Experimenting with the Reformer

Hi everyone!

I have been loving spending quality time with the Reformer lately! I just love the way it is challenging, fun and a great work out. 

If the Reformer is a new machine for you, I suggest you go take a group class or book a private session to try it out - I truly believe that there is no better work out equipment on the market. 

The machine is based on spring tension, therefore allowing you to choose the weight for each individual exercise, working on strength, agility, bone density and flexibility all at the same time. The general being, the lighter the spring tension the more core work you get; the heavier the tension, the more large muscle work you get (i.e quad work, as opposed to hip flexor or low belly work)

One of my favourite exercises for challenging my core muscles is a plank-to-pike on the reformer, with no springs! This means that my body is forced to balance, stabilize and move the machine with as much control as it can, otherwise the machine would throw me around!

This is an intermediate to advanced exercise, so be careful! I might suggest having someone around to spot you (as I did) in case you lose your balance.


Here is the excercise!

- Detach all the spring. Place hands on the rails underneath the shoulders.

-Start on hands and knees; once the hands are in place curl the toes under an straighten legs.

-Assume a strong plank pose (tall in the shoulders, straight, long spine)

-On an exhale pull the low belly in and up as you pull the carriage in towards your hands, piking the hips up towards the ceiling.

-Push back out to plank, and pike back up.

-Do as many reps as your core can handle! :)


The Benefits of Planking

This week I have been really interested in watching my students doing variations on the plank. Not only watching them do it, but watching each and everyone of them complain or resist doing it in some way, shape or form.

The plank is a difficult posture, hard to maintain for any length of time, and often uncomfortable on peoples limbs. However, (like most postures that people don't like) there are so many physical benefits of the plank that teachers, world wide, force their students plank time and time again! I promise we aren't just punishing you in a cruel and unusual way! :)

Of course, it is important to be mindful of your own body when doing something as demanding as a plank; if you find this to be too hard for your wrists, then by all means (like the lady in the picture is doing) come onto your forearms!

Assuming the plank posture not only targets your six-pack muscles (your rectus abdominis) but it also targets every other abdominal muscle in your body! (internal and external obliques, and transverse abdominis) This is great news for those of us who want to strengthen our cores, but the benefits don't stop there.

The plank ALSO targets your pectoral muscles, your quadriceps, shins and shoulders! Now if that isn't a full body work out, I don't know what is!  

The plank is super beneficial not only because it targets all of those separate muscle groups, but more importantly, it challenges them to work in tandem, making for a well integrated, full-body muscle system.

So next time I (or any other teacher) asks you to plank, thank them for giving you the time to strengthen all those muscles in one easy (relatively speaking...) posture. :) 

Now everyone go and plank for 3 minutes! 

My First Blog Post!

It's been a dream of mine for a long time to be able to share my ideas about healthy eating and movement with the masses. As a website came to be, I realized that it would be the perfect medium for sharing my ideas for healthy meals as well as a chance to highlight a body part of the month, or to share a pilates videos!

So here it is! my first blog adventure!

Stayed tuned for updates! 

I first came across Spiralized vegetables, at a restaurant in Toronto called Fresh, where their claim to fame is making vegan, healthy food beautiful and appealing to both vegans and meat eaters alike! 

I tried this beautiful salad that had both carrots and yellow beets that had been magically turned into noodles!  Well, the minute I saw these gorgeous ribbons, I knew i had to find the implement that made this all possible!

So I went on amazon.ca, and found that there were a few different brands to choose from. Being a kitchen gadget connoisseur, I found some reviews online, and came to the decision that that World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable was the best brand!

It's super easy to use, easy to clean and comes with interchangeable blands and makes cooking so much fun! I've only tried zucchini so far, but I intend to try carrots and beets this week!  

Just add homemade pesto, and ta-da! Zuccini noodles were born!