and others including the following issues:

• Neck and back injuries
• Shoulder injuries and tendonitis
• Hip injuries and bursitis
• Ankle injuries
• Knee injuries and total knee/hip replacements
• Sciatica
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Fibromyalgia
• Scoliosis
• Repetitive stress injuries

Why do we do what we do?
Because at Pilates Rehab Limited we are passionate about Pilates. We believe that many people can gain great benefit from regular, structured Pilates sessions. Our purpose is to deliver Pilates to everyone in the UK who wants or needs it, in an approachable, friendly and efficient way, whilst achieving the very highest levels of customer care and service.

How do we do it?
We provide a single point of contact for the provision of Pilates throughout the UK via our own network of highly qualified teachers. Pilates Rehab aim to teach you a new system of exercise and body use, so you take more control and responsibility for your rehabilitation, helping you to recover from any specific complaint, and also improving your posture and flexibility. You will also have access to our life-time support package.

Pilates Rehab Ltd can work in conjunction with your GP, Consultant or physio/osteopath, and our teachers all work to our strict service standards and the highest levels of treatment and customer care. Pilates Rehab is a signatory of the BICMA Quality Standards for Rehabilitation Providers whilst operating in accordance with the UKRC Rehabilitation Standards.

What do we do?
Pilates Rehab Ltd offers excellent value for money as our prices are cheaper than other alternatives. Treatment is also more convenient, as sessions are typically carried out at client’s homes or places of work. Our strict Code of Practise ensures timely and relevant reports and information are provided to any referring organisation.

Pilates Rehab Ltd brings together expertise in the handling of injury claims and the rehabilitation process, professional treatment, and the highest standards of customer service, to help our clients achieve an earlier return to best recovery, and reduce the likelihood of a relapse.

We also work with sportsmen and women to help them recover from injury or to improve their performance, and we use other techniques including personal training to help our clients acheive their goals.  We can also give you advice on diet and nutrition.

We are the answer for all your Pilates and wellness needs where ever you are in the UK.

 

Pilates and fitness for Skiing and Snowboarding

Pilates fitness skiing snowbaording barcelona bienestarwww.barcelonabienestar.com

Pilates and fitness for skiing and snowboarding

I am a snowboarder. Anyone who either snowboards or skis will know that the two sports, whilst closely related, are very different in technique and especially mentality. One thing they do have in common (apart from snow) is the training that you need to be able to enjoy the coming season on the slopes.

When I fly from Barcelona, more often than not my route is directly over the Pyrenees Mountains. They look serene in the summer months but even more dramatic with a big dump of snow on them in winter. I get excited just looking at them!

Specific training for skiing and snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding bring their own special demands on the body. If these demands are not adequately considered, then the skier or boarder, whatever their level, will reduce their performance potential, and thus reduce their enjoyment. By carrying out a specific training program, benefits can be gained such as:

• Improve endurance, so ski and board for longer
• Improve strength in the appropriate muscles
• Improve flexibility and agility
• Improve balance and control
• Reduce the risk of injury by strengthening areas such as the lower back and knee joints and muscles.

The fundamental skills needed to ski or board successfully are balance, rotary movements, edging movements, and pressure control. Most muscles of the lower body are used, as are the abdominal muscles and some upper body muscles. A planned training program carried out during the off-season can make dramatic improvements when the season arrives. It is also improtant to learn warm-up and warm-down routines which you should use before and after you ski.

Chris Snowboarding 21.2.14 2Happiness is a snowboard in your hands… This is me in February in La Molina.

Why Pilates?
In order to complete a turn, there must be adequate strength in the core, buttocks, lower back and legs. Flexibility is needed, especially in the hips. We use specific Pilates exercises to target all these areas.

Pilates is a revolutionary full body conditioning program, which focuses on training the mind and body to work together more effectively and efficiently. Pilates dramatically transforms the way the body looks, feels, and performs. It incorporates modern exercise science and rehabilitation principles, eliminating contraindicated movements while emphasizing neutral alignment, core stability and peripheral mobility. It builds strength without excess bulk, creating a sleek, toned body and a flat abdomen. It teaches body awareness and good posture. Pilates improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion, and is a safe form of movement making it optimal for clients that need to rehabilitate injuries.

Pilates exercises train several muscle groups at once in smooth, continuous movements. By developing proper technique, you can actually re-train your body to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion – invaluable for injury recovery, good posture and optimal health. No other exercise system is so gentle to the body while giving it a challenging workout.

Injury Prevention
Skiing and boarding place great demands on the lower body, which can lead to overuse injuries. The most obvious place for such injuries is the legs, and especially the thighs. It is not so obvious that the core has a vital role to play in keeping the body upright and balanced, and enabling the hips to turn.

The shoulders and back can also become fatigued, and are prone to falling injuries. Such injuries can be reduced by strengthening these areas. This also applies to hand and wrist injuries, which can again be reduced by strengthening the forearm and wrist.

The time to start training for the coming season is now. If you are in Barcelona, then give me a call because Barcelona Bienestar offer specific training on a group and individual training basis. Sessions take place on the beach, in our studio or at client’s homes.

There are other functional exercises that great as well, and they can be done on the slopes as a warm up. Check out my video below. I shot a sequence of Pilates/functional movements in La Molina last year.

There are lots more exercises on my YouTube channel that you can watch by clicking here.

I love the sun and the sea, but I love the snow just as much. This is one of the many reasons why I love living in Barcelona. Where ever you live or plan to ski or snowboard, you really must start to plan your fitness routine now, before it’s too late.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

Bare Foot Running, minimalist shoes and Pilates


Barefoot Running Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Wednesday is sport day, and today I want to  talk about running, and more specifically barefoot running.

Barefoot running is gaining in popularity, as is new designs in minimalist footwear. But what are the benefits? And can Pilates help?

Over the years I have been asked many times to devise Pilates programs for different sportsmen and women. I have worked with many runners who have seen big improvements in their performance.

As we all know, running is a great aerobic exercise and an ideal weighty-bearing exercise as it helps to increase bone density in the skeleton, thus helping to avoid osteoporosis. As we also know, Pilates can help to improve overall physical condition and performance by strengthening the core and stabilising the pelvis, giving more range of motion and flexibility. Pilates can also;

  • Stretch hip flexors and strengthen buttocks.
  • Improve posture and alignment. Develop a balanced body which removes dysfunctional movement patterns and helps prevent injury.
  • Good posture means a stable pelvis, with feet and legs in alignment, which is a very important part of the gait cycle.
  • Allow training during injuries, and help rehabilitate after injury.

I am sure we are all familiar with the scientific evidence that supports the fact barefoot running has many benefits, not least the fact that because we land on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners remove almost all the impact collision that shod runners suffer from as they are far more inclined to land with an initial heel strike.

If you want to learn more about barefoot running, I recommend Barefoot Running Step by Step as a great place to start.

Whilst barefoot running can reduce the risk of ankle sprains, plantar fascitis, and other running related injuries, Pilates can reduce the risk of injury still further by emphasising balance, posture, focused breathing and attention to the correct form.

By restoring muscle balance, a Pilates program will protect your joints, and reduce strain on joint capsules and ligaments.Studies have shown that barefoot running reduces energy use and oxygen consumption, however poor posture caused by weak abdominal muscles may not allow you to support your spine properly, and can cause back pain and have a negative effect on breathing.

Because Pilates exercises encourage a long spine, the tall upright stance gives your lungs space to function with efficiency. An important factor for runners is the synchronisation of breathing with movement. This is a vital part of Pilates, as when you breathe properly, you gain more stamina. Muscles that stabilise the back are found in the core, and awareness and recruitment of these muscles will allow increased range of motion in extremity joints as well as prevention of trauma around the spine.

Pilates includes stretching exercises for the hips, legs and back, and will increase the range of motion with fluid movement. But most importantly for runners, Pilates will improve your flexibility without compromising your strength.

Good runners are conscious of their body. Instead of seeing a run as an excuse to zone out with their iPod, they see it as a chance to develop their kinesthetic awareness. This is all the more relevant in barefoot running, for example, you can explore the feel of your feet on the ground, how balanced your head is on the neck and spine, whether your ankles and knees are working in sequence, how your breathing pattern changes as the workload becomes more demanding. This approach makes running as much a mental activity as a physical one – very much like Pilates.

One word of warning, Researchers at Brigham Young University in the U.S found that runners who make the switch from normal trainers to barefoot shoes too quickly suffered an increased risk of injury to bones in the foot, including possible stress fractures. This was especially true for women.

I am interested as always to hear you experiences with barefoot running and minimalist shoes. Have you seen a personal change or changes in your clients?

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

Chris Hunt Blog is moving!

So, after having so much fun with my blog over the past few months, the limitations of having it on the free WordPress hosting have become just too unbearable. So today my blog will be moved to the new domain address of www.chrishuntblog.com.

This move should be seamless, and the new domain hosting should be up and running by this evening, but if there are any problems then please let me know because I do not want to lose any of my valued subscribers or readers.

So here’s to a brave new world. Well, it’s not so new. And it isn’t really brave either.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

“You do Pilates? Are you gay?” Pilates for men, Landon Donovan and Moscow time.

Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com 

The World Cup is in full swing, so do we really need another football related story from me? I think yes, as it relates to the most beautiful game of all, Pilates.

My article today is (not for the first time) about men and Pilates. My celebrity headliner is considered by many to be the best player in Major League Soccer history and he is the national team’s all-time leading scorer, L.A. Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan.

He may have been left out of the US World Cup team in Brazil, but he is still a superstar. As retirement approaches for the 32year old, in a recent interview he revealed one of the secrets of his prolonged success: “I do Pilates. I love Pilates because we do very specific training in soccer for the same six or seven muscles, but we neglect so many other muscles. So when I do Pilates it helps get all the rest of the muscles in shape and gets them working together.” Wise words indeed about our holistic exercise system from a top athlete and sportsman who has firsthand experience of the benefits Pilates brings.

So back to my headline and Pilates for men in general. I am just back to Barcelona (via  two days in London) after spending a wonderful 10 days in Moscow teaching Pilates EVO© to Pilates teachers, and as with my previous visits, I found the Russian people to be really wonderful. It’s a little annoying that I am writing this blog at 5 am in Barcelona because clearly I am still on Russian time! More about my visit to Moscow and Pilates in Russia in my blog later this week. Today I want to talk more about the ignorant attitudes towards Pilates that still exist today.

Whilst in London, I was asked the question again that forms the title of my blog today. I have lost count of the number of times people question my sexuality because I am a man who teaches Pilates. Whilst I take such comments as a compliment, they would be quite funny if it was not such an ignorant attitude. I am not gay, not that it matters, but I still find it interesting and disturbing in equal measures why some people make a link between men doing Pilates and their sexuality. I have some very close friends in the fitness industry and in the Pilates community who are openly gay, but there are also others who hide their sexuality, presumably for fear of suffering the prejudice that regrettably still exists in society today.

One of the (many) wonderful things about living in Barcelona is the openness of most of the people. There is a strong gay community and I am happy and honored that my Pilates sessions are popular with that community.

There are so many men in the public eye who do Pilates now, it never ceases to surprise me that there remains a section of society that is still so ignorant. I wrote previously about Dwayne Allen (see my article “Men do Pilates, ask Dwayne Allen”) and I could (and no doubt will) write about many other men including most football and rugby teams.

Such comments do make me all the more determined to continue to change attitudes towards men and Pilates. It is a battle, but it is one that we can and will win.

It’s breakfast time in Moscow now, Barcelona will not be waking up for a while yet….

Chris is the creator of Pilates EVO©,  and an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is also the creator of bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. His business Barcelona Bienestar in Barcelona offers services including Pilates, functional training, personal training, wellness retreats, massage, NLP, life coaching, meditation and beauty treatments. Healthy Beach Barcelona also offers a range of wellness services including Pilates and training on the beach. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

Demi Moore: Pilates and you are what you eat, no excuses!

Pilates EVO Demi MooreDemi Moore: Pilates and you are what you eat, no excuses!

I like Demi Moore. Maybe it’s because she had a hard childhood, maybe it’s because of the scene with Patrick Swayze and the potter’s wheel in the film “Ghost”, maybe it’s because she is an intelligent and likeable person who has stood the test of time.

I certainly like the fact that she does Pilates, and at 51 as the picture above shows, she is in an amazing condition.

Demi follows a raw vegan diet, so as I am a vegetarian I appreciate that about her as well. There is no doubt at all that to achieve a healthy body (and mind) we must look holistically at how we live and how we train. Diet of course is a vital part of that jigsaw. It never ceases to amaze me that people will train their bodies really hard then eat some crap food, justifying it by saying (and clearly believing) that “I have earnt that”.

The idea that junk food is some sort of treat is one that I find interesting and disturbing in equal measures. Here in Barcelona I often hear people say “have a cake, treat yourself”. What I am saying is if you want to eat food that is full of fat or sugar then I have no big problem with this, as my philosophy is everything in moderation, but please do not think of it as a treat or a reward, because that is dangerous.

We can speculate as to where these thoughts come from, maybe rationing in the war, but in my opinion, such an attitude is only (and quite literally) fuelling the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the world.

Another scary thing I hear people say is that eat junk food because their body is telling then to eat it because it needs some type of particular ingredient. And people actually believe this nonsense. Take it from me, it has nothing to do with your bodies nutritional needs.

Another chestnut I hear is that diet is influenced by blood-type. Particularly popular is the belief that people must eat meat because they have the “meat blood group”. Let’s just spend one moment to consider this. They must eat meat because our ancestors ate meat? It is no surprise that the vast majority of respected medical experts do not support the idea that blood group has any affect what-so-ever on dietary needs. Worry about your blood group when you need a transfusion, not lunch. It’s dangerous to be thinking that it’s due to 50,000 years of evolution that our blood type is the reason we feel the need to eat a certain type of food.

The moral of my story? Eat what you want, but if you want to be healthy then try to eat a balanced diet. But for the love of God, do not try to justify your eating habits with outlandish, nonsensical and irrational excuses. We are what we eat. And what you eat is not the fault or influence of your ancestors, World War 2 or the little voice in your head. It is your choice. Pure and simple. And the sooner you stop making excuses and accept that and accept responsibility for what you put into your mouth, the sooner you can start to change things.

Demi Moore: Pilates and you are what you eat, no excuses! I want Demi to have the last words on this blog.

“I have had a love-hate relationship with my body. I sit today in a place of greater acceptance of my body. And that includes not just my weight, but all of the things that come with your changing body.”

After decades of suffering a neurotic preoccupation with being sexy, Moore said she ultimately found that beauty and thinness never truly made her happy. “I had an extreme obsession with my body,” she said. “I made it a measure of my own value. I tried to dominate it, which I did, and I changed it multiple times over. But it never lasted, and ultimately it didn’t bring me anything but temporary happiness.”

I think these are wise words indeed.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about the services that Chris offers in Barcelona including Pilates, functional training, massage, NLP, coaching and beauty treatments, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barcelona Pilates Classes: Under the sun with sand in between your toes

Healthy Beach Barcelona 1

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Barcelona has everything. Sun, sea, beaches, restaurants, shopping, mountains, culture, architecture to name just few. And now it has professional fitness classes as well.

I have created in Barcelona, as a subsidiary of my business Barcelona Bienestar, a new venture called Healthy Beach Barcelona. People say that life is a beach, so why not make it a healthy beach?!?!

Healthy Beach Barcelona offers Pilates but much more. To maximise health and wellness, our bodies need much more than Pilates. So with Healthy Beach Barcelona you can get everything you need to be a God or Goddess. We offer functional and cardio training sessions on the beach and on the terrace in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. We also many other services including massage, meditation, NLP, life coaching, nutrition advice and beauty treatments including gel nails and eye-lash extensions. We offer everything you need to help you become the best you can be.

If you live in Barcelona then you can join us every day. If you coming on vacation then join us during your stay. Or even better, come to Barcelona on a Barcelona Bienestar Retreat and let us organise everything for you.

Life is a beach. Come to Barcelona and let us help you to be a healthy beach.

Find out more by clicking on Barcelona Bienestar or click on Healthy Beach Barcelona.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

The World Cup: Coleen Rooney, WAGS, and Pilates

Sport Core Strength Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Any excuse to talk about football and I am there. I am a lifelong passionate fan of Arsenal and Barcelona. When I lived in London I was a regular at Highbury and then the Emirates, and now I am blessed to be in Barcelona watching one of the most beautiful football teams in the world. I played football for many years as a boy and young man, so applying my knowledge of Pilates to footballers is something I naturally enjoy.

Before the serious stuff, you might have noticed that the World Cup is almost upon us, and whilst the players are going through their final preparations, so too are the wives and girlfriends (WAGS). In the UK there is always s big fuss about the WAGS and their impact on the players.

Queen of the WAGS. mother of two and wife of England striker Wayne Rooney is Coleen Rooney. She took to twitter this week to tell us all about her fitness regime, which includes gym sessions, interval training and of course Pilates. She said “I always wear a bikini on holiday, they’re the first thing I think about packing. I have drawers full and I always take far too many away. But like anyone else I have to be careful about what I choose. There are certain shapes I’ve found that make me feel confident, so I stick to those. I tend to avoid anything too skimpy on the bottom half and I look for halter neck styles on top. My main problem area is my love handles so I don’t want to wear anything tight around my hips. Thin, stringy, tie-side briefs aren’t flattering so I always go for big bikini bottoms.”

With these inspiring words in mind, let me turn to the serious point of my blog today. I love to work with sportsmen and women. Whilst I get a massive sense of satisfaction when I see someone rehabilitate from injury or improve their posture, I also love to work with athletes to help them to improve even further their game. In Barcelona I am working with people involved in sports such as golf, surfing and rock climbing.

We are all very familiar with the benefits that Pilates brings, and specifically for football Pilates is relevant because it can help to: improve  flexibility, improve mobility, improve co-ordination, build overall fitness, improve endurance, build body awareness and focus, reduce the risk of injury, and help to rehabilitate after injury

Football demands rapid directional changes, often at near maximum pace, and the delivery of controlled power from unbalanced body positions. As our understanding of the demands placed upon footballers develops, so has the approach to training and injury prevention. The quiet revolution in training techniques is now not so quiet, with modern-day managers acknowledging the crucial importance that stretching, suppleness and flexibility gives their players. Pilates meets these demands perfectly, so an ever growing number of footballers use Pilates to improve their core strength, their co-ordination, mobility, flexibility and technique, as well as for prevention and rehabilitation from injuries.

Pilates is also a perfect form of warm-up prior to playing, and cooling down post-match. Any out-dated opinions of Pilates being a sedate pursuit for ladies only have long been extinguished, with many Premiership Football Teams including Pilates in their training schedule. The benefits are also used by other top sportsmen and women, such as the All Blacks Rugby Team, and individuals such as Tiger Woods.

Pilates is not only appropriate for the professional player. Youth players, semi professionals, and weekend players, whatever their age, sex and ability, would all gain enormous benefit from a regular Pilates’ routine.

I developed Sport Core Strength (http://www.sportcorestrength.com) in London and now in Barcelona to encourage more sportsmen and women to include Pilates in their regimes. Whilst working one-on-one is always a very effective way to teach (especially when most players will have their own specific issues), it is a lot of fun to work with whole teams as well, creating exercises in pairs and groups.

If you want to chat about Pilates for sports (including golf, football, cycling, surfing, tennis, skiing/snowboarding, running rock climbing etc), about Sport Core Strength, or about Pilates in Barcelona then please contact me.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

Pilates & Heart Rate: Does Kim & Kanye’s Wedding get yours going?

KMAIN

www.chrishuntwellness.com 

So it was the celebrity wedding of the year. The biggest celebrity wedding since, err, well, Kim’s last marriage? But of course being serious Pilates folk, we are not bothered about celebrity weddings are we. What we are interested in is why Pilates was one of the topics of conversation at such an event.

I have been accused of dwelling on celebrity too much. So I have carefully and patiently explained to people who accuse me of this that my life and my love is Pilates. I am therefore happy to use whatever means I can to promote our beloved system to the world out there, a large proportion of whom spend a lot of their time immersed in the celebrity culture that pervades our society.

It’s no surprise that this is not the first time that I have written about Kim. In my post Kim Kardashian: Keeping up with Pilates, I talked about her exercise regime which naturally includes Pilates. She is regularly seen leaving a Pilates studio in LA and regained her famous figure after giving birth by again using Pilates-based exercises. I’ve written before about Pilates for pregnancy, see my article Mila Kunis Pregnancy Pilates for more reasons why Pilates can and should be the last exercises that are done before giving birth, and the first exercises after the birth (with some provisos of course).

Today I want to talk about heart rate and Pilates. Kim practises a fusion of Pilates, weight training and circuit training and it’s done to muscle failure with very little transition to keep the heart rate up.

I am not a believer of so-called “cardio-Pilates”; Pilates breathing should be deep and controlled throughout all the exercises. But can Pilates offer benefits to the heart? A study by the American Council on Exercise reached some interesting conclusions. As well as looking at the actual benefit offered to the heart, the study also looked into benefits in terms of calorie burning, as well as flexibility and strength, by including Pilates in the study’s fitness regimen. This study was undertaken to see the actual benefits that Pilates can provide. It attempted to see if regular inclusion of Pilates during exercise could improve aerobic fitness and qualify as good cardio workouts for women.

Results showed that heart rates rose by 54 percent with basic Pilates, which is below the recommended 64 to 94 percent rise that ensures a good workout for the heart. Oxygen consumption was at 28 percent, which is also below the recommended level of 50 to 85 percent. With advanced Pilates, heart rates rose to 62 percent and oxygen consumption to 43 percent; levels that were still below recommendations. Interestingly, participants’ perception was that their exercising was that of a heavy muscular workout for both the basic and advanced Pilates.

The study was carried out using healthy women participants (where were the men????) who had at least an intermediate experience with Pilates. There is a significant difference between beginner levels and intermediate levels of Pilates training and its effects on the body. Pilates might not have the required cardiovascular benefits, but the exercise regime does improve core strength.

The authors agree that in their study, heart benefits of Pilates were not seen. They suggest that Pilates could be adopted by people who are looking for more strength and suppleness rather than burning calories and benefiting the heart. They said that Pilates is a great form of exercise for most populations especially those looking for some toning and flexibility help. It can be modified somewhat or scaled down to fit everyone’s needs. These exercises make the person feel they are working out harder than they actually are, and there is a major difference in heart rate and oxygen utilization between basic and advanced levels of Pilates. This could mean that each person may choose Pilates according to their fitness levels and benefit by building core strength and stability.

What is your experience with heat rate?

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnivals, Pilates conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. Read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? for more.