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PJ O'Clair

PJ O'Clair has been a leader and consultant in the fitness industry for more than 25 years. She is a STOTT PILATES® master instructor trainer and has been featured in numerous fitness videos, including over 25 titles with STOTT PILATES®. PJ has also written numerous articles for industry publications and is the recipient of the 2008 IDEA Program Director of the Year award.

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Article Archive

Integrated Stretching

January 16, 2019

When it comes to integrated stretching, the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ is a helpful tool. Stretching can often feel somewhat passive; however, the game changes when you hold straps or attach them to your feet. Our bodies move in patterns, not in isolation, so why not enhance that concept and include this equipment in your cooldowns?

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A Career Path for the Pilates Instructor

April 19, 2011

With 8.6 million participants, Pilates is the fastest-growing exercise activity in the United States, according to a recent report from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (Rovell 2010). The 2010 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends report found that 90% of facilities represented in the survey offer Pilates, up from 63% in 2002 (Schroeder 2010). What’s more, many facilities provide both group and private training, as well as fusion formats (e.g., Pilates-yoga). So it’s not surprising that Pilates instructors today have many career options.

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Pilates Exercises for Breast Cancer: Rebuilding the Foundation, Part Three

September 7, 2010

As you begin this third part of our phase-one programming for breast cancer survivors, it’s critical to acknowledge the importance of parts one and two of the program; to adhere to the goals of each part; and to honor your client’s readiness to progress. There is no definite time frame allotted for each part—it truly depends on the client’s success and comfort level.

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Phase-One Exercises for Breast Cancer, Part Two

May 24, 2010

In the second part of phase-one programming for breast cancer survivors, the goal is to continue to introduce some very basic biomechanical principles commonly used in Pilates. These principles focus on restoring joint mobility with gentle range-of-motion exercises intended to break down residual scar tissue from surgery and various treatments. The work of increasing overall body awareness with slow, controlled, concentrated movements also persists.

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Phase-One Exercises for Breast Cancer, Part One

March 26, 2010

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 2.4 million women living in the United States in 2004 had been treated for breast cancer (American Cancer Society 2007). Fortunately, thanks to early detection and advancements in treatment, many more women will survive breast cancer and go on to live out their natural life expectancy. Despite this good news, cancer treatments take an enormous toll: in just a year of treatment, the body can age a decade. Between the inherent weight gain, muscle atrophy and premature bone loss, women are left weak and physically challenged even by normal day-to-day activities.

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Pilates and Breast Cancer: Rebuilding the Foundation

March 31, 2008

Fashion designer and breast cancer
survivor Sigrid Olsen began a Pilates program with me just months after her
surgery. “I had no physical strength in my upper body,” she says. “I had lost
the endurance to hold myself up straight. The Pilates program got me feeling my
body again and gave me the strength to keep my shoulders back and down. I had a
sense of self again…

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