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Nora St John

Nora St. John, education program director for Balanced Body University, has been teaching Pilates for 20 years and loves to introduce new people to its many delights!

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Article Archive

How Pilates Helps Athletes

May 18, 2017

Professional athletes of all kinds have discovered that adding Pilates to their training can improve performance, reduce injury, speed recovery and help their hardworking bodies stay balanced and healthy (Caple 2016; Knowlton 2016; Knowles 2016; Saxon 2016). For recreational athletes or simply athletic clients in general, Pilates can provide the same benefits professional athletes enjoy.

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Anatomy in Action: The Psoas Major

April 22, 2014

The psoas major is one of the most controversial muscles among Pilates teachers and anatomy nerds. It’s a critical muscle for functional movement of any kind and affects almost everything we do, from sitting and standing to running and dancing.

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Pilates Footwork for Misalignments

February 21, 2013

Pilates footwork: simple yet powerful, it is typically the first exercise taught on the reformer. Called the “Pilates fortuneteller” by Amy Taylor Alpers from the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado, footwork reveals postural patterns and muscle imbalances of the hips, legs and feet and is an effective exercise for correcting them.

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Footwork: The Foundation of Pilates

September 21, 2012

Pilates footwork: simple yet powerful, it is typically the first exercise taught on the reformer. Called the “Pilates fortuneteller” by Amy Taylor Alpers from the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado, footwork reveals postural patterns and muscle imbalances of the hips, legs and feet and is an effective exercise for correcting them. If you are a Pilates instructor, this basic, functional movement of closed-kinetic-chain hip and knee flexion and extension allows you to help a client

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Web Extra! Reforming the Knee

January 20, 2011

Single-Leg Knee Stretch and Double-Leg Knee Stretch
Single-leg knee stretch is useful for working on knee flexion and extension in a standing position and on correcting alignment and improving the balance of the standing leg. To increase the balance challenge, take the hands off the bar and stand upright using a gondola pole for balance. Once you master that, take the pole away and then add an unstable surface such as a balance pad under the standing foot.

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Reforming the Knee

January 18, 2011

If one of your Pilates clients developed knee problems and her doctor said the client needed to strengthen the muscles around the knee, would you know what to do? What if a client were diagnosed with patellofemoral dysfunction or were recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament tear? How would you design a Pilates reformer program to help the client heal and return to full function? The reformer is a great, multipurpose tool for improving function, correcting alignment and muscular imbalances and helping the body recover from injury.

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The Pilates Chair: From Classical to Contemporary

March 16, 2010

The Pilates chair—or “wunda chair,” as Joseph Pilates called it—is a powerful piece of exercise equipment. Its small size belies its remarkable ability to build core stability, upper-body strength and lower-body power to improve performance in athletes, retrain the body after injury and increase overall physical conditioning. Although it’s been part of the Pilates system for many years, the chair is currently experiencing a new level of interest as a great tool for teaching clients either individually or in small groups.

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