The Joy of Pilates

Increased flexibility, incredible core strength, enhanced endurance and great for creating a long and lean body too! Who doesn't strive for these?

Don't underestimate the benefits of practicing pilates as there are many and often more than meets the eye including stress reduction, injury prevention and rehabilitation and better mind and body connection.

If you have ever attended a large Pilates class and been stuck at the back wondering if you are doing the exercises correctly and struggled to locate your 'core' or even know what it truly is or how it works in conjunction with the exercises and everyday life, then trying a small group (2-6 people) or one-to-one sessions with a Pilates instructor could be just right for you.

To truly gain the benefits of Pilates really going back to the very principles at the heart of this amazing art is essential and from there progress can be made to identify and address weaknesses and build more challenging exercises into the sessions when you are ready. 

What we love about Pilates is that it is such an inclusive form of exercise whatever your age, fitness or experience , there is always a range of exercises and adaptions that are possible. 

Set some 'me time' aside and explore the joy of Pilates. 

Red Hot Personal Training and Pilates offers tailored one-to-one or small group Pilates sessions carried out in your own home, work or local park to help you realise the true Joy of Pilates.

 

Journey to Becoming a Runner

A little nervous and anticipating what was to come, Debbie lined up against almost 400 others at the start line of Horshams 5k ParkRun.  Not once had she imagined herself running this distance.

Just six weeks ago Debbie started training with Red Hot Personal Training (RHPT) with the aim of becoming fitter and to achieve inch loss.  At first we focused on incorporating strength training and small bursts of running to increase her aerobic capacity, burn fat and increase muscle tone.  Her positive enthusiasm and the way that she embraced the training, nutrition and lifestyle changes given by RHPT have not only seen her loose weight (fat loss/inch loss) but also the ability of achieving so much more than she thought possible.

"Just one minute, that is all you need to run for" is what Debbie became familiar hearing on our training sessions.  That quickly increased to three minute bursts after just a few weeks with Debbie starting to notice her improvements.

It is so important to set yourself training goals and we thought that a 5K ParkRun would be perfect for Debbie as she was really enjoying running and showed excellent improvement as the weeks progressed.

The minutes ticked by during the first Kilometre of the 5k ParkRun and Debbie showed little signs of slowing.  We paced the run so she would not start too fast and then burn out and we tackled the slight inclines of the terrain using mental methods allowing her to drive upwards with ease.

As a Personal Trainer, I am always delighted and in awe when my clients achieve a personal goal, like the nurturing of a baby bird that learns how to use its wings and fly for the first time.

Crossing the finish line Debbie asked if we had achieved it in under 45-50 minutes (a goal time we had set) "Oh yes I said, you have smashed it and did it in 38 minutes and 40 seconds!"

Well done Debbie, I am so proud of you! 

If you were inspired by Debbie and would like to try a ParkRun just visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk and if you need any help with the training please get in touch with us here at RHPT. 

Want a strong core?

What is your core?

When you hear the words core training what comes to mind?  Endless crunches that seem to produce no results?

A great number of people believe that your core muscles consist of only your abdominal muscles which is just not true.  Muscles of the core region include the abdominals and the hip and spinal musculature.  In fact when you strength train your core you aim to target all the muscle groups that stabalise the spine and pelvis.

Side plank

Side plank

A strong core can help you with your functional fitness (those crucial ab and back muscles you call upon every time you turn, bend and lift) and also from an aesthetic perspective (sculpting and tightening that mid section!). 

Suffer from lower back pain?  

In some instances, weak or poorly controlled core muscles can be associated with lower back pain.  Correctly strength training the core muscles will result in them being stronger and more correctly balanced with less uneven strain being placed on the spine. 

Core Workouts

A great core workout may incorporate planks and side plank exercises to encourage a neutral spine position with a natural curve in the back.  Other excellent core exercises include the glute bridge that can help stabilise the pelvis. 

Using a swiss ball to perform core exercises on can be a great tool to really target those inner hard to reach core muscles whilst also adding an element of fun to the routine. Progression can then be made onto a push up lateral row that engages all the core musculature at once resulting in a thorough core workout.

 

Great exercises to try on a swiss ball

Yes we have all seen them lurking in the corners of the gym or even have one collecting dust behind the sofa! We are talking about swiss balls. (Also known as a balance ball, body ball, fitness ball, gym ball, stability ball, therapy ball or yoga ball). So many workouts can be enhanced with a Swiss ball.

The ball can help improve posture, increase flexibility and tremendously increase core strength including those deep abdominal muscles.

The key thing about a Swiss ball is that it’s unstable. When you sit on one, your core works overtime just to keep you upright. (Try using a ball instead of a chair and notice how you constantly activate your core muscles).

Over the next couple of weeks we will give you some great exercises to try out.

Swiss Ball Ab Rollout (Target those deep abdominal muscles)

  1. Kneeling upright on a matt, place a Swiss Ball in front of you.
  2. Place your hands in a fist on the ball.
  3. Contract your abs and keep your core tight and controlled while rolling the ball out in front of you, until you come out to a half plank. (make sure your back does not sink down too low).
  4. Hold for 2 seconds and make sure your elbows are kept below your shoulders. Then roll the ball back until your are full upright again on your knees with the ball in front of you again. Perform 10 times.

Next week we will show you another great exercise using just a swiss ball.  Be sure not to miss this and future blogs by signing up to our FREE newsletter.  (See homepage for details).

Simple at home Fitness Tests, part 2

Simple at home Fitness Tests continued……

Last week we tested you on your aerobic strength. This week is all about your core strength. This test involves holding the plank position.

Core fitness – Plank

Hold the position. (Please see photo). Try to imagine a nice straight line parallel with the floor, from your head to your toes. If at any time you feel the exercise in your lower back then stop the test immediately. Please note your posture and / or lower back will go before you physically have to stop the hold. Do not push through this point.

Record the time held in the plank position.

Results from tests:

Time Held

  • Level 1 = Less than 30 seconds
  • Level 2 = 31 – 60 seconds
  • Level 3 = 61 – 120 second
  • Level 4 = 120 seconds +

How did you score:

  • Level 1 = Weak area
  • Level 2 = Average
  • Level 3 = Good
  • Level 4 = Excellent!

Next week we test your resistance strength ………….

Lyndsey Slaughter - Red Hot Personal Training