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PJ O'Clair

PJ is a highly sought after, internationally recognized, award-winning health and fitness icon. She has published numerous fitness and therapeutic programs spanning many disciplines, including Pilates for Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, Fascia and Movement, and Athletic Performance for Cyclists. She is well known in both the consumer and professional markets as a movement innovator and Merrithew™ Master Instructor Trainer. PJ specializes in STOTT PILATES® and TRX®, and has appeared in well over 80 fitness DVDs and digital platforms.

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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 on the Ball

October 26, 2009

From its earliest beginnings, the Pilates Method used a rich variety of equipment—the reformer, the wunda or stability chair, the trap table or cadillac, and so on. Joseph Pilates himself was known as an innovator, and his approach to movement was quite playful; he gave exercises names like cat, monkey, elephant, swan, grasshopper and flying…

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Pilates Workout: The Magic Circle

February 2, 2009

First created and named by Joseph Pilates himself, the “magic circle” remains a versatile and highly effective tool for today’s Pilates practitioners. Space-efficient and transportable, it is an ideal small-equipment option for personal trainers and group instructors alike. By thinking imaginatively, you can use it successfully with any of your clients, from injured Baby Boomers…

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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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