Back pain doesn’t have to be chronic

Back pain doesn’t have to be chronic

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Back pain became the curse of the century

Nowadays: Everybody has back pain from teenager to the oldest. Having back pain is normal and we get operated from our sciatic like we would remove a cavity: it’s “normal” procedure.

Slipped disks, compression, sciatica:  everyone has it’s own and try to find the remedy with neighbors, colleagues, and friends. To feel better, we take painkillers, multiple visits at the physician and if necessary let’s get the surgery!

Today I’m telling you to endure repetitive back pain is not “normal”, remedies exist and the causes have to be determined.

  1. The reasons 

We tend to point out wrong factors, either we have trapezius, middle back or lumbar pain, we accuse mattress, pillow.

From changing your entire bed to taking pain killers, it ends up pricey, useless and sometimes dangerous for your health. Indeed from soft canape, to comfy chairs: this fake comfort just make the situation get worse and hide the true causes of your pain.

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We forget the most common and obvious factor: daily life posture.

The more we look for “easy” comfy stuff like lying down in a soft canape or chair, the less we develop right strength and back efficient posture. The vicious circle has started, your muscles support decrease and your vertebrae disks get compressed, while looking for “relax” you in fact make impossible the development of an adapted back & girdle muscles support.

We spend a lot of time either stand up or sitting down:  both of these positions are really tricky for the back and challenging in modern daily life ‘fake’ comfort; If you don’t adopt the right alignment and an adapted girdle: The curse has begun!

Go to chiropractor and osteopath and get mechanical manipulations does help but if we repeat the same actions  we just keep on treating consequences not causes. Only a safe, well repeated exercises and better posture habits will get rid of pain definitively!

  • The positions at risk:

Standing : Standing is a very difficult position because we all tend to compensate due to different angles of the joints in this posture. The challenge is against gravity and the standing require some girdle.

Sitting: The worst and most dangerous position for the back.

And that fact itself should explain why more and more people suffer back pain.

Our modern lifestyle make us  more and more sedentary and stationary instead of being active. Our body don’t build the right strength and core muscles anymore and we often sit in offices FOR HOURS.

2. Solutions:

  1. Yawn and stretch

Have you ever pay attention at a cat? Well, you should!

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Animals and cats particularly spend their time yawning and stretching while going from one position to another one. Indeed, they activate and alternate the hyperextension & flexion, then yawn. Yawning will have a good impact on diaphragm with a bigger engagement, and powerful but soft action on your back.

  1. The right posture

It is important to adopt the right posture in every position and every situation; it can be easier to say than do, but becomes it is a game changer and it becomes quite natural when you start understanding body’s mechanic.

  • Asymmetry: since childhood, we step with one feet more than the other one, we carry heavy stuff same side, we run, climb stairs and others always the same way. Balance with appropriate gesture, reinforcement and stretches will help this natural compensation and get an appropriate musculature from the other side.
  • Aging: Naturally with time and life we tend to arch and back bent. Fatigue makes fight against gravity less active and efficient, without a right posture alignment and good back & abs muscles construction, we might have difficulty to keep the “nice and tall” required spine.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: like said before: Where we used to do a lot of physical jobs and expose body to difficult tasks, we now tend to me more sedentary spending hours in sitting position. For example= Most of my students are businessmen and women, they travel a lot, and carry on heavy luggages, spend hours sitting down in a plane, in a car, in front of a computer. That without appropriate and frequent stretches create serious tensions.

4 tips and easy stretches to relieve back pain

  • Abdominal breathing

It might be the best way and yet underestimated way to treat, prevent and git rid of chronic back pain. Adopt the right breathing and train to understand abdominal ‘correct’ breathe.

  • Correct sitting

At work, home, restaurants, else, practice self extension of the spine “taller” process while sitting.

Put your back straight and let your trunk point in two opposite directions: tailbone and lower back bone push to the floor whereas head and neck push to the ceiling.

sitting

Don’t:

-push against the backrest of your chair (that are always too much to the back)

-cross your legs (always the same way) that get asymmetry in your pelvis.

-put a pillow under your butt that will exaggerate the arching.

Do:

-Put a books or anything under your feet to keep your angle 90°C hips-knees

-put a pillow (small) under your back to sit straight.

  • right stretches

stretch ballon

Don’t:

Arch Back

Break the neck

Put body weight on the upper part of the back / shoulders

 Do:

Push in opposite direction while breathing out

Engage abdominal belt, keep the organs and visceras up and toward the spine

Keep body weight to the back (buttock to heels)

  •  Standing

stretch standing

Nice and tall against a wall : feet parallel in front of the wall, wide of your hips. Stand up, push against gravity push top of your head to “the sky” while pressing lower back region against the wall. Engage pelvic floor to feel the lower abs contraction and lower back extension; It’s a big relief if made correctly.

  • Standing back extension

stretches

Don’t:

Fall down into your shoulders

Break the neck

Let the back curve

Do:

Flat back

Keep one-line angle from backbone to top of your head 90°C to the legs.

Press and push in opposite directions while breathing out, micro bend the knees if needed = meaning if you feel too much stretch in your hamstrings.

Because back muscles reinforcement take time, stay patient, practice your exercises regularly, take a qualified coach to help you, choose activity like Pilates that are non violent for the joints- with One-on-one sessions.

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PILATES FOR PREGNANCY — Jeydancepilates

Dear Followers, As it seems to be a « loving season » in Shanghai I resulted to have many of my students who get pregnant – That just gave me the idea to talk to you a little bit about Pilates and Pregnancy – I will make it very simple and answer the more […]

via PILATES FOR PREGNANCY — Jeydancepilates

PILATES FOR PREGNANCY

Dear Followers,

As it seems to be a « loving season » in Shanghai I resulted to have many of my students who get pregnant –
That just gave me the idea to talk to you a little bit about Pilates and    Pregnancy –

I will make it very simple and answer the more frequently asked questions-

  • “Iam pregnant, Can i practice Pilates ? » 

Yes. Pilates method is very well adapted to pregnancy -Pilates technique is based on what we call the « power house » meaning all the core muscles = abdominals, pelvic floor, back muscles- these ones are the foundation of our body : core muscles maintain and support the rest of our muscles, skeleton and organs. Pilates will also helps with stiffness and help develop awareness of your body and flexibility of your main muscles- That’s why that’s great benefit either you are pregnant or not

  •  »Why is it especially good for pregnant women?”

As we said Pilates will help as well pregnant women as well non pregnant people, but the specificity when you are pregnant is : 

Baby inside the body is moving the heart of gravity from center to the front- so pregnant women will feel more easily back pain, especially into the  lower back – As pregnancy goes on, weight is becoming heavier for the mother, and strengthen tummy muscles, will help your body better to cope with the strains caused by the weight of the growing baby. Hormones make the tissues -ligaments- that connect your bones more pliable in pregnancy, making you more prone to injury. 

Strenghen pelvic floor- studies have shown that practice Pilates regurgaly before, during and after a pregnancy is as effective as pelvic floor exercises. And from my experience i now work and exchange with a nurse in Shanghai, and she strongly recommend Pilates for pregnancies – she even told me that there is a huge difference in pelvic floor rehabilitation between women practicing or non practicing Pilates. 

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Pilates is NOT yoga

Hi All ! images

I have recently talked with friends, network and even athletes and I discover this terrible confusion that has been spread  – let Me tell you this breaking news once for all :

Pilates is NOT yoga – And I could add « AT ALL » 

Let me explain and try to understand why this false thought has been shared by so many. 

Pilates and yoga are two entirely different ways of moving and perceiving the world and should not be confused. The underlying philosophies and goals are worlds apart in their approach. The message and technique is completely unique for each system. We could say just like oil and water, these two systems will be in conflict if you try to mix them.

  • The Approach 

Whereas Yoga is more a philosophical and spiritual approach for health, Pilates is a fitness and muscle training one With no spiritualism Pilates is a body movement method made to develop strength, avoid injuries and get to know your body’s functions better- The goal is only physical (even if practice some activity can develop mind well-being) there is no research of spirituality or mindful theory behind it. – Yoga at the opposite, is an ancient philosophy which combines mind and body in order to get the balance- and to find inner stability. 

To Sum up we could say : Pilates is a workout body orientated -whereas Yoga is lifestyle-meditation orientated- 

  • The content 

In Yoga you will have relaxation movements, silence with breathings,  stand-up and sit down poses- flexibility exercises- splits, pigeon poses, facing dog and many other posture to build your strength but usually it is a lot of static.This takes a great amount of focus and the flow in and out of each position is fluid. The movements are not what you would call workout moves; they are more like poses that are designed for different needs and purposes. That part might be the origin confusion so I would like to establish that once for all : (even if some teacher- like me- can include breathings and little stretches to relax and avoid cramps to the practitioners) You will NOT find any splits, flexibility and suppleness requirements for Pilates. 

In Pilates the accent is made on core muscles = ABDOMINALS. Pilates was definitely developed as a logical system of exercises specifically designed to enhance and balance the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the human body. In other words, Pilates is not about sitting still or holding poses — Pilates is about movement. So, if one of the things you dislike about Yoga is the idea of twisting yourself up like a pretzel and holding the pose, or go upside down in order to get the « saint graal » split :  don’t worry! You won’t be asked to hold any position for long in your Pilates class.

  • Why Choose ? 

To conclude it has never been question to launch any battle between those two, because as we just clarify today they are two different activities with different goals, different aims and different results. There is not one better than the other- It all depends on what you are looking for and what kind of purpose you are aiming. 

And even I would add : Why to Choose when you can have benefits from both? Pilates and Yoga are Totally complementary and really work perfectly with one another- So MY recommandation would be : ASSOCIATE !

Practice Both : Pilates for the strength, details and abs workout – Yoga for the peace of mind, flexibility and freedom. 

Now I hope : next time You’ll heard about PILATES you will never mix it up with YOGA. 

With Love,

Jeydancepilates

PILATES FOR MEN

PILATES FOR MEN

Hello Everybody so Today Iam coming back with a VERY SPECIAL article and today it is about frequently asked topic when regarding Pilates practice : MEN. Let’s look closer at this specific question:

Is Pilates useful for men ? 

First of all I think Men are afraid to practice Pilates because they don’t really know what it is. They have misunderstanding about the content so i will try to clear that up. Let’s look at the history.

Pilates came from Joseph Pilates.

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Joseph Pilates

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Pilates inventing the reforming

Joseph Pilates who was an athlete : boxer, body builder, skier. As a child he suffered him self from bad health conditions and he started study self-improvement. He took a lot of inspirations from ZEN BOUDDHISM and ANCIENT GREEK IDEAL OF MEN PERFECTED IN DEVELOPMENT of Body, Mind and spirit. During WWI, J. Pilates has been interned in « jail » by the British – There in his cells suffered from very poor conditions of living and he developed floor exercise and body core reinforcement. That was first state of what we call today «  pilates mat work ». Quickly his method has been spread out through jail’s detainees and they came to him to be trained and prevent their injuries. That helped them to build strength and endure terrible incarceration conditions, disease and bad shape that occurred from detention hard life conditions. When he was released from jail Joseph Pilates trained the military forces in Hamburg and when the german army forced him to train soldiers for wars he packed and left the country to establish him self in New York city. There was the big step into his life and career that brought Pilates where we know it stands today. In NYC dancers and many physical trainers get interests in Joseph Pilates’ method and made it popular in « women’s circles ». so That story to explain even originally speaking Pilates is a method developed by men for men. And which was nothing else than body’s training to survive.  Now Let’s see why that suits well to men and how it can help them to build strength and power through exercises as we practice it today.

Core Strength 

Core strength is one of the six major principles of the technique and maybe the most important one. 

Core strength in Pilates is considered the heart of the body and the best way to get strong, deep and « real »  muscles.

A musculature that will make you able to endure other kind of exercises.The integrative component of Pilates can be especially beneficial for men whose workouts often emphasize a part-by-part approach to muscular development, such as what what finds in weightlifting.Core strength principles means emphasizes movement from the center of the body called « powerhouse » and building strength from deep muscles to stabilize the trunk and protect the back. (especially lower back). That approach and technique makes Pilates a perfect train for whole body and a serious foundation for other sports. Pilates is often add to professional athletes in cross training, golf, soccer, swimming and skiing.

Flexibility 

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Pilates stretch poses

The word « stretching » typically brings in men’s mind : sweating in high socks with their foot up high reaching for their toes. it might have been part of bad understanding of Pilates technique and men’s fear to practice it.

BUT in reality : first of all Pilates doesn’t mean stretching, and second turns out that reaching your toes with head like a yogi is not the only way to improve flexibility. The routine in gym in general and in Pilates method can have drastic effects on your ability to touch your toes. After all being flexible is not only a « girl » matter but is actually essential for men in their daily life.

When it comes to desired physical characteristics, flexibility falls down the priority list, as most guys would much rather have killer abs and ripped arms than be able to touch their toes with ease right ?

 However, a lack of focus on flexibility may be hindering results in the gym. Heavy workouts combined with the typical desk posture from the 9-to-5 grind can stifle strength gains and line you up for an injury down the road.

In fact, flexibility training is an important aspect of gaining strength and size. Average men spend most of their time over a computer further deteriorating any chance at proper posture. Outside of just preventing injury, having better posture helps to show off the muscular physique. Proper flexibility also goes hand in hand with full range of motion exercises like squats and deadliest which are massive deep muscles builders.

Increasing flexibility is a goal that Pilates addresses in a way that men often feel comfortable with. Pilates works toward functional fitness. That is, the ability to have the strength, balance, and flexibility that allows one to move through daily-life tasks with ease.

Develop neglected muscles 

Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others, and a big part of Pilates is focusing on those muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention- Pilates is made that you will workout and build muscles you don’t hit when lifting weight only.

Better posture

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main localization of back pain

Not only that standing will makes you look, it also have various  benefits on your health. Most of the men, like women, have office’s jobs, lots of stress and hours in front of your computer that cause terrible pain in the back at the end of the day.

Pilates workout will get you rid off these back like pain in the back, neck and shoulders which are the most common ones. You will find stronger framework and straighter posture.

Live more conscious of your body

Pilates forces you to pay attention—you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form. not only that is going to cool you down and make you retreat from your daily stress and problems but also will make you create a proper consciousness of your whole body’s functions as well breathing functions and unconscious mechanism. After a Pilates session, you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed. One of my male student told me once «Pilates class might be the first time I actually take a conscious breath in an entire day ». Speaks for it self right ?

Balance and Coordination

If you have ever felt like a klutz, clumsy, pilates may be the answer. Increased muscle tone combined with the yoga-like control required to complete Pilates exercises give the body more stability and coordination.

This may not be number one men willing but having balance, ease and coordination of your body is important in your daily life basis. It will bring you more confidence, better walk and prevent most injuries.

Less Body Fat

Increasingly, our sedentary lifestyles have made us heavier. Hours in front of the computer makes more difficult loosing weight and tend to accumulate stored fat.

Fat accumulation in men is different than in women, but also significantly more dangerous. Because men’s fat areas tend to accumulate around the belly area, it poses a much greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. Pilates is a great muscle toner that also helps reduce body fat. Pilates workout movements like abs, criss cross legs and butt boosters combined with stretches are good way to reduce stored fat in your body. It will activates micro circulation blood and will eliminate body’s fat as well as helping eliminate orange-peel skin aspects (not only a girl’s problem).

Have Better Sex 

I have hesitated to put that one as a « perks »  for practicing Pilates, that can be a borderline subject as well as indelicate and private one BUT there is a several studies and researches about it and they are all unanimous : Pilates exercise will increase your body’s function control and awareness and will conducts to better sex life.

After all that makes sense :

Pilates strengthens the core and the pelvic floor, and men who practice it have greater control of this region of the body. Need we say more?

FAQ

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I have asked different different men that already practice Pilates and asked them about their point of view regarding Pilates practice and men’s frequent opinion about it. 

Jey : why do you think men are intimidated by or not interested in Pilates ? 

Thierry 38 years old – from Lyon France biker, runner and swimmer and swims. Training for his first 50-mile trail run. He added Pilates to his workout routine recently :

“I think men probably feel like they have such limited time, so why work on muscles they haven’t heard of and can’t see when there are biceps and pecs to be pumping? It’s also probably intimidating when those Pilates girls make it looks so easy and smooth, yet men aren’t as flexible or graceful most of the time.”

Guillaume 25 years old – from Marseilles France Practice Pilates time to time – combined with running, soccer and weight lifting.

“I’m sure it varies from guy to another, but I think the number one reason is probably just that it doesn’t seem « manly »  enough. classes are full of women in tight spandex lying on the floor and seemingly not doing much at all beyond stretching and flexing into « girly » positions that often have « girly names » “Mermaid stretch, anyone?”

Danny, 30 years old – from NYC  Salsa teacher, Soccer  player, Gym weight lifter

“Men may be intimidated by Pilates due to the exercises that seem popular. Guys don’t want to lie on the floor and exercise with their body weight.”

Jey : Why should men do Pilates?

Thierry

“Where do I start ? I have finally learned that the best swimmers swim with their cores; the best runners have stable hips and can train harder without injury; and there is cycling power in a strong core, especially as the ride gets long and hilly. Pilates helps with all of that. Oh, and it usually has a great female-to-male ratio. Need to add any more convincing argument ? “

-Guillaume : 

“When i first came to your class i didn’t expect that much workout and sweating. And what I would tell those guys is that Pilates can be VERY challenging. That is definitively a great workout and can benefit the other types of sports that you do. Also, I would tell them that it is like any other exercise: “

Danny :

« Because I’m already salsa teacher and sport player i incorporate Pilates training in my routine because i can feel the benefits of it. For example i can lift more weight because i know how to activate my core, thanks to Pilates. So many lifters compensate when lifting heavy and then injure themselves. I feel relaxed lifting weight and thanks to you make it injury free workout”

Now Guys you have all the keys about Pilates –  I hope this would have helped changing opinion and prejudices you may had regarding Pilates Practice-

Now let’s get started – I will end this article with a video from FTNESS BLENDER VIDEO – A very good workout for Lower Body routine – made by a Pilates MAN instructor- hope you’ll like it ! 

You liked this article ? This topic has interested you? Leave a comment I would love to read what you have to say 
Stay tuned 
with Love JeyDancePilates

THREE OUTFIT TO STRETCH COMFY

THREE OUTFITS TO STRETCH COMFY

Today I would like to show you three different ways to wear active clothes and feel trendy as you stretch and workout.

  1. Sober Stretch

black version

I wear:

-Top: Thin strap Black tank top

-Bottom: Green and Black Nylon&Elastane Pant Forever 21 Brand

-Foot: Pink stretch Nike Studio Wrap pack Shoes 

  1. Color Block

color blockI wear:

-Top: Turquoise 100%cotton Knitwear Forever 21 Brand

-Bottom: Day dream tribal print legging Forever 21 Brand

-Foot: Barefoot

  1. Easy Chic

easy chic I wear:

-Top: lovely Lace bodysuit Forever 21 Brand

-Bottom: Dance black Pant Repetto Brand

-Foot: Nike Studio Wrap pack Shoes (see 1st outfit link) 

 

 Which one is your favorite? Let me know your choice, and what do you like to wear when stretching and exercising ? 
 
 
 Leave Your comments get in touch with me : i’ll be glad to share&exchange !

 

7 WAYS TO GET FLAT ABS FROM HOME

FLAT TUMMY-STRONG ABS

A dream image for most People as well as an issue. As a fact maintaining a flat tummy might be a difficult thing to do. Pregnancies, lifestyle, bad food habits,  big days of work, made life hard on your tummy.  We face now a lot of people unsatisfied with their « flabby belly » . 

Most women coming in My classes complain about their belly’s appearance and  how much they would like to tone it up. images

You will tell me, most of women are unhappy with their looks in general : « my arms are too flask”, “my belly is too soft”, “my legs are too big ».

Ok Girls are NEVER satisfied with what they’ve got in matter of looks. Loving your self, accept who you are, is a big key to feel good, happy  and have a great-healthy life. But it doesn’t mean that you have to do no exercise at all.

Doing some exercise, take care of your self, get a healthy lifestyle, practice sport, will help you getting in shape, feel better ease in your body and  gain in confidence and self-esteem. Change your habit, start working on your self. That is going to help you in many ways :

  • First achieve some workout will get you proudness  : good image of your self.
  • Second it will forces you to take a break from your crazy weekly schedule and will allow you to breathe and distance your problems.
  • The results !  You will see the actual changes on your body and THIS is the best reward you can imagine. It Will bring you motivation to keep going and highlight what you can achieve.

So Today  i’ve been thinking that could be useful and interesting for most people : guys and girls – because Yes – girls are not the only ones unhappy-  I also have a lot men who came to see me and asked for flatter tummy and solutions to get rid of their stomach.  So for New moms, hard-workrs, and those who just somehow neglect them selves :

Here are SEVEN simple and easy to do exercises that you can do from home and will really help you tone this belly up!

7 EXERCISES TO GET ABS FROM HOME

1. TOE DIP 

EASY VERSION 

A. Lie on your back with your legs up and bent at 90 degrees—(like your were sitting) legs straight up and calves parallel to the floor (table position). Rest your hands at your sides. Keep your abs contracted and press your lower back toward the floor, push your belly button into your spine. Keep your abs alert.

B. Inhale and lower your left leg for a count of two, moving only from your hip and dipping your toes toward the floor (only brush the floor and high up your legs immediately). Exhale and raise your leg back to the starting position for a count of two. Repeat with your right leg and continue alternating until you’ve done 30 times with each leg.

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A- Starting position B-Active position

HARDER VERSION : 

Same exercise but lower your two legs together as you press deeply your belly  into your spine- and lift up your legs together. Do not move your knee position, only your hip is doing the movement. Watch out your lower back- do not let it curve.

2. LEG CIRCLE 

Be Careful ! There is several version of this one – we can separate in two main ones : the easy one, and the difficult one. I’m going to give you both, and regarding your level you will choose to do one or the other, but very important thing is to secure your lower back so do not push and do not let it curve. 

EASY VERSION

A. Lie on your back with your legs extended along the floor. Raise your left leg to the top, with toes pointed and hands on each side of your body. Hold for 10 to 60 seconds. (If this position is uncomfortable, you can bend your  floor leg and put your feet flat on the floor)

B. Make a small circle with your up leg, rotating your leg from your hip. Inhale as you begin the circle and exhale as you finish. Try not to move with the rest of your body—no rocking—this will be achieved by tightening your abs. Do 10 circles inside , then reverse direction for 10 more. Change and repeat with your other leg.

A-STARTING POSITION  B-DOING THE EXERCISE

A-STARTING POSITION
B-DOING THE EXERCISE

HARDER VERSION

Same exercise but lift off the floor- 5to 10 cm up above the ground. This will increase a lot the difficulty and will make your abs work way much harder. Again CAREFUL : if you don’t have enough strength to do it that way, you must choose option 1. This version needs to be properly done and will need for you to press your belly button into your spine in order to get your whole back into the floor- no curve into your lower back.

3. CRISSCROSS

Start same position as in the toe dip (Number

EASY VERSION 

Lay down on your back – whole body into the floor –

A. Inhale take your left knee into your both hands and extend your right leg

B. Exhale extend your right leg above the floor in front of you and as down as you can- press your left leg on your chest while you are stretching your opposite leg. Do at least 10 times each leg.

HARDER VERSION 

A. Start as in the Toe Dip but with your hands behind your head, elbows out to the sides. Curl up to raise your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor.

B. As you inhale, rotate your torso to the right, bringing your right knee and left shoulder toward each other and extending your left leg toward the ceiling in a diagonal line from your hips. As you exhale, rotate to the left, bringing your left knee toward your right shoulder and extending your right leg. Do at least 10 times each leg.

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Harder version

4. THE HUNDRED 

EASY VERSION 

Lie flat with your legs bended 90°C degree : table position (as in picture A previous exercise) arms by your sides. Squeeze your buttocks and your abs. Lift your head and look to your belly button (do not contract your neck). Raise your arms stretched and lean over your thighs and start pumping your arms up and down. Five inhale pump up and down, five exhale pump up and down. You are suppose to do 100 -as the name said – but for my beginners i suggest three times 30 pumps up and down. 

HARDER VERSION 

Lie flat with your legs squeezed together and long, strong arms by your sides.Lift both legs a few inches off the mat squeeze your buttocks, and your abs. Lift your head and look to your belly button. Raise your arms over your thighs and pump your arms up and down with energy. Five inhale pump- five exhale pump.

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HARD VERSION OF THE HUNDRED

5. BOWL AND STRETCH

Hug both knees into your chest with your head lifted forward and your elbows wide. A. Inhale with control as you reach your legs forward and arms backward B.Exhale slowly as you deepen back into your hug position, using the pull of your knees into your belly and chest to expel more and more air from your lungs

EASY VERSION Keep your head and chest lay down into the floor

HARDER VERSION Lift chest and Head Do it 10 times (at least).

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A- Starting position B-Strech legs in front of you

6. TEASER 

Lay down into the Mat- whole back into the mat- arms over your head – legs stretched in front of you.

A.Inhale with control as you bring your arms forward, shoulder-width apart, and begin lifting your legs

B. When your arms are parallel to your thighs, begin rolling up toward your feet, articulating one vertebra at a time and not allowing your pelvis to tip forward. Exhale slowly as you descend, replacing each vertebra 1 inch behind where it was taken off

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A-Starting Position B-Processing exercise C-Final position

7. SWIMMING 

Lie on your stomach with your forehead down, the pubis anchored to the mat, and the inner thighs pressed tightly together. Your arms are stretched forward with the palms down, and your feet are pointed. Lift your arms, legs, chest, and head up Together and hold (can count 10 counts) Lifting higher and reaching longer with each progressive count. Do not let your legs touch down while doing the exercise.

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A-Starting Position B-Alternate right and left leg C-Lifting higher, reaching longer

To conclude – You can Now Relax and Stretch !

Take a deep breath and go for a comfortable baby pose : Go sit on your heels and stretch your arms in front of you. Stay in this pose as long as you need. 

As I leave you with all these exercises Method and examples- I insist to remind you that you should never push harder than your level allows you to. Always watch out your lower back position – do not hesitate to take 5mins break if efforts become too painful – Help your self during the exercise by adopting correct breathing – Finally take your time and be patient : Practice makes perfect- so you just have to keep going ! 

This article interested you ? You have some remarks ? Please do not hesitate and get in touch with me : i’ll be glad to share&exchange !  

Can We Really Start Ballet as an Adult ?

Can We Really Start Ballet  As An Adult ?

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As I am Launching My New Class Of Ballet For Adults Beginners, lots of questions came to my mind :

 « How an adult can approach Ballet ? What will Ballet bring to my students ?How can I help them improve  ? » 

Here is a well-known fact  : traditionally Ballet is a dance that you start learning at a really young age (4-5-6 years old) and keep practicing for years if You want get good results and be able to become a proper ballerina one day.

I personally started at the early age of 4 years old – and then never stopped practicing. People typically believe Ballet is a very strict and very difficult discipline where you have to commit and put your entire self and relentless efforts if you really want achieve some good progress.

But actually this would only be true if every single person practicing Ballet was hoping to become a  professional dancer one day and trained him/her self in that goal. So if That is The case Of course, you should start – or put your daughter / son, In Ballet Class very early – and keep an eye on it for years.

But why not to start Baller for leisure, as an adult ? 

Being an adult doesn’t mean giving up on that childhood dream, a dream shared by many, that Ballet is accessible.

After all that’s true – people now take more and more time to take care of them selves- they commit – they like Ballet Music’s – They are willed to dance and learn : Adults make really good students. ( see related : Teaching to Adults) So there is nothing to stop you learning Ballet as an adult apart from your attitude.

How To Practice Ballet as an Adult ?

Learn Ballet In Five Points 

Outfit – Exercises – Musics :  All You Need To Know about Ballet

Clothes – what to Wear ? 

This is a question that i’ve been asked quite often: « what should I wear during Ballet lessons ? Where can I get good Dance’s Clothes ? » 

Shops’ addresses :

We are Lucky to Have a newly open Repetto Shop in Shanghai, there you will be able to find all the  wonderful items of the Most Prestigious French- Parisian Dance Brand and discover the treasure they have in their wardrobe !

1- Purchase The Right Clothes : 

You don’t want put on a traditional tutu but You will have to wear a Good Leotard and exercise tights, leg warmers and a crossover cardigan. These items are usually good quality make- so they are a bit pricey but they will last. 

As I live In China-Shanghai- I also know some very cheap shops for those- but I personally recommend to make an investment and go for quality. 

LEOTARD AND TIGHTS : 
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Wear a Nice Cardigan – we call in French «  Cache-coeur » – literally « hide-heart » to warm you up and make you feel at ease when working on your movements.

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I personally wear Repetto Petal Pink Cache-coeur – Repetto – Long Wrap over top top- color : Petal Pink

2. Put The Right Shoes on : 

If there is ONE specific and essential item ; it is Shoes. Ballet is All about the shoes- so be sure to select the right ones. First of all : you will not purchase the Pointes Shoes- those are reserved for professional. You will purchase the « slippers » version- called demi-pointes in French. So for those, you have several options and several material they can be made of : canvas, leather or both. As a professional Dancer- with former ballet strict education – i would recommend leather shoes with full sole. They  are a better way to shape your feet and make you get a stronger and nicer « cou-de-pied » (instep).

T200C-570-P1_1Salmon Color Soft Ballet Shoes– full sole leather shoes Repetto Brand 

3. Keep Your body Warm :

One thing you want to avoid is to hurt your self, get injured or less seriously just avoid  having some toe cramps. For all these risks : one and unique solution : Keep your body warm !

You may not always have enough time or enough awareness of your muscles and joint functions  to feel wether you are totally warmed up – I always use and recommend to wear special warm-up clothes and suggest you to purchase one of those.

The most important part of your body you want to keep warm are your legs – and all your joints from hips to ankles. So Go Buy those gorgeous leg warmers – (see pictures below) and I insist for you to choose the long ones that really cover you whole leg – not only your lower leg and ankle. With those : no more cramps ! They are magic makers and will prevent all kind of cold-muscles-injuries.

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Jey wearing long guetres-sock

4. Attend Your First Ballet Class : 

How Is it going to Be ? What kind of exercises will you do ? 

All these questions you may have 

Ballet classes usually begin with a warm-up at the barre and some stretching- can also add some floor barre (barre au sol) exercises.

As the lessons proceed, you will get to learn a range of different steps, jumps, slides, dance moves. Several exercises to make you feel the Ballet Movements, Get your body used to them and learn how to practice, for one day be able to do some performances (shows, choreography, etc) and achieve several steps in a row au milieu (means middle of the studio- without the support of the barre).

Keep it up. At first you might find coordination hard to grasp, as well as stretching and getting sequences right. It takes a lot of time practice and efforts :  so if you can practice at home do not hesitate to do so. Remember that the more you do, the better shape your body will be in and the long-term flexibility benefits of ballet are excellent.

5. Benefits of Ballet : 

Regardless of the Joy of learning a new dance and technique, besides the beautiful looks, Ballet also has many benefits that you can add-on and feel in your daily life when practicing.  Ballet will help you :

  • Get in Shape
  • Develop and Maintain flexibility
  • Activate every muscle in your body : your whole body is engaged in Ballet movements
  • Good Posture : that might be the caricature of the Ballerina- standing stretched – shoulder down and with a beautiful posture- but it is the reality. Ballet will bring you and extremely strong back and since the basic requirement of ballet is to have a neutral stance with the spine straightened and hips “squared” (meaning, parallel on both sides), this posture is going to have a “spill-over” effect on your day-to-day posture. If you work on it – you will end up looking as graceful as Audrey Hepburn !
  • Brain exercice : using brain power is one of the « trick » to succeed in Ballet Learning. You will have to use a lot you brain to remember the steps and coordinate the different body parts – step combinations – music tempo and rhythm integration.
  • Artistic Development : Ballet may be (at least for me) the most beautiful visual art you can find. Often are those who had picked up Ballet as a way to keep fit and ended up being in love with the art. The more you learn Ballet the more you get interested into wonderful traditions, and stories behind it.
  • Performance. Ballet is an art of performances. Although as an adult you will not end up dancing Swan lake at Paris Opera, you still have a good chance to show your art and enjoy the recognition and applause of an audience. That is worth gold !

You Now Have all the Keys to Succeed – You just Have to go take Your first Ballet Lesson ! 0897689f73b401ecc6a1ae69266f71a7-orig-398x310

Let’s Dance ! – With Love

 JeyDancePilates