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Programs & Equipment

Lower-Body Progressions on the Reformer

Many Pilates clients want to develop lower-body strength and definition, and the reformer is a perfect piece of equipment to help them meet this goal. Strong hamstrings, gluteals, quadriceps, adductors and abductors provide power for athletic moves and functional activities.

Standing Work on the Reformer

?Standing work on the reformer offers a perfect way to improve overall balance and posture and is a great complement to any other workout or Pilates routine. In this article, you will learn how to introduce the classic standing work—with a contemporary twist—to clients at any level, and you’ll learn how to progress or regress moves for those who need more or less.

Upper-Body Progressions on the Reformer

Developing upper-body strength and stability is often a challenge, especially for female clients. Balanced strength, stability and range of motion are critical for everyday movements.

The Magic Circle

The Pilates magic circle is a versatile, portable and affordable piece of resistance equipment. Originally designed by Joseph Pilates himself, it can enhance just about any workout routine.

Armchair Fitness?

We all know that too many people sit for much too long—and by doing so endanger their health. German researchers may have a solution to get people moving.

Kettlebells improve strength, Power

Kettlebell training has experienced a resurgence of late. Going by the physical improvements the training can offer, is its popularity warranted? The answer is yes, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2012; 26 [8], 2228–33).

The scientists’ goal was to determine what effects the kettlebell swing had on maximal and explosive strength. They employed half-squat
1-repetition maximum and vertical jump height as assessment markers.

Kettlebell Research Update

Kettlebells have seen growing popularity as a total-body training tool to improve cardiovascular health and musculoskeletal fitness. Yet for all the enthusiasm among personal trainers, experimental research on the effects of KB training was scant until last year, when studies began showing up in peer-reviewed journals. This column updates IFJ readers with recent research on KB training.

“What device is more effective at helping to smooth out fascia—a soft ball, a hard foam roller or a soft foam roller with bumps on it?”

This is a great question and one I get all the time. Different parts of the body respond to different degrees of pressure and firmness. Similarly, individuals respond in different ways to the firmness of the self-myofascial-release (SMR) tool they use. No matter whom you are working with, though, it is always a good idea to start them out with a soft ball (e.g., a tennis ball) so they can relax and ease into the new sensations of performing self-massage.

Bring on the ’Bells!

Group fitness instructors are continually trying to spark interest. We try new sequences, different teaching methods and the latest equipment to keep workouts fresh. The rise in popularity of kettlebell training is no surprise: packing…

Foot Type: Choosing Shoes

Want to enjoy a lifetime of exercise? Make sure you wear the shoes that best suit your feet. Shoes are made for all types of feet and actions, and knowing your foot type can aid you in selecting shoes that will help prevent injury.

Pilates Equipment Teaching Techniques

Pilates, like any fitness discipline, can be challenging to teach—especially for new instructors. After all, there are many aspects of teaching that take time and experience to improve, including motivating students, sequencing exercises and getting clients to follow verbal cues.

Equipment: Which Items Are Favorites?

What piece of Pilates equipment is your favorite, and why? For this issue, we asked instructors to share their equipment preferences, along with teaching tips and equipment mistakes to avoid.

Multitasking on the Chair

Core Strength With Kettlebells

Your program director invested in a set of kettlebells for the group fitness studio, and you’ve attended the introductory workshop on proper form and basic teaching skills. However, you don’t feel confident enough to lead participants through a selection of drills. There’s no need to let the kettlebells rust in the corner of the studio! Use the core section of your next class to teach students three simple and effective moves.

Pilates Equipment Maintenance Tips

What is your maintenance and service plan for caring for your valuable Pilates equipment? As part of our ongoing commitment to serving the Pilates community, IDEA Pilates Today asks you to share your secrets to studio success.

Maximizing Fitness Experiences with Minimal Fitness Equipment

Bands, Body Bars®, dumbbells, balls (of all shapes and sizes), discs and rollers—our equipment lists have grown considerably longer over the past few years. If you think it’s overwhelming for you as the instructor, imagine how students must feel! Have you fallen into the trap of always making class “different and interesting”? If so, is this for your students or for you? The desire to offer variety is one thing, but participants can still be challenged and motivated with only one or two pieces of equipment—or maybe with none at all!

A Pilates Approach to Posture and Alignment

Assessing clients’ posture or alignment can sometimes be overwhelming for both novice and experienced Pilates instructors. Even with all our knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology, movement and injuries, it can be hard to know where to start.

Treadmill Walking Helps Parkinson’s Patients

People with Parkinson’s disease who are experiencing difficulty walking should engage in regular low-intensity practice on a treadmill, suggests a recent study. Sixty-seven participants were split into three groups: high-intensity treadmill (faster pace, shorter duration); low-
intensity treadmill (slower pace, longer duration); and stretching and resistance exercises that included leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls. Various gait and fitness assessments were taken pre- and post-intervention.

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